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Knight-Batten 2006 Winners

$10,000 Grand Prize

project-kb-2006-globalGlobal Voices Online

Global Voices, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard (Cambridge, MA)

From the judges: “An extraordinary site that allows for both editorial gatekeeping and wide access to news and information from underreported parts of the world.”

A comprehensive aggregator of international blogs and news indexed by country and topic, run by a core of 15 international, multilingual bloggers who select, explain and translate important conversations and citizen reporting in regions outside of North America and Western Europe. Another 80 contributing bloggers post daily features on what is important to bloggers in their countries. Since its launch last year, the site has formally partnered with

$1,000 Wild Card Award


Twin Cities Daily Planet

Twin Cities Media Alliance (Minneapolis, MN)

From the judges: “It targets so many fragmented city groups and helps them to connect.”

This community news Web site aggregates the best work of more than 35 local community news organizations covering a wide array of cultures and communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Independent citizen journalists also write articles for the site, which is updated daily. The effort fills a gap in mainstream reporting, gives voices to community members, allows local media to share stories and resources and encourages citizen journalism.

$1,000 Awards of Distinction

University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications (Minneapolis, MN)

From the judges: “Strong methodology, great content, and a great service for reporters and the public.”

A Web site critiquing and rating health news from 50 mainstream media outlets to help readers understand what they are reading while also encouraging the media to be more accurate and complete with its coverage. Launched by a professor and health journalist, this site rates stories on a five-star scale based on accuracy, balance and completeness.

project-kb-2006-transparentTransparent Newsroom (Spokane, WA)

From the judges: “They’re doing what others don’t have the guts to do.”

A bold initiative by the Spokane Spokesman-Review to lift the veil on the newsgathering and publishing process by Webcasting daily news meetings, offering editor blogs to explain news of the day, and online chats where readers can criticize news coverage or pose questions. The newspaper’s Web site also posts raw documents, such as interview transcripts and handwritten reporter notes on major stories.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, FL)

From the judges: “[An] amazing tool and database that also solicits the wisdom of the crowd.”

A risk-estimator Web site that tracks Atlantic Ocean tropical storm and hurricane activity, and helps users assess at-risk buildings and report actual damage. The database was created from public records of 8 million properties in the state. Visitors can chart a storm’s path, make damage predictions and view 155 years’ worth of hurricane paths and damage on an interactive map.

project-kb-2006-uscongressU.S. Congress Votes Database (Arlington, VA)

From the judges: “A very powerful tool that smartly ties together many databases to allow people to follow their elected representatives.”

This database scrapes several other sources of information to enable users to search every recorded House and Senate vote since January 1991 by a variety of descriptors. Users can search by year, legislator, state or party, and can see who missed the most votes. “Key votes” are identified and simple descriptions are given. An interactive map displays this year’s congressional and gubernatorial races. The map provides candidate profiles, background information, district demographics and links to campaign finance records.

Knight-Batten Awards 2006 - The Bakersfield CalifornianBakersfield Californian Social Media Platform

The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, CA)

From the judges: “Another cool way into community news and information from these nimble pioneers.”

The Bakersfield Californian has created and launched Bakomatic, a participatory media platform that takes concepts and applies them locally. The platform gives people an avenue for self-expression and networking by allowing them to create profiles, keep a Friends list and submit stories, photos and events for publication. Available on the flagship news site,; citizen media sites The Northwest Voice, The Southwest Voice and the Tehachapi News; Spanglish site Mas; area newcomer site; and music, marketing and young people site

On Deadline
project-kb-2006-ondeadline (McLean, VA)

“A useful way to navigate the information stream.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

This USAToday Web site delivers the news in a blog format while adhering to journalistic techniques and objectivity and accuracy standards. Like other blogs, the site allows reader comments and includes links to information sources outside of USA Today. Three contributing journalists post the latest news and links to relevant interesting information without editorializing. Riding Talk

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Toronto, ON)

“An excellent expansion of efforts to educate voters.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

This project from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation consists of 308 Weblogs representing each Canadian riding (electoral district). Citizens of each riding used the blogs during the last federal election campaign to discuss and become informed about local political issues that were important in the election. Experienced journalists edited more than 10,000 comments and kept the debate on subject and of high quality.

project-kb-2006-morningeyeMorning Eye

Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA)

“Builds in great efficiency for readers.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

The Orange County Register uses blog software to deliver early-morning business news and commentary. Posts are usually done before 6:30 a.m. so that typical business readers can get them before their commute or when they get to the office.

project-kb-2006-chronpodcastsChronicle Podcasts

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA)

“We liked the way they were using it. A good integration of what’s going on in the paper.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

The San Francisco Chronicle, which was the first U.S. newspaper to offer a podcast, has expanded it to 23 channels. They include “Back Story,” a program which features extended excerpts of interviews with such figures as Bono and Deep Throat and staffers giving insight about the editorial process. Another program, “Pinoy Pod,” is targeted for an underserved Filipino American audience and is produced in English and Tagalog.


