Knight-Mozilla Open News

Who We Are

OpenNews is a joint project of Mozilla and the Knight Foundation dedicated to helping journalism thrive on the open web. We are building an ecosystem of tools and programs to strengthen and support the community of developers and data journalists in newsrooms. Learn more about what we do or find out how you can get involved.

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. (

Erika Owens, Program Manager

Erika is a web journalist based in Philadelphia. She works with Knight-Mozilla 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. (

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. (

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.