ScraperWiki through to final stages of Knight News Challenge
Data scraping tool is seeking $450,000 to aid development and expansion across the US
The US Knight News Challenge is run by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and awards funding to innovative techniques and technologies for engaging communities with news and information.
ScraperWiki, which announced the news on Twitter, has requested a grant of $450,000 to help with total costs of $595,000, according to its project page for the challenge.
Using this money, the platform wants to improve its service offerings to the news media, through a 'data on demand' service request, email alerts on data changes that could highlight a potential story and the creation of news applications using the data.
It also hopes to "accelerate adoption" of the platform in the US.
"ScraperWiki will host a series of 'journalism data camps' across twelve states with top universities focused on journalism," the submission says.
"We will partner with known communities including the New York Times, Chicago Herald Tribune, Sunlight Foundation, ProPublica, IRE, Spot.Us, Centre for Investigative Journalism, Code for America, Online News Association, Hacks and Hackers and journalism universities in target states."
Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, ScraperWiki's Aine McGuire said it was a "real privilege" to make the final cut.
"To be narrowed down from 1600 applicants to two dozen, it is a really good opportunity. When you start off you think 'this is going to be hard'. It is hugely popular across the world and brings in entries across the world. Competition is fierce."
In the coming weeks the Knight Foundation will work on following up with progress on each of the 28 projects still in the running, according to its website.
"It's been several months since they submitted their proposals ― we want to know what, if anything has changed and what they may have built or accomplished since submitting the original application. Lastly, we plan to sit down with each of them (in person when feasible, over Skype when not) to get a better sense of who they are and why their idea is significant."
The final winners of the challenge will be announced at MIT's Media Lab as part of the Centre for Future Civic Media's annual conference from June 22-24.
Another UK project submitted to the News Challenge, Addiply's collaborative sales programme, made it through to the top 75 semi-finalist group but not into the final round, according to CEO Rick Waghorn.
A spokesperson for the Knight Foundation declined to comment on individual entries.
Data scraping will be under the spotlight at Journalism.co.uk's upcoming digital media conference, news:rewired - noise to signal. To read more about it, visit the news:rewired event site at this link.
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