Received this form email today:
Thank you for your recent application LabourStart Does Local: Bringing union news down to street level.for funding through the Knight News Challenge. We have reviewed your request, and unfortunately, we must decline your application at this time. Even though you submitted a good idea, it does not meet the specific requirement of using the latest innovations in technique to inform communities.
Barely two hours after writing to our correspondents (but not to our general list), we’ve had 52 views of our proposal, 11 people have voted (it’s now rated 4.5 – Excellent)
Here are the comments posted so far (these are wonderful to read):
I’ve put in another application, this time for US$50,000, to the Knight News Challenge. Last year, in spite of the phenomenal number of positive comments our bid received, we got nowhere with this, so I’m not optimistic. Nevertheless, I’d appreciate if some of would add your supportive comments here.
We just received this email a few minutes ago:
Thank you for your recent application LabourStart 2.0: Improving and extending our news and campaigning websitefor funding through the Knight News Challenge. We have reviewed your request, and unfortunately, we must decline your application at this time. Even though you submitted a good idea, it does not meet the specific requirement of using the latest innovations in technique to inform communities.
Because there are thousands of application and only a few of them advance, we are able to choose only the most innovative ideas. These are new kinds of technologies or techniques, usually things we have never heard of before.
Please understand this does not reflect on the quality of your work. This is an extremely competitive contest. Even good applications can be declined. This particular contest can select only a tiny fraction of the most promising, innovative applications that expand digital news and information in defined geographic communities.
You can read more about the Knight News Challenge here: http://www.newschallenge.org
If you have other ideas that fall within the guidelines for the News Challenge, we encourage you to submit them.
We appreciate the value of your work and wish you success in attracting support from other sources.
Knight News Challenge staff
By 15 November, we will know whether we are in the running to receive $80,000 from the Knight News Challenge. Sometime between now and then we might hear from them asking for a full proposal. When that happens, I might call upon some of you to help review what I’ll send in. Time will be short, as I’m travelling to the USA on the 18th.
Derek has collected all the comments posted in support of our application for the $80,000 award in the News Challenge and I’ve turned this into a PDF which you can download.
While we wait to hear if we’re going to be moved up to the next level, some interesting statistics:
- Of 2,084 applications, we were rated 6th, with a score of 4.3 (Excellent), based on 395 ratings.
- In the list of ‘most viewed’ applicants, we placed 4th.
- We had just under 290 comments posted, nearly all of them very favorable.
You have to see this to believe it.
2,227 of our readers have clicked through to look at our proposal for the News Challenge prize. 255 of them have rated it, giving it an average of 4.4 (Excellent).
But here’s the best bit — the comments. By my count, there are nearly 170 extraordinary comments from our readers.
Required reading, comrades.
This week’s mailing has just gone out. The main thing is to ask people to give our News Challenge bid some support, both by giving us five stars and adding supportive comments. If we can flood the News Challenge website with such messages, it might convince the judges that we really do have such a global constituency. I don’t know if this will have any effect, but I can’t see it hurting.
We’re also reminding people about last week’s Oak Harbor/Gap campaign which has drawn a response from the company and a counter-response from the union (which we’re publishing in full).
And there’s a reminder at the end about the U.S. elections which we really can’t ignore, even if we know for certain that I’ll get a handful of angry emails from supporters of minor, third and fourth party candidates. For 99.999% of the organized working class in the U.S., the impending victory of Obama and the Democrats is an event of historic proportions an we need to acknowledge that.
Impact of the email message:
As of 31.10 07:38 GMT -
- News Challenge – 21 views, rating of 2.3 stars
- Oak Harbor campaign – 2,430 messages sent
- Oak Harbor Facebook cause – 1,050 supporters
- Labour Photo of the Year – 2,648 votes cast
Thanks to Yishay Mor for telling us about the Knight News Challenge – a five million dollar annual competition. I’ve quickly done up an application for $80,000 – the deadline is this weekend – and while our chance of getting any of this money is slim, it’s worth a shot. I’m going to ask our mailing list (at least the English speakers) to visit the site, to give us a high rating and to add their comments. Who knows? Meanwhile, please go to the site, sign up, find our application and rate us highly adding your comments. I think this is the direct link to our proposal, but I’m not sure.