When the Knight News Challenge put out a call seeking innovative digital projects, Austin Ellis and I jumped at the opportunity, applying with a plan that would make campaign contribution data more transparent on the web. Now in its fifth year, the contest funds projects that focus on the advancement of news reporting in the digital age that fall in the categories of mobile, authenticity and sustainability. Our proposal titled “Financial Footprints” would use a browser extension to display campaign contribution information to users on relevant web pages. A short quote from our application sums up the basic premise:
This tool will deliver data the average web user wouldn’t spend time uncovering on their own. With only a small upfront effort, a user can become more informed about the influences that are placed on the political agendas of their city, state, and federal representatives.
We’d love to hear what you think about our idea for the contest. You can view our full application on the Knight News Challenge website. If you like it (or you just want to be nice) give us 5 stars (you’ll have to register) and maybe even leave a comment.