Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Or Maybe this is the Next Big Thing?

ProPublica and NYT seek $1M to put everyone’s documents online @ Nieman Journalism Lab
"Two of the biggest names in journalism have applied to this year’s Knight News Challenge: The pioneering investigative-reporting non-profit ProPublica and The New York Times are seeking $1 million from the Knight Foundation to launch an online repository of primary-source documents. The project could lead to greater information sharing among news organizations and their audience. As they put it in their grant application:

Documents are the foundation of investigative journalism, but today’s newsroom is a throwaway culture. Too often, reporters gather reams of information, do their stories, then chuck rich source documents into a dusty corner, never again to see the light of day.

The project, which is called DocumentCloud, would let news organizations upload their materials for public consumption and analysis. (”Readers will also be able to quickly search, annotate and bookmark documents — and for the first time link directly to specific pages or passages.”)"


  1. It's surprising that there's not already a site out there that does this. It seems like common sense, and it's something that I've been nudging my local paper to do for a while now.

  2. There are no new ideas. Just faster and slower executions. I bet this could be cobbled together using open source and web resources for a whole lot less than $1,000,000.

    It wouldn't be perfect. But what wins in the market is good enough. That last 5% between good enough and perfect will probably cost $950,000.