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The Knight News Challenge, Jon Stewart, and the country's immune system

Okay, the deal is that trustworthy media really is the immune system of our country, as Jon Stewart just reminded us:

If we amplify everything we hear nothing.

The press is our immune system. If we overreact to everything we actually get sicker and perhaps eczema.

or alternatively, trustworthy media should be "the immune system of democracy" as someone else blurted out.

The Knight Foundation has been working on this for years, getting very serious about four categories for the Knight News Challenge '11: Mobile, Authenticity, Sustainability and Community

Mobile. The mobile phone, with 5 billion units in use, has become an important tool for news. Knight Foundation is interested in projects that use mobile devices to produce, deliver, consume share and otherwise engage with news.

Authenticity: We went back and forth on how to describe this: trust, reputation, integrity and credibility were other terms we considered. We’re hoping to identify promising ideas for helping citizens negotiate our oft-chaotic media world. How can we help news users to better evaluate the validity and trustworthiness of news and information? How can we better filter and assess the credibility of what we read and watch? We were motivated to choose the topic by a sense that there’s a lot of energy around the topic— Craig Newmark, for one, has been thinking out loud on these issues.

Sustainability. New ways of conducting and consuming journalism may require new ways of paying for it. We’re open to ideas for generating revenue as well as ways to reduce costs. A lot of people have been thinking of this for a while now, including some prior News Challenge winners— we’re hoping to contribute more to new efforts to address this problem.

Community: This is designed to jump-start work on technologies and approaches that haven’t arrived yet. Unlike the first three categories, submissions in Community must have a focus in a geographic place.

Trust is the new black.

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2 Responses to The Knight News Challenge, Jon Stewart, and the country's immune system

Craig Newmark says:

James, thanks!
I think the point is that the deeply serious issues from the Rally for Sanity arent being covered in the traditional press. That includes the need to restore traditional journalistic values, like fact checking.
Craig