Knight News Challenge Bridge Grants

2011-12 Project Winners

Adopting Ushahidi for Crowdsourcing and Data Visualization: New paths for Event-mapping in Chile

This project will train journalism students into crowdsourcing and data visualization techniques and increase user engagement by adapting the Ushahidi platform into Km Cero, Chile’s most important non-profit, college-produced news web site. Run entirely by students and faculty members at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile’s School of Journalism, Km Cero strives to produce high-quality online journalism geared towards young people by employing innovative news formats and content. The Ushahidi platform, thus, would allow our news outlet to reach those goals by enabling citizens and journalists to report and map important news events that take place in Chile, including street protests, natural catastrophes and crime. We seek funding to train students in the use of Ushahidi, customize the platform into Km Cero, and develop new journalistic projects based on the this Knight News Challenge project.

Ingrid Bachmann and Sebastian Valenzuela | Universidad Catolica de Chile




Kansan.com High School News Feed

The proposed project will establish a high school news and advertising feed on Kansan.com, the University Daily Kansan (UDK) website. The news feed will use Printcasting and FeedBrewer, which were developed with Knight New Challenge funding. The feed will: Provide Kansan.com readers with niche local, youth-oriented coverage from around the state; Broaden high school journalists’ audience and exposure; Stimulate mentoring relationships between UDK student and professional staff, and high school journalism programs; Generate ad revenue for participating high school journalism programs; and Provide Kansan.com with valuable audience data.

Peter Bobkowski, Assistant Professor | University of Kansas




CityCircles Light Rail Job Classifieds

This intention of the student collaborative project is to create a hyperlocal model that will support the future sustainability of the CityCircles mobile app. Arizona State University students have often expressed to educators that they must find a job along the light rail due to transportation constraints. Phoenix is geographically spread out, which creates challenges for people dependent upon public transportation. Thus, an app that focuses on job classifieds along the light rail will serve as information service and a potential future revenue stream for CityCircles.

Serena Carpenter and Nancie Dodge, | Arizona State University




Reporting from the Storm

We will use Ushadidi’s software platform as the end distribution tool for students covering the Oklahoma 2012 tornado season. This is a classroom — centered initiative that has the potential to spread into Oklahoma’s communities, weather institutions, and mass media outlets. Three journalism courses will be involved: Advanced multimedia journalism, community journalism, and a special topics course on mobile reporting. However, the purpose of the grant will target the development, implementation, and pedagogical support needed to bring Ushadidi into the advanced multimedia class. Community journalism students will develop the sources among Oklahoma communities and the storm chaser network already established in the state. This will provide the foundation of crowdsourcing that will make this effort meaningful to Oklahoma citizens. The advanced multimedia class will bring this information into our news website Oklahoma Routes. The mobile reporting class will provide news reports throughout the semester that will be presented within the website using the Ushadidi software.

Julie Jones, Associate Professor and John Schmeltzer, Engleman/Livermore Professor in Community Journalism | University of Oklahoma




OpenBlock Campus

OpenBlock Campus will bring hyperlocal news resources to Kent State University college campus. The OpenBlock software will be adapted to the main campus of Kent State University. Because Kent State is a public university, we will obtain much data in addition to the local information seen on OpenBlock. We plan to develop scrapers unique to the campus, ones that can find news articles and blogs mentioning Kent State, as well as data linked to campus classrooms and offices, such as professor schedules, curriculum vitae and course evaluations.

Jacqueline Marino, Assistant Professor | Kent State University




In-depth Reporting of Methamphetamine Production and Abuse in Oklahoma

The School of Media and Strategic Communications at Oklahoma State University would like to allow students a new, in-depth reporting platform that should greatly enhance their learning experience. We would like to use DocumentCloud to help students produce a series of stories on Oklahoma’s longtime, growing problem with methamphetamine production and abuse. We plan to work in conjunction with Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit organization that does in-depth reporting. It has board members from across the state, and Jaclyn Cosgrove, one of its leading reporters, is a recent OSU graduate. OSU’s faculty also has strong ties to the Tulsa World and The Oklahoman, the state’s largest newspapers that also are involved with Oklahoma Watch.

Ray Murray, Associate Professor | Oklahoma State University




Telling Stories with Data: Life at a Hispanic Serving Institution

This project will develop a platform to support an ongoing course that focuses on data storytelling and visualizations based on the Knight-funded VIDI project. The initial project during its first semester would focus on the changing nature of the enrollment of Texas State University and it’s status as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

Cindy Royal, Associate Professor, and Jacie Yang, Assistant Professor | Texas State University




LarryvilleKU: Web and Mobile Application of OpenBlock to The Kansan

LarryvilleKU iTunes App | LarryvilleKU Google play Android App

This project utilizes OpenBlock, a hyper-local news and data platform developed through the Knight News Challenge. The purpose of this project is three-fold. First, the investigators propose to develop innovative ways of applying OpenBlock to The University Daily Kansan (the Kansan), a self-supporting, independent, student-run media operation at the University of Kansas. Second, the investigators aim to help other campus media that might be interested in incorporating OpenBlock to their sites by sharing via GitHub final computer code developed under this grant. Lastly, the investigators will develop a theoretical model identifying factors predictive of people’s participation in OpenBlock as well as an evaluation matrix to assess the application of OpenBlock to campus media. Thus the practical application of OpenBlock to the Kansan will generate scholarly papers on OpenBlock for campus media operations. This research team is well positioned to cover both practical and research aspects of the topic, as it includes a journalism professor whose research focuses on social and digital media and the General Manager and News Adviser, Sales and Marketing Adviser, and Web Editor of the Kansan.

Hyunjin Seo, Assistant Professor | The University of Kansas




Photojournalism and Social Engagement Tablet App

The College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (CoJMC) has just started a planning process to create a mobile tablet app to display its work, particularly its photojournalism. The college has an endowment to send students around the world to photograph the stories of people in need. The app will make these stories be more than photo stories; it will be information that prompts viewer action and engagement, using the capabilities of tablet applications. The app will be used to teach viewers about the problems of people in need around the world, and then help them engage with one another and with legislators who could help the people depicted. The app will enable the user to find Congressmen whose voting records show they want to help the people who are the subject of the photo stories. The online photo and story layouts will then be turned into an ebook and a premium print book.

Adam Wagler | University of Nebraska-Lincoln




@SDSU – Where’s the news?
Mobile Application for Mapping Civic and Public Service Issues on Campus and Beyond

AzteCast iTunes App | AzteCast Website

Tips for Educators from AzteCast — Here are some tips for making it work on your campus >>

The @SDSU (http://at.sdsu.edu) mobile news application is an innovative way of bringing civic and public service issues to a university campus and its surrounding neighborhoods. The application focuses on the importance of mapping the information of what is happening on campus to a specific geographic location. Specifically the information is focused on items that are important to a campus community (e.g. traffic, weather, crime, power outages, crises, violence, health pandemic, public safety, food safety, campus elections, campus events, etc.). The @SDSU mobile news application will be built off of the Knight News Challenge Ushahidi platform. The power of the Ushahidi platform is its ability to allow people to mobilize during a crisis using a mobile channel to provide information and map it to a specific area. The @SDSU mobile news application will use the Ushahidi platform to provide important information to students, faculty, staff and citizens living in nearby neighborhoods adjacent to the campus. Journalism students will use this tool for newsgathering and reporting of campus events but more importantly, use this as a tool to verify the information that is coming through the mobile application. A university safety committee (already in place) and journalism students will verify the information that is submitted into the system.

Amy Schmitz Weiss, Assistant Professor | San Diego State University


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