Project will give public better access to public information
Here at I-News, an important part of our mission is to turn complex data and information into compelling journalism people can use to make decisions in a democracy.
We're thrilled to announce that we are joining with the Piton Foundation and The Denver Foundation in a project that will help us do even more of that. And today, we can announce that the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Community Information Challenge has awarded the project $336,000, a challenge grant that will be matched by the partners involved.
You might recall that Knight Foundation awarded I-News a Community Information Challenge grant to fund our startup last year.
The new project will unlock data on education, health, and other pressing issues, and put it in the hands of residents seeking to change
their communities and news outlets seeking to inform those communities.
The goal is to build a user-friendly Colorado Data Commons to house public agency data and create a Citizen Atlas with digital tools and techniques for telling stories using data. These tools will connect Colorado residents with information that has previously been challenging to access. Residents can then use this information to guide their work in such projects as neighborhood development and school improvement.
The funding is part of the Knight Community Information Challenge, which encourages community and place-based foundations to support news and information projects that inform and engage residents.
“The Piton Foundation has long been committed to increasing the flow of information for decision-makers at all levels in Colorado,” said President Terry Minger. “These tools will unlock and untangle data currently locked within public agency databases or in hard-to-use formats, providing one-stop access for journalists, policy-makers, and citizens working to understand their communities.”
“As a community foundation, The Denver Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that Metro Denver residents have the information they need to make and track community change,” said David Miller, President and CEO of The Denver Foundation. “The Colorado Data Commons and Citizen Atlas will provide access to information and the tools to interpret it. We’re also excited about partnering with the Piton Foundation to make this project a reality.”
“The Piton and Denver foundations are part of a growing number of foundations working to ensure residents have the information they need to make important decisions about their communities,” said Trabian Shorters, Knight Foundations’ vice president for engaging communities. “Ultimately, our democracy will only thrive if we have informed and engaged communities.”
The Knight Foundation (Miami, Fl) supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The Piton Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to improving opportunities for low-income children. The Denver Foundation is a community foundation serving the seven-county Metro Denver area, inspiring people and mobilizing resources to strengthen the community.
(Published: 08-31-2011.14:02 Updated 10-4-2011.14:48 to adjust formatting.)