Eleven media projects focusing on topics such as shareable audio, podcast discovery, and data visualization have each been awarded $35,000 in funding from the Knight Foundation as part of the most recent round of grants from the Knight Prototype Fund.
Stephanie Foo, a producer at This American Life, is building a tool that is attempting to make it easier to share audio on social media. Foo declined to comment when I asked her about the product she was developing, but in its announcement, Knight says the tool “will allow users to easily capture a short selection of a podcast or other audio, convert it into a video with word-for-word transcription and share it to social media.”
Foo and This American Life organized an audio hackathon last fall, and a number of the projects developed there addressed the issue of how to best share audio on social.
“Social media has always been a challenge for radio because you have to just link back to your site,” WNYC social media director Delaney Simmons
told me earlier this month
Another issue that’s long bedeviled audiophiles: podcast discovery. Beau York, founder of the podcast company Podastery, won a prototype grant to address podcast discovery. York has developed a podcast app, Satchel, and the grant will go toward “making podcasts easier to find through a platform that will allow location-based searches and allow people to share content through an embedded player on social media.”
The Institute for Nonprofit News is developing One-liner, a dashboard that aims to assist newsrooms “improve website performance and better understand the privacy implications of third-party services.” INN lead developer Ryan Nagle is heading up the project.
Kavya Sukumar, a developer who is soon starting a job at Vox, is independently building Chitram, an open-source tool that wants to make it easier for people to create animated data visualizations from datasets.
Other projects focus on Internet security and making all sorts of data — from public records to online reviews — more accessible to journalists.
Knight (which, full disclosure, is also a funder of Nieman Lab) launched the Prototype Fund in 2012 and has awarded more than $9 million in grants through the program since then. Knight also announced nine other Prototype Fund winners last month
Here’s the full list of the the latest batch of winners:
Access Missouri by University of Missouri School of Journalism (Project lead: Nathan Lawrence) (Columbia, Mo.): Making it easier for journalists and others to access and find accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information about Missouri legislation, lawmakers and their influencers.
Authenticon by Benetech (Project lead: Collin Sullivan) (Palo Alto, Calif.): Supporting digital privacy through a free, open source tool that makes it easier to verify a person’s cryptographic or secure online identity.
Chitram (Project lead: Kavya Sukumar) (Washington, D.C.): Making it easier for anyone to create data visualizations through an open source tool that creates animated video snippets of graphs and charts from datasets.
This American Life’s Audioshare Tool by This American Life (Project lead: Stephanie Foo) (New York): Helping people share and discover audio stories more easily with a tool that will allow users to easily capture a short selection of a podcast or other audio, convert it into a video with word-for-word transcription and share it to social media.
One-liner by Institute for Nonprofit News (Project lead: Ryan Nagle) (Chicago): Helping newsrooms improve website performance and better understand the privacy implications of third-party services (analytics tools, advertising networks, social gadgets, etc.) through a dashboard that allows them to manage and evaluate these tools.
Open Privacy Project by University of Miami (Project lead: Kim Grinfeder) (Miami): Encouraging more transparency around the use of personal data with free tools that provide simple, standardized ways to to simplify and visually describe privacy policies thereby informing users how their data is collected, used and protected.
RevEx: A Data Visualization Tool To Find Stories in Millions of Internet Reviews by New York University (Project lead: Christian Felix da Silva) (New York): Helping journalists explore millions of online reviews to create stories about how people interact with professionals, institutions and businesses.
Satchel (Project lead: Beau York) (Jackson, Miss.): Making podcasts easier to find through a platform that will allow location-based searches and allow people to share content through an embedded player on social media.
Singularity HUB’s Open Source Virtual Research Assistant for Writers and Journalists by Singularity University (Project lead: David Hill) (Moffett Field, Calif.): Helping content creators discover relevant information faster and more efficiently through a tool that will filter data from news feeds, extract information from metadata and keyword use, and condense it into article summaries.
Spectrogram Tool for Public Input (Project lead: Catherine Bracy) (Oakland, Calif.): Promoting more representative public decision-making processes through a digital platform that government officials can use as a tool to turn citizen opinion into actionable and more transparent data.
Visible Contracts by ThirdSpace (Project lead: Amanda Levinson) (Philadelphia): Making Philadelphia’s procurement data more transparent and easy to understand by using the city’s open data to build online interactive visualizations.