Knight News Challenge: Final Round

Posted on Oct 23, 2007

The Knight News Challenge hands out \$5 million in grants to projects and organizations pushing the boundaries of technological innovation in journalism every year.

I applied this year with a project idea I had to improve access and discovery of municipal government information in Toronto. If you’ve ever used the Toronto government website, you’ll have experienced first-hand that it is inaccessible, kludgy, and impossible to search. My project hopes to change all of that by parsing and republishing information from that site into an indexed and search-able database.

It is my hope that this project will spur the involvement of Toronto residents in improving their city where their politicians have failed. By providing access to information in a modern format, I hope it will be easier than ever for people to find the answers to their questions. For me, that is my biggest frustration — I see our city constantly changing and never feel like I am a part of it. We keep seeing our leaders make poor decisions and we never know who, what, or why.

The good news is that my application is in the final rounds. The last stage is to provide a final application if I am selected and cross my fingers. If I win the grant, by this time next year I’ll hopefully see my idea become a reality and affect change in the city of Toronto.

Wish me luck!