This week, eleven contributors gathered with us in Washington, D.C. to work on a new resource—a playbook for open-sourcing newsroom code. Together we hoped to tackle a question that’s come up again and again: how to help more newsrooms produce open-source projects, so that everyone can spend more time on great journalism instead of re-creating common tools, tech, and datasets from scratch.
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Earlier this year at La Nación, we developed Doc2Media, an app that adds media resources to documents hosted on DocumentCloud. We created it to visualize hearings from a famous trial led by Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who died in unclear circumstances hours before testifying against the Argentinian president. After we finished the project, we wanted to extend its functionality and abstract it to a tool that can be used in other projects as well as by other newsrooms.
Since the launch of Autotune, we have been approached by people interested in adopting it for their own newsrooms. While a lot of people didn’t mind diving right into the set up, a few people asked us “Is there anywhere I can try this out?”. Fueled by the amazing coffee selection at the most recent OpenNews code convening in Portland, we decided to build a demo site that allows users to try building projects and get a feel for the framework.
Our fifth OpenNews code convening wrapped up last Friday. Uniquely for our convenings, this one included all seven of our current Knight-Mozilla Fellows, each working with a colleague from their news organization or another organization with shared challenges and complimentary skills. Over the next week, we’ll be posting project introductions from each of the seven project teams that joined us in Portland for the event. In the interim, a quick intro to the teams, the projects they brought to the convening, and what they got done.
Journalist-coders tackled last-mile work and documentation at our Open News code convening in May, held in affiliation with the Write the Docs conference. Here’s what they did and what comes next.
Earlier this month, we held our third-ever OpenNews Code Convening, and our first one west of Portland, Oregon. Code Convenings are short events that bring together pairs of developers from news organizations to finish, document, and release open source projects they’ve been chipping away at.
When we talk with newsrooms about open-sourcing their work, often the response we get is that they’d love to, but deadline pressures keep the last-mile work and documentation that signifies a good open-source project on the to-do list. So at OpenNews, we came up with a simple proposition: What if we free up that time by getting developers out of the deadline grind? Let’s put them up for a few days, feed them, and help get the work done.
Opened Captions makes it easy to create web applications and visualizations that react the second words are spoken on live television.