Who We Are

OpenNews connects a network of developers, designers, journalists, and editors to collaborate on open technologies and processes within journalism. Learn more about what we do or find out how you can get involved.

Our Staff

Erika Owens, Director

Erika is a web journalist based in Philadelphia. She works with OpenNews to help journalists, developers, designers, data geeks, and civic hackers create awesome projects together on the open web. Prior to joining OpenNews, Erika was web editor at the Philadelphia Public School Notebook where she oversaw the Notebook’s site as it became the go-to place for news and conversation about public education in Philadelphia. She loves nonprofit journalism, people watching, and laughing heartily. (

Ryan Pitts, Tech Lead

Ryan is a web developer and journalist based in Spokane, Wash. He works on code-related programs for OpenNews, making websites for team projects, helping facilitate events, and working with other developers to open-source code for the journalism community. Prior to joining OpenNews, he helped build Census Reporter, a Knight News Challenge-funded project that makes Census data easier to use. He has been a reporter, editor, and designer, and was the senior editor for digital media at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, where he led the team that built the paper’s CMS and worked with other journalists on award-winning news apps. (

Lindsay Muscato, Editor for Source

Lindsay is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn who joined OpenNews and Source in 2015. Before that, she spent a decade in Chicago on innovative projects in the arts, youth media, design, and civic tech — producing work on issues such as gun violence, health disparities, and user testing for civic apps. She also spent a year in Cambodia as a leadership resident with the Harpswell Foundation, where she lived and worked alongside Cambodian university students. She’s been a believer in the open web since 1996, when she made her first website after school one day. She’s originally from Buffalo, New York. (

Our Former Staff

Team members who shaped OpenNews, and have since moved on to other pursuits.

Dan Sinker, Director

Dan is the director of OpenNews as well as a journalist, entrepreneur and maker based out of Chicago. He has been involved in the OpenNews project since its founding year in 2011 and has evolved the project into what it is today. Prior to OpenNews, Dan taught digital journalism at Columbia College Chicago, was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University, and founded and ran the magazine Punk Planet. He is the author of two books, the maintainer of countless side projects, and runs a regular role-playing-game night for nine-year-olds.

Erin Kissane, Editorial Lead

Erin is a writer, editor, and longtime open-web nerd. She joined OpenNews in early 2012 to build Source, a community-driven publication for code in journalism, and currently oversees content and editorial work for OpenNews. Previously, she was editorial director at award-winning web agency Happy Cog Studios, editor of A List Apart magazine, and a consultant to agencies, publishers, and nonprofits large and small. She is the author of The Elements of Content Strategy and speaks about online community, web publishing, and the open internet at conferences worldwide. She lives in Brooklyn and tries to spend as much time as possible in London and Portland, OR.

B Cordelia Yu, program and communications coordinator

B Cordelia Yu is a content & editorial strategist and independent researcher at the intersection of social justice, civic tech, public policy, and digital design. They help organizations build inclusive editorial teams and products to foster democratic communities and expanding access to communities of knowledge. Their research is in creating models for open governance and technology-mediated deliberative democratic practices. They joined OpenNews for the second half of 2017.

Our Advisory Board

  • Trei Brundrett of Vox Media
  • Tiff Fehr of The New York Times
  • Candice Fortman of Outlier Media
  • Dawn Garcia of the John S. Knight Fellowship
  • Aron Pilhofer of Temple University
  • Dan Sinker (former director of OpenNews)
  • Aaron Williams of The Washington Post

Our History

OpenNews began as a partnership between the Knight Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation in 2011. Learn more about our program’s history.

Support for OpenNews

As a nonprofit, OpenNews receives funding from donors, foundations, and sponsors. Incubated at the Mozilla Foundation from 2011-2016, OpenNews is now a project of Community Partners.

Get Involved

Everything we do is built around the needs of the sprawling community of people who code (and crunch data, and design interactive tools) in and around newsrooms. Whether you’re an old hand or just curious about the field, there’s a way for you to get involved.