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The Importance of Presence - Announcing a New Way to Connect

by Erika Owens

laptop with stickers

Events are also a great way to get new laptop stickers. (photo/Mike Tigas)

One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned at OpenNews is the importance of presence. Of being there. Of listening. Of getting people into a room, working with each other, learning from and teaching one another.

We prioritize getting people to places. We get fellows into newsrooms. We get colleagues together to open-source projects at code convenings. We gather hundreds of news nerds at SRCCON and give travel scholarships to help many of them access the event.

Today we announce a new way to build connections. We’re opening up a limited-run travel scholarship program that supports participation in events that benefit the journalism code community. This June and July, we’re offering $500 plus the price of the event ticket itself toward the cost of attending an event on journalism technology, or an open-source event where you’ll bring a journalism connection.

The plan for this program developed over the course of years. We’ve consistently seen how influential participating in events can be for the individual, their organization, and the broader community. Speakers build confidence in their role as leaders in the community. Participants learn new skills and come away fortified with the knowledge they are not alone in frustrations, exasperations, and yet still hope for our industry. People share back in blog posts and brown bags at the office. A couple days away from the desk can shape the next year, or more.

We’re thrilled about the support we’re already providing for SRCCON, and now to be able to offer another way for this community to share and grow through in-person events. We’re intentional about creating welcoming, inclusive spaces, and it is important to us to seek out ways to alleviate barriers to access and resources, in particular for people of color, women, and members of other groups under-represented in journalism technology. A bunch of upcoming events over the next couple of months also emphasize inclusion and enrichment, from Open Source and Feelings to the annual conventions of NABJ/NAHJ and AAJA.

These scholarships will be released in two batches. The first deadline is coming up soon, on June 10. We’ll let folks know about their application by June 17. Apply today.

We value your presence in the journalism code community and we’re excited about this new chance to learn from your wisdom and build skills and connections in this community.

Questions or suggestions about the program? Please let us know.

posted May 26, 2016 | posted in events 

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