Events can help you build relationships with other journalists. (photo: Alyson McClaran for Colorado Media Project)

Scholarships+: Stipends toward programs that develop your work

OpenNews can help you pay for events and programs that develop your work as a journalist with data and code. Attend a conference, take a class, join a training, sign up for a leadership program—you know best what you need. If cost is a hardship, we want to help.

Key things to know:

  • These scholarships are for U.S.-based journalists who work in data or code. This program is one way we can help people in those roles build skills and connections to make their newsrooms more equitable and just.
  • This program is designed to do two things: help you expand your comfort zone and strengthen your support network of colleagues and peers.

We’re excited to hear about the event or program you want to be part of. What we want to know most is why you want to be there and how you plan to use and share what you learn.

How to apply

Applications for our first round of 2024 scholarships are now closed. We plan to offer another round of scholarships later this year.

If you’d like to get notifications about key dates in this program, such as the next time applications are open, our newsletter is a great way to stay up-to-date.

What this program offers

  • $250 and $500 stipends, depending on the cost of the program you’d like to attend.
  • Connections with other people, resources, and opportunities related to your work.

What we ask of you

  • Tell us how your program went! We’ll send you a short follow-up survey, and we’ll also be excited to check out anything you write or build.
  • After your program, get together with a friend or colleague and share something cool you learned, or something they’d appreciate about the experience.

Why we give out these stipends

Our community is building a more equitable future for journalism, and we offer programs like this because we believe in the power of a network effect. By helping one journalist develop and share their skills, we can help whole communities of practice.

We love to help people participate in programs where they share something they’ve learned, or take their next career step in a leadership training, an advanced workshop, or a conference with other journalists who share their background. We know cost can keep people from accessing these opportunities, and part of creating a more equitable industry is mitigating barriers like these as much as we can.

Who should apply

  • U.S.-based journalists who work in data or code: developers, designers, reporters, editors, product thinkers, and newsroom allies. We want to see more people in these roles pushing for change in their newsrooms and helping them better reflect our communities.
  • People of color, women, journalists from local and regional news organizations, 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 kinds of things can I use a stipend for?
Our original scholarships program helped people attend journalism events, and that’s part of this program, too. Previous recipients have attended events like NICAR, Internet Freedom Festival, Data Harvest, SND, ONA, IRE, NABJ, AAJA, EIJ, Collaborative Journalism Summit, LION, SembraMedia, and Allied Media Conference. Program support isn’t at all limited to this list, but we hope it helps you imagine the range of national, regional, and local opportunities to connect with people working on the same kinds of projects and problems that you are.

We added the “plus” to Scholarships+ because conference registration isn’t the only way financial support can help fill the gaps for journalists. Maybe you’re looking into a leadership-development program, a coding workshop, or some career coaching. You might want to study social justice, statistics, dataviz, or poverty and inequality. We’re excited to hear your ideas and imagine how your journalism will change.

How do you decide who will receive a stipend?
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 help someone take part in a program where they are speaking or otherwise making a major contribution.

We look for applications from journalists who use data or design to help people understand their community and make it better, who write code or work in product to help a news organization make good on its mission, who are pushing for change in their newsrooms and helping them better reflect their communities. And we look for applications that have a plan for bringing new ideas into your work and sharing them with peers.

Can people outside of the U.S. apply for the scholarship?
This program is available to U.S.-based applicants. We support international journalism in other ways, but the funding we have for this program is intended to support U.S. organizations.

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

What if I need an amount other than $250 or $500?
If the program you want to participate in costs less than $250, we’re happy for you to use the rest to cover your time spent participating. For programs that cost more, you may be able to find additional support elsewhere: Many conferences, programs, and professional organizations offer their own scholarships or other discounts, and those are always worth looking into. Events may also have opportunities like volunteering to help cut down on costs.

What if I need something other than funding?
We have lots of ways to connect you with peer support from the journalism community! If you could use some help with a data story, we can help connect you with a peer coach. If you need resources for making your newsroom more anti-racist, equitable, and just, check out the DEI Coalition. If you’re working on another type of project and you wonder if we can help, we’d love to hear from you.

What about your conference, SRCCON?
We run a separate scholarship process for SRCCON events. You can find more details about how we approached scholarships for our most recent conference on the SRCCON website

Who funds this program?
These stipends are made possible by a grant from the Democracy Fund and contributions from OpenNews sustainers.


If you have any additional questions that we didn’t cover here, please reach out!