Could Mozillians help reinvent local news?
November 19, 2009 § 3 Comments
Recently, I noticed Knight Foundation and Sunlight Labs blogging together. The topic: rallying Sunlight developers to join the Knight’s efforts to reinvent local news for the internet era. And, in particular, to join the Knight News Challenge.
By collaborating with Sunlight, Knight is reaching out to developers and designers who are using internet thinking to change how government works. If these people are good at coming up with ways to internet-ize government, why not see if they can do the same for local news? Smart.
This got me to thinking: could Mozilla or Mozillians play a role in Knight’s efforts to create sustainable, inspiring local news that looks and feels like the internet? Certainly, the Knight Challenge criteria align well with Mozilla’s values:
The Knight News Challenge projects meet three criteria: 1) use digital, open-source technology to 2) distribute news and information in the public interest 3) to a local, geographic community.
Open source. Public benefit. Community. And, there a number of people who’ve participated in the past feel more ‘Mozilla’ than ‘local news’:
Past Knight News Challenge winners include leading innovators at the intersection of technology and information – folks like Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and a 2008 Knight News Challenge winner, and Adrian Holovaty, co-creator of the Django programming framework and originator of one of the first Google Maps mashups, which evolved into his 2007 Knight News Challenge award.
While I’ve only just glanced at all the Knight and Sunlight stuff quickly, it does feel like there could be some useful connections here. Maybe simply by developers or others from the Mozilla community proposing ideas to Knight? Or maybe, at some point, through a more joint initiative through Drumbeat? I’m going to think on it a little and possibly post again. In the mean time, I’d welcome comments / brainstorms / proposals from any Mozilla people reading this post.
PS. The current Knight News Challenge deadline is December 15. If you have an idea, enter. It’s a really simple, short process. The web site is: www.newschallenge.org