The Knight-Mozilla Fellowships
In 2016, we welcome our fifth cohort of Knight-Mozilla Fellows. The Knight-Mozilla Fellowship places creative technologists in newsrooms to work on open-source tools and support reporting that strengthens the web and changes people’s lives.
Why work in journalism?
Journalism has a disproportionately strong influence on the web we inhabit. It shapes the web through code developed in newsrooms, like Django and Backbone.js. Journalism also works at an editorial scale few other industries can match—millions of readers engage with reporting every day, from stories that amuse to investigations and analysis that leads to meaningful changes in our communities.
By working in journalism, the Knight-Mozilla Fellows advocate for a web that is open, accessible, and ours. In journalism as in the open source community, openness is a core value—the information reporters uncover and share is critical to our ability to understand and affect our world. Knight-Mozilla Fellows become leaders in efforts to build tools and cultivate resources that enable news organizations to support healthy communities, online and off.
The fellowship experience
Knight-Mozilla Fellows spend 10 months working with newsroom technology teams to write open-source code, analyze and visualize data, and explore tough problems facing journalism. Fellows have the financial support and time they need to explore journalism code, collaborate on open-source projects, and share their work at conferences around the world. In past years, fellows have done research about security and analytics and built tools for extracting data from PDFs and crowdsourcing document analysis. They build strong relationships with the other fellows in their cohort as well as a growing community of alumni.
We embed fellows with a partner news organization that provides space for the fellow, intriguing projects to work on, and an immersion into the culture of that newsroom. Fellows in 2016 will be placed with: the Los Angeles Times Data Desk, NPR, Vox Media, Frontline, Correct!v, and the Coral Project (a collaboration between the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Mozilla).
Connecting a community
The Knight-Mozilla Fellows join a community that works at the intersection of journalism and technology. News developers and designers, civic hackers, and data crunchers build the stories and tools that help journalism thrive on the web. OpenNews, in turn, supports the fellows and other members of this community with programs and events including:
- Source, a community hub where the journalism code community writes about projects, code, and culture, posts jobs, and discusses emerging issues
- SRCCON, our annual conference for people working on and around news technology teams
- Small-scale, focused code convenings that assemble teams to polish, document, and release open source projects
- Logistical and financial support for local events around the world
Fellows participate in this network at all levels, collaborating on projects, attending and speaking at events, reflecting on their work in Source, and building their profiles as contributors to the wider community.
The Knight-Mozilla Fellowship is one part of the networked approach of OpenNews. We connect and support the people and projects in the journalism code community to ensure that this work continues to flourish.