I’ve been working with a grassroots group called Hacks/Hackers, which brings journalists, designers and developers together to push what’s possible in online news. Our motto is talking is good; making is better.
There are now dozens of groups internationally, and we’re seeking funding from the Knight News Challenge to better connect everyone.
We’d love your support for our proposal, which you’ll see below.
Like, reblog and comment on it and help spread the word. Thank you.
1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]
Connect and grow the international network of journalists, designers and developers involved with Hacks/Hackers, both online and offline.
2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]
Perhaps Online News Association. However, ONA is media focused; we focus equally on news and technology. We are a grassroots network of local groups, rather than a top-down membership organization.
3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work. [50 words]
We have built a network of Meetup groups with more than 9,000 people. Groups are also being set up across Africa and Latin America in collaboration with local organizers and NGOs. The grant will create an umbrella network connecting locally led grassroots groups.
4. Why will it work? [100 words]
- Meets a need: Members themselves have been asking for a way to unite and work with each other, and want to go beyond networking to building concrete projects.
- Organic growth: We’re regularly contacted by individuals interested in starting local Hacks/Hackers groups from around the world.
- Brand recognition: Hacks/Hackers has strong awareness in journalism innovation, hitting a nerve at the right time when such an idea was needed. We are becoming known more and more in technology circles and building more bridges there.
5. Who is working on it? [100 words]
Burt Herman, Jennifer 8. Lee, and Chrys Wu have launched efforts in North and South America, Europe and Australia, and lead groups in the United States. We also have groups including ICFJ working in the Middle East and Latin America and former Stanford Knight Fellow Justin Arenstein working in Africa. Members include journalists from major news organizations and freelancers, technologists from large companies and startups, and designers from media and elsewhere.
6. What part of the project have you already built? [100 words]
We already have local groups participating in meetups on four continents. We have a strong network of relationships that spans media institutions, technology companies and journalism non-profits. We have held networking events, hosted panels and speakers, and run hackathons in multiple cities. Hacks/Hackers has run training programs, and contributes to a weekly news/technology advice column on Poynter. Online, we have built a basic blog site and experimented with other forms of online collaboration. We are building a job listing email list. Hacks/Hackers has also started the process of creating an umbrella non-profit organization for the group.
7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? [50 words]
Event attendnace fees; tuition for training programs; sponsorships for events, sites and newsletters; and job listing fees. We will also collaborate with other funders to invest in viable projects.
Requested amount from Knight News Challenge: $250,000
Expected amount of time required to complete project: 2 years
Total Project Cost: $500,000 over three years
Name: Burt Herman