Fusing journalism, tool-building and code

What is Mozilla doing in media? What’s the connection between media, freedom and the web? This post from the Nieman Journalism Lab provides some helpful context on why Mozilla and the Knight Foundation are working together — and why open source matters to news.

“The foundations see a future that fuses journalism and tool-building, storytelling and code.”

Calling the recent Mozilla Festival “a serenade of hackers in service of the hack,” they describe the opportunity this way:

There’s a need for people who can construct frameworks for improving the work of journalism, fusing the best of what developers do (tool-building through code) and journalists do (storytelling through content). And there’s a need for these technologists and journalists to work together, in traditional and non-traditional settings alike.

From the Knight Foundation blog

Programmers + reporters mutating into hybrid news hackers

We’re seeing the emergence of hybrid technologists and “news hackers” that embody both those skill sets. Taking a look at the bios of the newly minted Knight-Mozilla fellows, who will be embedded in partner newsrooms around the world, shows how:

The fellows are Mark Boas (Al Jazeera), an audio specialist and a co-founder of Happyworm, maker of the jPlayer media framework; Cole Gillespie (Zeit Online), a JavaScript developer who worked for CNN, National Geographic, and IBM; Laurian Gridinoc (BBC), a computational linguistics and semantic navigation expert; Nicola Hughes (the Guardian), who mixes a journalism background (starting at CNN in London) with coding skills — not to mention knowledge of physics, zoology, and anthropology — and has been working on the ScraperWiki project; and Dan Schultz (Boston Globe), a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab studying in the Information Ecology group, and a 2007 Knight News Challenge winner.

Press Event
Mozilla's Dan Sinker introduces the five new Knight-Mozilla news fellows

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