Friday, August 08, 2008

Online journalism projects named as finalists for Knight-Batten Awards

A project mapping violence in Kenya, a political 'Truth-o-Meter', a one-woman citizen media campaign and a device tracking edits to Wikipedia by companies, have been named as finalists for a journalism innovation award.

The winner of the grand prize in the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism, which are funded by the John S. and James L. Knight foundation, will receive $10,000.

Kenyan website Ushahidi: Crowdsourcing Crisis Information, which was set up to help bloggers and citizen journalists share information about political violence in the country, has been nominated., a citizen media project documenting real estate development in a Washington DC neighbourhood, and presidential campaign database are also in the running.

The fourth finalist is's use of WikiScanner, a tool for tracking edits to Wikipedia. The magazine used the scanner and its readers to expose companies, who were making edits to their own entries on the site.

"The examples we are heralding show the power of a single person, the power of politics, the power of community," said Jody Brannon, a member of the awards' board and national director of the Carnegie-Knight News21 initiative, in a press release.

Two awards for 'special distinctions' and a citizen media award, each of $2,000, will also be handed out at an event at the National Press Club on September 10.