The Roanoke Times and (Roanoke, VA)

“They use personality to try to lead you down the path, the funnel, to the story.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

The Roanoke Times designed this daily interactive news video to capture a younger audience who may not be traditional news consumers. TimesCast uses material from The Times and its Web site but tailors content to its target audience. Message boards, polls, blogs, podcasts and a searchable vlog are used. Webcasters include Roanoke Times reporters and special guests brought in to deliver the news in an often irreverant style.

project-kb-2006-legalLegal Defense Initiative: Maine Blogger Case

Media Bloggers Association (New Rochelle, NY)

“They are pushing freedom of speech into new frontiers.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

This ambitious initiative was created to fight against the silencing of bloggers and aid members of the Media Bloggers Association facing legal battles. A member was sued in March 2006 for criticizing a Web-based ad campaign for Maine’s Office of Tourism, who asked that the blogger stop writing negatively about the campaign and that he remove previous posts. The MBA felt the case was without merit and was essential to the case being dropped.

project-kb-2006-bandwidthBandwidth.29.1 (Dallas, TX)

“Excellent event coverage that cries for words that can be heard, not read.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Multimedia project by showcases bands and musicians at the annual South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin. Extensive interactive elements include a video playlist, podcasts, film trailers and synopses, artist bios, photo galleries and a story archive. Information is presented in a non-linear way to encourage exploration and maintain the interest of the site’s under-30 target audience.

project-kb-2006-clevelandCan Cleveland Handle Panhandling?

“A pat on the back for job well done.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

This newspaper produced and distributed by homeless people volunteering as writers, photographers and vendors began in response to legislation making “aggressive panhandling” an arrestable offense. The paper gives homeless people a forum for their opinions and is a source of income for vendors. With over 285,000 papers distributed, the organization has helped create a group to encourage the model’s replication nationwide.


The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

“Good voice. Laudable reach for women readers.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

A Web site, blog and semi-weekly newspaper column by one woman designed to build a community of Greater Memphis women so they can discuss issues that matter to them. The project uses print and online forums to cover a wide variety of topics not normally touched on in The Commercial Appeal newspaper.


Associated Press (New York, NY)

“Noteworthy instincts. Something to pay attention to.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

A news service designed by the Associated Press to cover issues in a way that speaks to 18- to 34-year-olds who have turned away from traditional newspapers. More than 300 publications are using asap in print or online.

project-kb-2006-empireEmpire State Games

The Poughkeepsie Journal (Poughkeepsie, NY)

“A well-done, useful guide to an important state sports event.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

In-depth online and print coverage of the 2005 Empire State Games in New York, including live updates, maps, schedules, and tips for spectators. Articles covered local athletes and the affect of the games on athletes’ families. Image galleries were updated daily and blogs offered a space for fans to post comments about the events.

project-kb-2006-littleleagueLittle League

Florida Today (Melbourne, FL)

“Robust coverage that shows how it can be done.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Extensive coverage of the 2006 Brevard County, Fl., Little League season included text, photographs and videos compiled by Florida Today but also solicited community photos for the Web site. Reporting followed the 7,500 children in 22 leagues across the county.

project-kb-2006-broadstreetBroad Street Review

Broad Street Review (Philadelphia, PA)

“A nifty site that opines, informs and critiques.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Philadelphia arts and culture Web site hosts a forum for coverage, critiques and insights. Screened and edited contributor and reader dialogue provides meaningful commentary rather than just “where to go” information and additional views to those provided by the city’s two daily newspapers.

project-kb-2006-leanplateLean Plate Club Fit for Fun Family Challenge

The Washington Post, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive and WTWP Radio (Arlington, VA)

“Marvelous extension of a beat’s reach.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

A four-week challenge launched in The Washington Post, online and on WTWP radio to help readers and their families improve their summer eating and exercise habits. The Post followed five families as they were given simple weekly food and activities goals. created a narrated Flash package using family profiles and 360-degree panoramas of activity locations.

