Phillip Smith

Unlocking Video, Beyond Comments & People-powered news: Let's review.

I’m fresh back (barely!) from a house move and a nasty cold. (Nothing worse than a summer cold, if you ask me.)

Sniffles aside, my first task was to read through submissions from the recently concluded news innovation challenge.

Thankfully, I was not alone in this task as there are a lot of entries and some of them are quite lengthy. The initial lift was done by Mozilla’s media lead Ben Mozkowitz and Jacob Caggiano. Mark Surman and I then dug-in and gave the entries another review.

Here are the latest numbers, tallied just after the submission period closed at 11:59PM on June 6th:

  • 298 submissions to the challenge
  • From roughly 200 individual entrants

(The number of entrants is harder to determine because some entries were submitted by teams at Knight-Mozilla events.)

Our mission over the last two days was to prepare these entries to be delivered to our fearless review panel. Speaking of which, the number of entries received required that we increase the number of reviewers – so please welcome to the review panel:

Over the next two weeks, entries will be reviewed by the review panel and by you through the public voting system.

Sixty individuals will be invited to the next phase of the program: a four-week online learning lab with sessions by Chris Heilmann, Burt Herman, Aza Raskin, John Resig and many other inspiring hackers and hacks. (I’ll be sharing more details about the learning lab in the coming days.)

If you haven’t taken a moment to review and vote on some entries, don’t miss the opportunity.

After several hours reviewing submissions, I can honestly say that it’s going to be hard to invite just sixty people to the next phase.

My deepest gratitude goes out to each and every one of you who took the time to get involved. :)


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


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