I'm just back from the Knight News Challenge meetup downtown — this is the grant program that funds the Chi-Town Daily News, the Knight Foundation Scholarships for programmers at Medill, and EveryBlock. (If I'm missing anyone here in Chicago, please let me know.)
Frank Edwards from the Chi-Town Daily News and Brian Boyer, a recipient of one of the Medill scholarships, spoke, along with staff from the Knight Foundation. There were nearly 30 prospective applicants present, a turnout that surprised me, though perhaps it shouldn't have.
Some interesting numbers from the Foundation: the fifteen winners came last year from a pool of around 3,000, whittled down to 64 for the final judges by a panel of screening judges.
(It's worth noting that I also got my first glimpse of the Zoom H2 audio recorder at this meeting, a device au courant among the more hifalutin' of your podcasting types and one I've been wanting for some time.)
It was a fun event which drew an interesting group of people — I regret not having been able to meet more of them.