The joyful crowd at the Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires Media Party. (photo/Ramiro Chanes)

Journalism code ticket + travel scholarships

The journalism-code community is diverse and distributed across organizations of many sizes, in many places. Events are a great opportunity to get together in person to chat and collaborate, but the cost of travel can be a hardship. Whether you're a newsroom developer at an organization without much budget for professional development, or a freelance developer eager to learn more about journalism code, OpenNews offers scholarships that cover conference registration fees plus $500 toward helping you get there.

We offer scholarships because events help people build skills and relationships—two things that transform how journalists work, strengthen their support networks, and open new doors no matter where they are in their career. We also know that sharing knowledge between peers is one of the key ways our community builds expertise, so helping one journalist attend an event can help many journalists do better work.

When applications are open

We don’t have an application open at this time, but we plan to offer more scholarships this September for events taking place toward the end of the year. If you’d like to get notifications about key dates in our scholarship program, Twitter and our newsletter are great ways to stay up-to-date!

Our rounds of scholarships this year:

  • Our first application closed January 18, and we notified applicants on January 25.
  • Our second application closed April 5, and we’ll notify applicants by April 12.
  • Our final application for 2019 will be open Sept. 3-13, and we’ll notify applicants by Sept. 20.

What our scholarships offer

  • $500 toward the cost (travel, lodging, etc.) of attending an event on journalism and technology, or an open-source event where you’ll build new skills or bring a journalism connection to a new community
  • Full coverage of your event registration fee (capped at $1,000, but most events in the community cost much less)

Who should apply

  • Anyone who is part of the journalism-code community, such as developers, designers, and data analysts working in newsrooms.
  • Anyone interested in learning more about the journalism-code community, such as people working in other areas of technology who want to share their development, design, or analysis skills with journalists.
  • People of color, women, and other underrepresented groups in journalism and technology are strongly encouraged to apply.

What happens after you apply

OpenNews staff reviews applications and notifies all applicants.

What happens after the conference

You tell us how it went! We’ll send you a short follow-up survey and will be excited to check out anything you write or build after participating in the event.


What types of events are covered for travel?
We’d love to consider any event that you think would help increase your participation in the journalism-code community. There are so many national, regional, and local opportunities to connect with people working on the same kinds of projects and problems that you are. Some of the events prior scholarship recipients attended include: NICAR, Internet Freedom Festival, Data Harvest, SND, ONA, IRE, NABJ, JAWS CAMP, AAJA, EIJ, New Now Next, TextAV, and TechRaking.

The scholarship program isn’t at all limited to this list, but we hope it gives you some ideas about the range of community events. We’re also open to conferences and workshops on specific themes. Many of these events can help people improve their coding, data analysis and visualization, or newsroom collaboration, but we also hear from applicants who want to study topics like social justice, census data, poverty and inequality, or education, just to name a few.

Can people outside of the U.S. apply for the scholarship?
Applications are open to everyone and we’re open to events taking place anywhere. We prioritize applications from journalists of color and journalists from regional/local news organizations, but we’re open to applications from anyone working at the intersection of journalism and technology.

When will I receive my scholarship?
When we notify scholarship recipients, we will include information about how to receive the scholarship funds. We’ll ask you to fill out a form to receive a stipend and a form to gather your W-9 details, and then our administrators will process the payment. It may take a month or so for check processing.

What if I need more than $500 for my travel?
We’re able to offer $500 scholarships at this time. Many events and professional organizations offer their own scholarship programs as well. Or maybe your event has things like a room-share board to help cut down on costs.

How do you decide who will receive a scholarship?
OpenNews staff reviews all applications. We prioritize applications from members of communities underrepresented in journalism and technology and journalists from small and non-coastal newsrooms. We also prioritize applications that will allow the person to attend an event where they are speaking or otherwise making a major contribution.

What about your conference, SRCCON?
We run a separate scholarship process for that event. You can find more details on the SRCCON website!

Who funds these scholarships?
Our scholarships are made possible by grants from the Democracy Fund and News Integrity Initiative, and donations from community members.


If you have any additional questions that we didn’t cover here, just email us.