Emerson College Journalism (Boston, MA)

“Quintessential visualization of civic mapping … Tell us more about these people.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Sixteen Emerson journalism graduate students put in a combined 500 hours of original reporting to develop this web chart. The chart displays connections between more than 100 newsmakers, organization leaders and activists in Boston’s Chinatown based on who talks with whom about local news. The map also acts as a directory with personal profiles available to help people connect.

project-kb-2006-privatepropPrivate Property or Public Gain: The Battle Over Eminent Domain

Asbury Park Press (Neptune, NJ)

“Good multimedia on an emerging issue.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

The story of an oceanfront development plan which threatens to take away the homes of long-time shore dwellers told through the eyes of those affected using maps, video, audio and other interactive elements. The Asbury Park Press coverage of this issue has propelled property rights into a national debate.

project-kb-2006-bigtriggMoney Power and Respect/ Big Trigg

University of Miami School of Communication (Coral Gables, FL)

“Kudos for the production values.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

University of Miami School of Communication project includes two artistic, moving, Flash-driven Web packages about inner-city life and drugs. Money Power and Respect profiles four drug-addicted Brooklyn women and their families through an audio-accompanied slide show with photographs spanning 10 years. Big Trigg is a short film and slide show that tells the story of an aspiring rapper who sells drugs to support his career.

project-kb-2006-nuclearNuclear Nightmares: Twenty Years Since Chernobyl

PixelPress (New York, NY)

“The stunning images tell their own stories.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

A package of overwhelming photographs and captions depicting the physical, social and economic effects still plaguing an area 20 years after the Chernobyl disaster. Photos compiled by New York City’s PixelPress show birth defects and rare conditions caused by Chernobyl and other Soviet and Russian nuclear testing. Captions provide brief stories of the affected people. Facts about nuclear testing in the former Soviet Union are included.

project-kb-2006-toxicToxic Legacy

The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

“A classic use of multimedia to enhance a story.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Investigative report by The (Bergen County, NJ) Record detailing the ongoing environmental disruption and community health issues caused by an industrial waste dump left behind by a factory that has been closed for 25 years. A five-day newspaper series was also displayed on the Web enhanced with video, audio, photo slide shows, community message boards and a log of documents used to write the story. The report prompted government action.

project-kb-2006-unrighteousUnrighteous Traffick

The Providence Journal and (Providence, RI)

“Another beautifully told story.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

This artful and informative series composed by The Providence Journal tells the story of the dominant role Rhode Island played in the slave trade. Original art, music, stories and audio interviews with key subjects and experts enrich the exploration of the controversy surrounding Brown University and the Brown family that was heavily involved in the state’s slave history

project-kb-2006-povP.O.V. Borders: American ID

P.O.V./ PBS (New York, NY)

“Cool, deep, rich non-linear storytelling. The Describe America in Three Words exercise is great.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Attractively composed Web site featuring interactive video, audio and photos of American and international people voicing their opinions on what “freedom” means, the perception of America and what shapes American identity. Articles discuss how America markets itself and democracy and provide further insight on how people view the U.S. PBS uses a Flickr “feed-grab” to show image result for searches on “freedom,” “democracy” and “American.”

project-kb-2006-readersReader’s Choice

Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI)

“Bold … It’s bringing the community into the newsroom.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

The Wisconsin State Journal invites readers to vote every day between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on what news story they’d most like to see on the front page of the next day’s newspaper. The paper chooses four or five possible stories to be voted upon by readers and the winner goes on the front page of the next day’s State Journal unless breaking news displaces it.


Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram (Portland, ME)

“Clever ideas here and a new take on reverse publishing.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

A Monday print section of the Portland Press herald brings citizen voices into the newspaper via the Web. Two-thirds of staff-written centerpieces have been based on reader suggestions. Regular features include: “Since you Asked,” a reader story idea factory; “Write about it,” for readers essays; favorite bookmarks of local people; and a “plog,” a print blog in which a columnist reacts to and weaves in readers’ Web dialogue about news stories.

project-kb-2006-absenceAbsence of Place: The Reader’s View

The Miami Herald and (Miami, FL)

“They pulled the thread on a wonderful idea and attracted more participants… Tell us their stories, too.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Inspired by a photo collection of an individual artist, the Miami Herald launched an interactive multimedia project inviting readers to photograph disappearing cityscapes and share their memories of what used to be there in a combination of public art and citizen media. It is both an online presentation (more than 200 photos were uploaded) and an actual art exhibit at the Miami Herald.

project-kb-2006-mercuryThe Mercury Menace,0,3799369.htmlstory

The Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL)

“Very good story. Very good use of multimedia.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

The Chicago Tribune’s investigative series revealed supermarkets in Chicago are routinely selling seafood contaminated by mercury at levels underreported by the government and in violation of food safety rules. The report prompted an FDA investigation. An accompanying interactive educational Web site includes a calculator of how much fish you can safely eat.

project-kb-2006-commonThe Common Language Project

The Common Language Project (Seattle, WA)

“Positive media approach to world news.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Multimedia online magazine and newswire geared toward young, politically-minded Americans. Positive and “humane” reporting focuses on personal stories behind broader issues largely ignored by mainstream media such as gender equality, human rights and social and economic justice.


