OpenNews began as a partnership between the Knight Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation in 2011.
The collaboration between the Knight Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation sought to support innovation in journalism technology by placing technically skilled fellows in news organizations to effect change. In 2012, the project was re-named Knight-Mozilla OpenNews and expanded its work to include support for community events around the world and the website Source to feature work from the journalism-code community, in addition to the fellowship.
From 2011-16, OpenNews placed 33 Knight-Mozilla Fellows in 19 newsrooms across five countries. Fellows produced tools and projects that were documented on Source, alongside pieces from journalists, developers, designers, and editors from dozens of news organizations. OpenNews also began organizing its own events, starting with small hackathons, and growing to include the fastest-selling conference in journalism tech, SRCCON, and cohort-driven gatherings called code convenings.
During this initial period of growth and development, Mozilla helped OpenNews navigate the intersection of open source values and journalistic culture. In 2017, OpenNews transitioned from its home at the Mozilla Foundation to become a project of Community Partners in order to continue growing as an independent organization. OpenNews remains an advocate for open source code and practice in journalism, and continues its work connecting a network of developers, designers, journalists, and editors to create stronger, more responsive journalism.