Our 2016 Knight-Mozilla Fellowship Partners Make Their Case
by Dan Sinker
There’s just one week left to apply to become a 2016 Knight-Mozilla Fellow. Come 11:59pm Eastern Time, next Friday August 21, the opportunity will close. Over the last few weeks we’ve heard from our current fellows about their experiences, and next week we’ll be drilling further into just what the fellowship means and the opportunities it holds. But this week has been about our fellowship hosts, the newsrooms in which you’ll be spending a great deal of your 10 months as a fellow.
Our host newsrooms help to define the areas that you’ll spend your fellowship year exploring. The folks that you’ll sit alongside act as guides, mentors, peers, and collaborators in a year where you will write code that will be used by the readers of some of the best sites on the web and build things that will help change people’s understanding of the world around them.
Each newsroom offers a unique set of challenges to tackle during your fellowship year. Each newsroom is also looking for something slightly different in a fellow–some partners told us they would love to see python skills or experience with video and visual storytelling. Other partners are interested in applicants with experience in data science and machine learning or mobile development. Over the past four years, our fellows have come from many different backgrounds and areas of expertise to spend 10 months experimenting with newsroom technology teams. This week, we asked all of our 2016 fellowship partners to define what a fellowship with them means:
For the NPR Visuals team at National Public Radio, their mission is “to make people care. Everything we do: The things we make, our design process, and how we measure success, all flow from that mission.” The NPR Visuals team wants a fellow to help them achieve that mission: “It’s a chance for you to change your life, to try out working in a newsroom. You’ll learn a ton, and we’ll learn from you. We’re open to folks from all walks of life, but if you’re a filmmaker, graphic designer, or involved in the digital humanities, we’d especially love to hear from you.”
Los Angeles Times
At the Los Angeles Times, the Data Desk collaborates on data analysis, mapping, and visualization to “organize and analyze large amount of information to challenge power, uncover corruption, focus attention, follow the money, give shape to this untamed city and expand our ambitions.” The Data Desk is looking for someone with “the skill to interrogate structured information — and the courage to share the truth it tells” and challenges you to “take a chance on something new and play a part in the rewiring of media in the online age.”
Vox Media sees an opportunity to “make something meaningful” both with their fellow and with the community of news developers around the world. “We’re working alongside others at our company to solve the problem of developing high-value digital journalism, storytelling, and brand advertising at scale. And we’d want our fellow to forge the same kind of relationships.” A Fellow would join Vox at their Washington, DC, offices to experiment, help build tools like Autotune, work on the 2016 US elections and “be a part of what’s next.”
For the investigative documentary series Frontline, a Knight-Mozilla fellow will join their Boston-based digital team to gain hands-on experience working at the forefront of video on the web. “We believe the shift to mobile and social video is revolutionary,” they write, “not unlike the transition from watching films on a theater screen to watching television in your living room.”
Halfway across the world, in Berlin, Germany, the team at CORRECT!V, the first non-profit investigative newsroom in Germany, is looking for a fellow to help enrich their newsroom “with your perspective and skills.” In return, a fellow will engage with a multitude of investigative stories that have a real impact in people’s lives, on topics as diverse as climate change, superbugs, free-trade agreements and much, much more.
The Coral Project
Finally, the Coral Project (a collaboration between Mozilla, the New York Times, and the Washington Post) wants two Knight-Mozilla Fellows to join them in helping to reimagine community on the web. “We’re casting a wide net for great ideas and new approaches that can help us all bring internet discourse to the next level. And that, we hope, is where you come in.” A fellow will collaborate deeply with the Coral Project team as well as other partners from across the web to help advocate for web communities “and for the people who manage them, contribute to them, and read them.”
I urge you to read the posts from every fellowship partner. They go into so much depth about what they’re looking for and what the experience of joining them as a Knight-Mozilla Fellow will be like. You will see yourself in one of the pitches–or in many of them–and you will want to apply. But you need to move quickly: Just seven more days until it is too late. A Knight-Mozilla Fellowship will help to change the web, and your life. Apply now.