This week, as part of our search for our 2015 Knight-Mozilla Fellows, who spend 10 months writing open code in the newsroom, we have asked others that develop in the newsroom why they do what they do.
Why develop in a newsroom
Lauren Rabaino, a product manager at Vox, outlines 10 compelling reasons to write code in journalism. One hits on the fact that, in journalism, you’re constantly having to learn new things:
In order to execute on products that work, you have to force yourself to learn about processes and history and key players for topics you previously knew nothing about. Working in a newsroom with journalists is like going back to school, but more fun (there’s often a lot more cursing and whiskey and no tests except whether you’ve met the user’s needs).
Another of Rabaino’s reasons hits hard at why *I* do this work: the ability to solve new problems:
The information industry has come far in recent years in evolving how we do storytelling in a digital world, but there’s still so much more to do, so much more progress to make, so many more problems to solve. This is a world that has immense and ever-growing potential at building the kinds of information solutions that help people live richer, more informed lives. And you can be a part of that. You can shape that. You can lead that. We need more leaders in this space.
For Ryan Mark, who recently joined the Vox team after a long stint developing at the Chicago Tribune, coding in journalism is personal:
I build for news because I’m building for myself. News and information, learning and knowledge is an extremely important part of my life. The free flow of knowledge that the internet has made possible has brought me happiness, wonder and purpose. I couldn’t imagine not being a part of it.
The application to apply to become a 2015 Knight-Mozilla Fellow is open until August 16. If you love to code, want to learn new things, challenge yourself, and help make information more open, you should apply today.
Dan Sinker heads up the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership for Mozilla. From 2008 to 2011 he taught in the journalism department at Columbia College Chicago, where he focused on entrepreneurial journalism and the mobile web. He is the author of the popular @MayorEmanuel twitter account and is the creator of the election tracker the Chicago Mayoral Scorecard, the mobile storytelling project CellStories, and was the founding editor of the influential underground culture magazine Punk Planet until its closure in 2007. He is the editor of We Owe You Nothing: Punk Planet, the collected interviews and was a 2007-08 Knight Fellow at Stanford University.
A version of this post originally appeared on DanSinker.com.