We are thrilled to announce that PRX has been selected as one of the 2010 Knight News Challenge winners for our StoryMarket project!
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight News Challenge is a 5-year, $25 million international contest to fund digital news experiments that use technology to inform specific geographic communities.
What’s StoryMarket? It’s a way for local public radio stations, producers, and listeners to find and fund documentaries and stories on important local issues.
For example, in Kentucky the issue of mountaintop mining needs a deeper investigative look. Through StoryMarket, Louisville Public Media (our first partner station for the project) can invite producers to bid on reporting the story, ask listeners to help pitch in funds as well as ideas, and see the story through to completion for broadcast and digital distribution. Stories can also originate from listeners and producers, and we expect to learn what works best as we go.
We will certainly be learning from our other key partner – fellow Knight grantee Spot.us, a pioneer in crowdfunding journalism. This is a code-level collaboration, integrating our two platforms (both Ruby on Rails at its best), and leveraging investments in open source infrastructure.
StoryMarket is a way to unlock communities of interest and a new means to fund coverage that matters on a local level. We see opportunities for new collaboration among stations, producers and listeners. Spot.us has already seen this happen with forward-thinking public radio stations like KALW in San Francisco and others. Some of that crowd funded radio is already on PRX, and we want to see a lot more.
If you are an independent producer StoryMarket is a new source for funding original work. As we expand to more regions we will be testing approaches to matching compelling ideas with interested stations and other distribution opportunities. Distinct from PRX.org – an open market for existing work – StoryMarket helps commission new work at professional rates for the best ideas.
If you are a fan of public radio, StoryMarket gives you a direct path into supporting the stories that matter most in your community. Nationally about 10% of listeners contribute financially to public radio, usually in the form of pledges to local stations. StoryMarket aims to expand with a new value proposition: don’t just support the programs you know and love, help us create the ones you need.
And, if you are a station, StoryMarket extends your capacity to find and fund important local and regional content that might otherwise be off the radar or beyond your means. It also starts a new conversation with your listeners, an engagement opportunity through a hosted service that won’t tax your tech team.
We’ll be starting work on StoryMarket this summer, planning to launch in Louisville this fall, and at least three more locations next year. But as with all things PRX we’ll be looking for opportunities to scale, collaborate, and grow early and often.
PRX has always focused on innovation at the intersection of talent and technology. StoryMarket is a new idea that drives public media towards a transformative role in journalism and society, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity for PRX to join the Knight Foundation’s extraordinary News Challenge grantees.
Here is a short presentation from the Knight Foundation announcement (click view on SlideShare to see notes for each slide):
And a quick video tour of all of the 2010 winners: