Knight-Batten Innovation Award Winners Announced

The Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism were announced on the J-Lab site on Monday. The $10,000 grand prize goes to the Sunlight Foundation, for their project Sunlight Live, an “innovative blending of data, streaming video, liveblogging and social networking - first used at February’s bipartisan health-care summit,” according to the press release.

Sunlight Live attracted nearly 43,000 viewers, 9,800 livebloggers, and more than 1,300 tweets. The judges not only honored the project for its individual merits, but also because it highlights “the ethos that suffuses the Sunlight Foundation’s entire body of work,” said NPR’s Matt Thompson, one of this year’s judges.

“They showed how to add journalistic punch to a carefully orchestrated government event, adding context and insight to the proceedings. And they don’t stop at merely shedding light on the behind-the-scenes proceedings of government - they go a step beyond to make it fun and engaging, creating a social experience around the event.”

From the 100 entries, six more were chosen for $1,000 Special Distinction Awards. They are:

-ProPublica’s Distributed Reporting, for their innovations in crowdsourcing stories, using a reporting network of 5,000 members.

-48 HR Magazine, a team of designers, editors and contributors who executed a 60-page magazine entirely in two days and nights.

-The Obameter, a system of rating the President’s follow-through on his campaign promises, developed by St. Petersburg Time’s PolitiFact team.

-Ushahidi Haiti, an interactive mapping mashup created in the wake of Haiti’s earthquake, which “marshaled Skype, Twitter, Facebook, radio and short codes to crowdsource real-time needs” and put volunteers to use where they were needed most.

-Publish2News Exchange, an information-sharing platform for news organizations collaborating with one another and sharing content.

-Sourcing Through Texting, an experiment by WNYC/PRI’s The Takeaway and WDET Detroit to gather information and news tips from citizens in Detroit.

The judges also chose thirty more notable entries, listed here.

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Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner