Features / Event
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.
Every year, roughly one in five American adults experiences a mental illness. Working in a newsroom poses particular challenges to mental health: the job typically involves a high-stress environment, long hours, tight deadlines, exposure to graphic images and videos, and an unstable industry with uncertain benefits and job security. This July in Portland at SRCCON, dozens of journalists, developers and newsroom workers sat down together to share their personal experiences with mental health.
As journalists who analyze data for stories, we strive to hold ourselves accountable to a high standard of accuracy. But checking our work is rarely a straightforward process. Newsroom editors and fact-checkers might not have enough data expertise. Often, we need an outside opinion. Ideally, we could ask each other for advice, or even turn to experts in other fields for help.
Reader trust is fragile and easily betrayed, and competition is fierce. Newsrooms can’t afford to ignore the way our work affects our readers when their contexts conflict with our expectations.
It’s challenging to find your feet as a leader, even more so when you’re in an underrepresented group. For people of color, women and other underrepresented groups, there are structural systems and power dynamics in place that make navigating the workplace—and leadership—especially precarious. During SRCCON in Portland, we gathered to talk about our experiences and ideas for how to navigate shared challenges.
Source is in Portland this week for SRCCON 2016. Here’s how you can follow along with us.
Today kicks off the third annual Source Botweek, our yearly push to document the newsgathering bots, Slackbots, Twitter bots, and other automated creations that have emerged from newsrooms in the last year—and to check out a few extras from the makers of less practical/more adorable bots.
Reflections on iCON, the Asian American Journalists Association’s event in Miami last month.
The SND judges’ controversial decision to give Facebook its “World’s Best Designed” award in digital—and the resulting unease in the journalism world—points to larger questions in our relationship with third-party platforms and our understanding of the scope of “design.”
Zara Rahman reports back on surprising insights from the International Journalism Festival in Perugia.
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.
A La Nación hackathon to enhance the open-source file-freeing tool behind VozData results in a better CrowData and a tall list of changes to come.
Notes from a lively SRCCON discussion on tricks for avoiding error, led by Aurelia Moser and Chris Keller.
Ryan Pitts and Sara Schnadt on how to know your users and build just what they need.
SRCCON, the first-ever OpenNews conference, wrapped up last Friday night at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. As Quartz’s Nikhil Sonnad notes in his wrap-up post, the problem with even the most energetic and inspiring conference is that the motivation found often fades when everyone returns to the daily hustle and sprint. Like Sonnad, we’re confident that the news-code community that showed up in force at SRCCON has the stamina and sustained interest to maintain the momentum that built up in sessions and around the coffee-hacking stations, and we want to help with that as much as possible. We also want to scoop up as much of the energy and intensity and brain-sharing from SRCCON as we can and pour it out into the wider world that couldn’t fit into the physical conference itself.
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.
Mike Tigas recaps the recent security-for-journalists talk and installfest at Hacks/Hackers NYC.
On the weekend leading into the Knight-MIT Civic Media Conference, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews and MIT sponsored a hack day focused on data liberation and housed at the MIT Media Lab.
The first ever OpenVis Conf, held last month in Cambridge, MA, was jam-packed with excellent talks. All the talks are now online, and we’ve pulled out a selection of special interest to people working in and around journalism.