Last week, John Bracken from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation stopped by the Chicago Community Trust as part of his whirlwind tour of the nation to talk about the latest Knight News Challenge.
About the News Challenge
The Knight News Challenge is a contest where innovative ideas and concepts enter for a share of $5 million dollars in funding. This year, the challenge is focused on health data. Here’s Michael Mannes, VP of Journalism and Media Innovation for the Knight Foundation, explaining why they decided to focus on health this year.
The world of health data
Health data has received a lot of attention in the past few years. The US Department of Health and Human Services has been a key player in this space most recently launching healthdata.gov. The success of these initiatives has led to the creation of the Health Data Consortium. The Consortium works to increase the availability of health data across all sectors. They also host a Health Datapalooza each year to highlight innovative ways that data can be used.
At the local level, the Chicago Department of Public Health has been working with the civic innovation community to aid in the creation of health related apps. Apps have included ways to find free flu shots, catch foodborne illnesses, and ways to find food inspection information for nearby restaurants. You can take a look at all the health data for the city, county, and state at the federated data portal Metrochicagodata.org.
About the Knight News Challenge on Health
Dan O’Neil started the presentation off by talking about the lay of the land and the work that the Knight Foundation has done in the space.
John Braken then introduced the challenge speaking about why the Knight Challenge wanted to look at health data and what the Knight Foundation was looking for in terms of innovative projects.
He also showed a short video of how the process works.
It’s important to note that even if you don’t have a project to submit, you can still register on the News Challenge site and give feedback on entries. Unlike other app challenges, you can modify your proposal until the final cutoff on October 2nd.
Q & A Session
Bracken also took the time out to answer questions from the audience about the challenge.