Code Sprints

At OpenNews, we want to help build great tools to do journalism, and we want those tools to be open-sourced and freely available to everyone. We also know that some of the most useful tools are the simplest and so we've created Code Sprints to assist in creating some of those simple tools for journalism.

Real World, Real Needs

We think that tools are built best when they’re rooted in real needs, and so we want to forge relationships between newsrooms and coders to help drive newsroom-driven development. That means that some of the ideas we fund will be proposed by newsrooms, while others will be driven by coders who will then be paired with newsrooms for testing and implementation.

Small Tools with Big Impact

We're not funding startups, we're not funding products, we're funding small, open-source tools that fill real-world needs in newsrooms around the globe. We're looking to help create small tools that make big impacts.

Some of our latest Code Sprint projects include:

  • Sheetsee.js: Easy data visualizations using a simple spreadsheet backend.
  • Dedupe: A library for deduplication, entity resolution, record linkage, and author disambiguation of big datasets.
  • FMS Parser: A parser and API for the daily cash balance updates from the US Treasury.
  • California Election Parser: A parser for election data used by over 200 California news sites in 2012.

So Let's Do This

OpenNews Code Sprints offer $10,000 to fund small-scale utilities and tools that help solve specific, repeatable journalistic problems. These as quick projects–two months, max–that are documented on Source, tested in the newsroom, and open-sourced for others to use.

How it Works

  • Code Sprints can be proposed by news organizations or developers.
  • Developers that propose projects will be teamed with a newsroom for testing and implementation and are responsible for project management and shepherding the continued life of the open-sourced code.
  • News organizations that propose Code Sprint projects are charged with finding the right person (or team) for the job, project management, and continued life of the open-sourced code.
  • OpenNews reviews the application and, when needed, consults with members of the journalism-code community.
  • OpenNews pays the coder (or team) and stays involved in the development process.
  • All Code Sprint-funded code is documented on Source and open-sourced on completion.

Apply today

We’re looking for three distinct applicants for our Code Sprints, and have a simple form for each. We’ll be evaluating applications on a rolling basis through 2013: