WBUR and PRX pubcasters win Knight News Challenge awards

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Pubcasters have been awarded two of 12 grants from the Knight News Challenge, which funds digital technology for innovative journalism efforts, the Knight Foundation announced today (June 16). This fourth round of winners in the international contest received $2.74 million in grants.

John Davidow of WBUR in Boston got $250,000 for his Order in the Court 2.0. Davidow wants to provide the public greater access to the judicial process by establishing best practices for digital courts coverage that can be replicated nationwide. He envisions a courtroom area for live blogging via WiFi, and live streaming of proceedings. He’ll also work with Massachusetts courts to publish a daily docket on the web and build an online glossary of common legal terms.

Jake Shapiro of PRX received $75,000 for its StoryMarket. This is an outgrowth of a project created by a 2008 challenge winner, Spot.us. StoryMarket will allow the public to suggest and help pay to produce stories for local pubradio stations. When the necessary cash is raised, the station hires a professional journalist to do the report.

The Knight News Challenge is a five-year program; more on it here. Previous Challenge winners in pubcasting include Margaret Rosas at KUSP in Santa Cruz, who won $327,000 in 2008 to develop Radio Engage, an open-source software package for pubradio stations (Current, Sept. 2, 2008).

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