OpenNews: Working With Tech in Journalism

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A history of Open News. Started as a fellowship to airdrop tech people into newsrooms. Hmm. Lately focused on listening to journalists and looking for ways to support the work they're doing.

  • For example: hackathons, meetups, bringing people into a new field.

OpenNews - is a clearinghouse for news tech projects that people are working on, and building the confidence of people doing the work to tell their stories and be leaders to improve inclusion ratios of people leading news tech.

News Tech people are focused on problems of data extraction, data visualization, community engagement.

BuzzFeed Open Labs

BuzzFeed wants to foster a sense of collboration to a new generation of folks. This is more experimental than open news, which is more pragmatic and applyable.

  • Example projects: virtual reality interfaces, games and campaign finance, drone + camera rigs; social media scraping; Internet of Thangs. Communities have ideas about contributing to reporting; newsrooms struggle to make sense of that.

Buzzfeed is not a website. They are committed to exploring widely; if it makes sense to participate in places other than the Web,

Other Places

AJPlus is super neat. They don't have a website. They collect people in social media without worrying about their 'site'.

The Center for Investigative Reporting. They have analog stuff like plays in a theater. Coloring books. Podcasts. Animation. An older organization that can ride out changes in media formats and lead the way while retaining nonprofit, place-focused mission. Use SMS to poll/interview people quickly in a community, then use SMS to connect with people about resulting reporting.

The Lens did great local reporting in New Orleans, with Pro Publica doing really good web production, both groups playing to strengths.

Other ideas

Amanda: Activists are really good at getting people interested in the significant. Which is the job of journalists. If learning from that gets people to read an investigation piece, then do it. Use A/B testing, use these engagement tools to put people on important issues of accountability, policy, substance.

Organizing groups can do more to use data and visualize that. Learn from journalists and news tech to tell stories from datasets.