The Fellowship of the Newsroom

Curtis Chen
Jul. 27 2012, 10:00AM EDT

Are you tired of seeing anchor desks and news bylines dominated by middle-aged white dudes? Do you have radical ideas for changing journalism as we know it through the use of technology? Then maybe you should apply to be a 2012/13 Knight-Mozilla Fellow.

Knight-Mozilla OpenNews

Established as part of the OpenNews initiative--a partnership between the Knight Foundation (as in "Knight-Ridder Newspapers," not talking robot cars) and the Mozilla Foundation (the driving force behind the Firefox web browser)--Knight-Mozilla Fellows spend ten months embedded in professional news organizations around the world, "work[ing] in the open by sharing their code and their discoveries on the web."

The first group of five Knight-Mozilla Fellows, accepted to the 2011/12 program, are currently "hacking the news at the BBC, the Guardian, Zeit Online, Al Jazeera English, and the Boston Globe." They all have public Twitter feeds, blogs, and github repositories for sharing their day-to-day work with the larger open source and journalism communities. So far, the inaugural Fellows have created:

You can also read about why current Fellow Dan Schultz has "the coolest job at the Boston Globe."

Of course, no one expects you to change the world for free. A Knight-Mozilla Fellowship comes with "a stipend of $60,000, paid in 10 monthly installments," plus supplements for housing, child care, and health insurance expenses, and allowances for moving, purchasing equipment, and travel on approved Fellowship trips.

For 2012/13, eight Fellows will be selected, and the first round application requires "just 450 words and a few links," in the words of OpenNews project head Dan Sinker. The deadline is August 11th--just over two weeks from today--so start typing!

Curtis Chen Once a software engineer in Silicon Valley; now a science fiction writer and puzzle hunt maker near Portland, Oregon. You may have seen his "Cat Feeding Robot" Ignite presentation. Curtis is not an aardvark.

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