Abu Mahjoob Creative Productions (Amman, Jordan)

“Rich potential.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Groundbreaking political news service in Jordan acts as an alternative news outlet for journalists and others working under the country’s extreme censorship of coverage of the monarchy. Dababees (“needles” in English) disseminates news from credible sources, including professional journalists, via 9 to 10 word SMS text messages that can be forwarded by the recipient. The service also acts to combat unreliable “word of mouth” news.

project-kb-2006-48th48th Goes to War

Atlanta Journal Constitution and (Atlanta, GA)

“Well-done effort that clearly connected people.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Seven Atlanta-Journal Constitution reporters and photographers accompanied Georgia’s Army National Guard 48th Brigade to Iraq and posted stories and pictures and blogged about their experiences. This project received 2.8 million page views and 5,900 comments in the last year. Members of the unit said it was a link to loved ones and friends at home.

project-kb-2006-kevinsitesKevin Sites in the Hot Zone

Yahoo! News (Santa Monica, CA)

“A pat on the back for a company getting serious about journalism.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

With a mission to cover every global conflict in one year, backpack journalist Kevin Sites creates video clips, photo essays and stories for Yahoo! News. This project not only relays the details of these conflicts but also aims to inspire involvement in solutions. One report on an Afghan child bride received more than 4 million page views, 8,000 comments and 15,000 e-mails.

project-kb-2006-mojoMoJo Journalism: “Your community: By you, for you”

The News-Press and (Fort Myers, FL)

“Very original concept. They are covering things that would not be covered in the regulat process.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Mobile journalists use laptops, digital cameras and MP3 recorders to publish content directly onto the News-Press Web site and recruit citizens to contribute to a “readers’ post” section. They publish neighborhood-level stories and photos using wireless connections and open-source software. The News-Press is on pace for 100,000 pieces of reader-driven content by year’s end.

project-kb-2006-pricedPriced Out of the Market

Florida Today (Melbourne, FL)

“Nice tool for the community.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Series of articles from Florida Today covers the sharp upturn in property values in Brevard County, Fla., and the effect on residents. Zoomable, clickable maps show average home prices and 2005 home sales, as well as a comparison to the averages from 2000.

project-kb-2006-understressUnder Stress: New York’s aging bridges

The Poughkeepsie Journal (Poughkeepsie, NY)

“Kudos for value-added journalism.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

A searchable database of 680 local bridges that put safety records in the hands of the community. The Poughkeepsie Journal shows readers the poor condition of bridges they drive across every day. The project includes interactive graphics that allow closer looks at local bridges and the estimated cost of necessary repairs.

project-kb-2006-campusCampus Architecture

The Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington, DC)

“Builds nifty tracking capacity for higher-ed community.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

This online database created by The Chronicle of Higher Education lists almost 400 new buildings, renovation projects and landmark buildings on college campuses across the country. Articles and video tours allow colleges and architects to track and compare what peer institutions are building. Red vs. Blue Media

University of Miami School of Communication (Coral Gables, FL)

“Neat tool that could be applied differently”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

This project allows users to search for news headlines and only receive results from newspapers that match their political stances. Using a sliding scale from “Liberal” to “Conservative,” the user chooses a political position, then enters search terms. Yahoo! Maps and Google News are combined with NewsSlider’s database of newspaper bias ratings.

project-kb-2006-unhealthyUnhealthy Air

Associated Press (New York, NY)

“Excellent and useful database.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

This three-part package examines industrial air pollution health dangers in every American neighborhood. Using 10 years of Environmental Protection Agency research, AP created a Web-based address lookup tool for each of the eight million Census blocks. EPA data was made easier to understand and more accessible for readers.

project-kb-2006-firealarmFire Alarm (Melville, NY)

“Compelling application of finding a really great story in your town.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Eight-day newspaper and Web series investigating problems with Long Island’s volunteer fire services such as volunteer shortages, extravagant spending and lagging response times. Newsday submitted more than 800 FOIA requests, built a database from the 5,444 facts and figures collected and prompted a federal investigation. The Web site features interactive tours of the area’s largest firehouse among other videos.


Florida Today (Melbourne, FL)

“Superb beat-reporting venue.”
-2006 Knight-Batten Advisory Board Judges

Florida Today created this interactive, behind-the scenes look at the Kennedy Space Center. It includes live Web cams of the Space Center and Cape Canaveral, user-controlled high-resolution satellite maps of the locations, video tours and photo galleries. There is also a searchable and sortable database of every missile, rocket and shuttle launch attempted from Florida’s Space Coast.

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