AssignIt: Mobile Crowd-Sourcing Apps for Hyper-Local Investigative Journalism

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AssignIt: Mobile Crowd-Sourcing Apps for Hyper-Local Investigative Journalism

United States
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

AssignIt innovates by teaming citizens with professional journalists at every step of gathering, vetting and distributing local news. Fun, rewarding and empowering for citizens, it ensures quality crowd-sourced journalism by applying business process technologies. It's scalable, cost-efficient and high-impact.

About You
Capitol News Connection
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Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



Capitol News Connection

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Capitol News Connection

Organization Phone

202 546 8650 x101

Organization Address

110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 201, Washington DC 20002

Organization Country
Your idea
Will you launch your idea as a business or non-profit?


Country your work focuses on
What will be the impact of your idea? 

AssignIt will be the best-sourced newsroom in the country, harnessing the energy and expertise of users who increasingly regard news as an ongoing ‘long tail’ conversation. While most news organizations still regard users as an after-thought, CNC's AssignIt puts the user first, involving them in the sourcing of local investigative reporting with highly-focused assignments, guidance from professionals and a robust vetting process. Users take photos, shoot video, read bills, interview, rank and edit. Some may be whistle-blowers. Community editors recruit citizens of varying perspectives, interests and expertise, train them, review submissions, provide feedback, and coordinate re-purposing of content for local content partners. Innovative use of ranking, pattern recognition and other vetting processes ensure quality control. AssignIt ensures local and national accountability journalism of change-making impact, context and relevance in collaboration with a vast array of community experts and eyewitnesses. It creates a replicable, scalable and cost-efficient new model for sustainable investigative journalism strengthening local communities and our democracy.

Who will help you develop your idea? Why are you the one to make this happen?

AssignIt is the mobile ‘crowd sourcing’ arm of the nonprofit Capitol News Connection. CNC is emerging as the only source for original, contextual and in-depth news reporting from Congress made relevant to people where they live and work. In the past 7 years CNC has built two unique assets: A scalable and cost-efficient model for producing award-winning hyper-localized news reaching 3.1m people, and an innovative means for local citizens to question their elected representatives in collaboration with accredited professionals. CNC now integrates these successful approaches with mobile interactive citizen/professional collaboration. As a founding member of the Investigative News Network, we partner with the best investigative journalists in the US while bringing to the collaboration our own multimedia journalists and the expertise of of leaders in mobile and social networking technology, user experience and business intelligence processes. CNC will collaborate directly with California Watch, Wisconsin Watch, Texas Watchdog, Investigate West and its public radio station partners to build, train and reward growing communities of engaged local users.

How much will it cost to launch your idea? (This can be an estimate)

CNC anticipates the total estimated cost of the AssignIt project over two years will be $885,000. This includes: 1/ Development, design/user experience and QA of interactive mobile apps, web interfaces and the content management system, including the addition of business intelligence processes; 2/ multimedia content editors, re-purposing producers and citizen engagement/outreach coordinators for each partner city; 3/ Training for citizen contributors, and 4/ Marketing.
CNC can provide a full budget detailing expenditure for the project and expected revenue sources to ensure the CNC mobile interactive unit is self-sustaining beyond initial investment by foundations and donors.
An initial investment of $25,000 from PitchIt will make all the difference in ensuring this innovative mobile crowd-sourcing project can get traction. CNC will use this important investment to begin development of the 1.0 iteration of the first iPhone app and steps towards community building and citizen recruitment in partner cities.