American innovations fill news gap

A round of awards for journalistic innovation from the US highlight some of the emerging solutions to the crisis in news reporting.

This year’s Knight-Batten Innovation Awards run by J-Lab, which promote the use of digital technology to get people involved in public life, rewards some path-breaking initiatives.

The winner of the top prize Sunlight Live, is typical of an emerging new breed of hybrid organisations with a journalistic mission. A think-tank which campaigns for greater transparency of government, its reporting arm brings journalistic techniques and new technologies to bear on government data.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s the sort of thing that doesn’t get done by desperate, pared-down news rooms. The Obameter – a project tracking how many promises made by Barack Obama during his presidential campaign are coming to fruition – also got an award.

Kenyan-based project haiti.ushahidi.com was lauded for developing a citizen-reporting tool which was used to produce crisis mapping during the Haiti earthquake in January this year.

For a fuller list of the awards, see here.

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