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April 22, 2014, 9 a.m.
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LINK: knightfoundation.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   April 22, 2014

The Knight Foundation is lending a helping hand to new tools and technology that could be useful to journalist. The latest round of the Knight Prototype Fund includes 17 projects that will each receive $35,000 to push ideas one step closer to a formal launch.

Some of the prototype fund awardees may be familiar to journalists, including Tabula, an open source tool created by Mozilla OpenNews fellows that pulls data from PDFs. Others — like Project Fission, a newsroom tool for collecting information, or Capitol Hound, which would develop a searchable database of transcripts from the North Carolina legislature — have plenty of potential value for reporters.

Each of the projects will go through a six-month training and prototyping program where they will learn about human-centered design in advance of a demo day. Below are the journalism-inclined projects. For the full list of winners go here.

Capitol Hound: Offering the public a searchable database of the transcripts of North Carolina legislative sessions, including an audio archive and alert system for General Assembly sessions and committee meetings.

Louder: Testing the use of a crowdfunded advertising platform that allows users to donate small amounts to spread news and information that is important to them.

Minezy: Creating a tool to help journalists more easily find information in email archives received through Freedom of Information Act requests by analyzing data and highlighting important social relationships, dates and topics.

MLRun: Helping journalists create deeper stories through a user-friendly Web platform that helps analyze large data sets by discovering patterns in documents.

News On Demand: Increasing the “quality time” people spend with news by building a system that provides news based on a reader’s available time and attention level.

Open Data Philly: Improving government transparency and citizen engagement by expanding OpenDataPhilly.org, which provides access to data related to the Philadelphia region.

PressSecure: Preserving privacy and freedom of expression by developing a secure media sharing and storage app for citizen journalists that will give them more control over their mobile content.

Project Fission: Creating a newsroom tool that allows journalists to collect and explore small units of information that can be pulled together to create new story formats.

Tabula: Improving an open-source tool that makes it easier for journalists to extract data from PDF documents.

Tipsy: Making it easier for content providers to generate revenue by developing a new way to fund news sites through micropayments from readers.

Uncovering Cost, Examining Impact: Developing a crowdsourcing tool to collect data from California residents about what they pay for common health care procedures and making the information available to journalists and the public through KQED, Southern California Public Radio and ClearHealthCosts.com.

Whilecard: Creating a tool that recognizes user preferences for news and information based on their activities (i.e. world and sports in the morning, and stocks and tech when working).

Wiredcraft: Creating an open source tool that allows people to collaboratively edit and publish geographic data and related maps quickly and efficiently.

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