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Oct. 24, 2013, 8 a.m.
Reporting & Production

A new class of Knight-Mozilla Fellows is ready to interweave code and the news

The five new fellows will spend 10 months in news organizations, including ProPublica, La Nación, and The Texas Tribune.

Knight Foundation and Mozilla have announced a new class of fellows who will take their hacker skills into newsrooms around the US and across the globe.

The new class of five Knight-Mozilla Fellows has just been announced at the Mozilla Festival in London, and their bios include some of the sort of descriptions you might expect: media scholar, activist, interactive developer, code monkey. This third class of fellows will be embedded in top news organizations in the U.S. and abroad and work to connect their code-driven backgrounds to journalistic goals.

The fellows, who are part of the broader Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project, will work inside newsrooms for 10 months, assisting the organization with established projects, building new ones, or performing research. While the original idea for the fellowship was to have coders help shepherd newsrooms into the digital era by extolling the virtues of new technology, the program has become more dynamic, said Dan Sinker, the head of OpenNews. (Here’s Source and the other parts of the growing OpenNews community. Now, being a Knight-Mozilla fellow is increasingly about the code you commit to GitHub and the talks you hold inside your newsroom and to bigger groups at journalism conferences, along with working in individual newsrooms, Sinker said.

Last week, Knight recommitted to the broader OpenNews project, investing $4 million over a three-year period, with funding to support the fellowship and create learning opportunities for coders outside the fellowship program.

brianBrian Jacobs (ProPublica) is a designer and interactive developer. He’s passionate about multi-faceted visual tools that are civic-minded, scientific, journalistic, or otherwise educational, to benefit the people and their habitat. He’s worked in commercial and academic contexts, on GIS projects in West Virginia, web apps in Philadelphia, and towards an urban data processing and visualization platform for the MIT SENSEable City Lab, in Singapore. He’s excited about the future of open data, particularly collaborative and semantic web initiatives that can afford reproducible access to cleaner, more interdisciplinary data. Brian is also intensely interested in bagels, hikes, and sci-fi camp.

gabrielarodriguezGabriela Rodriguez (La Nacion) is an activist and hacker who loves the intersection between media and technology. She grew up in Uruguay and now lives in Portland, OR (USA). She is a software developer with passion for free software and open knowledge. She co-founded the Uruguayan nonprofit DATA that works with open data and transparency in South America.

harloholmesHarlo Holmes (The New York Times) is a media scholar, software programmer, and activist. As research fellow with The Guardian Project, she primarily investigates topics in digital media steganography, metadata, and the standards surrounding technology in the social sciences. She harnesses her multi-faceted background in service of responding to the growing technological needs of human rights workers, journalists, and other do-gooders around the world.

marcosvanettaMarcos Alejandro Vanetta (Texas Tribune) is a biomedical engineer truly passionate about software and technology. He is an experienced web developer and an open source enthusiast. Marcos is an active member of the Hacks/Hackers community in Buenos Aires and the lead developer of Mapa76 (aka You can find him in a Rock & Roll concert or at your closest hackathon.

aureliamoserAurelia Moser (Ushahidi / Internews Kenya) is a data munger and code monkey based in New York City. With a background in library metadata and lab work, she builds visualizations and narratives around data, supported dually by passions for data preservation and open information. Equal part experimenter and educator, she organizes NYC Nodebots meetups and coordinates curricula for Girl Develop It, a non-profit teaching women how to code in low-cost classes. For fun, she runs a radio show based on the semantic web, and digs studying, silent discos, and shoegaze.

Disclosure: Knight Foundation is also a funder of the Nieman Journalism Lab.

POSTED     Oct. 24, 2013, 8 a.m.
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