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Applications open for Knight-Mozilla fellowship

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 11:27 UK time, Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Following a successful first fellowship scheme called the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership, we are keen to continue our partnership this year.

If you're a developer or technologist keen to spend 10 months in one of the best newsrooms in the world, the 2012/13 Knight Mozilla Fellowships are now accepting applications until 11 August.

Here's senior product manager Andrew Leimdorfer with more details about the scheme:

It's a pretty exciting time to be involved in the cross-over between technology and journalism at the BBC.

There's the move to the heart of London's West End. New Broadcasting House, with its state-of-the-art Newsroom will be home to 6,500 employees by early 2013. There are new platforms to focus on as the audience using hand-held devices grows and grows. There are new ways of working with data, and a great opportunity to start working more closely with television graphics in our newly created visual journalism unit. Then there are all the emerging technologies for building news apps.

Want to get involved? Turns out you can.

The BBC News Specials team has been hosting a Knight-Mozilla fellow since the beginning of this year. Laurian Gridinoc has been in and out of our newsroom since January, helping us build our election results maps back in April, and, this month, helping us work out how we might develop new storytelling formats using video.

In the meantime, he's also been busy hacking away with the other 2011/12 Knight-Mozilla fellows. He attended SXSW in Texas, the Eyeo festival in Minneapolis, spent two days in Florence hacking TOR before going to Dundee for the OpenNews Datalive hackdays, then back to London for the Guardian's Discovery week and the BBC's News Labs.

If this combination of working on news content for a massive audience, and attending hack events that will put you in touch with some of the most creative people in the industry sounds appealing, then there's just a few weeks left to apply for the 2012-13 fellowship.

The deadline is August 11. You could end up at BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, Boston Globe, Der Spiegel, Zeit Online, or Pro Publica.

For more information visit the Mozilla Open News Site.


  • Comment number 1.

    I certainly like this Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership idea though it suggest (to creative minds like my own) an image of Gorillas stalking through the night-time mists.
    Is the word "hacking" an unfortunate choice of words. Is this really what the Partnership does: learn to "hack", attend "hacking events", keep busy hacking" or is this inside lingo that I just don't get?

  • Comment number 2.

    Steve, your first link to the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership in the post is not working.

    Does one have to be based in the UK to apply for the fellowship?

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi there, I'm the director of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project, so I thought I would step in here and answer these couple questions:

    1) Re: Hacking. Despite recent unfortunate events in the UK, "hacking" is shorthand among developers and engineers for building fast, experimenting, and trying out new things. Which is exactly what we do with the Knight-Mozilla Fellowships.

  • Comment number 4.

    2) Location: The Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project is global in its scale and its participation. You don't have to be located in the UK to apply. We have eight news partners this year, they are all over the globe.

    Thanks all!

  • Comment number 5.

    Sounds like the initiative has grown considerably larger since last year - great that BBC is continuing to participate! Curious to see that none of the partners are in India or Asia for that matter though - lots of great dev work being done out there!

  • Comment number 6.

    @Steve, Dan: will be encouraging some of my students to apply. Came across an interesting article on technology changing journalism - think addressing the convergence related challenges mentioned there would really go a long way to building the newsroom of the future.

  • Comment number 7.

    @#9 - Craig Smith - could be mistaken but doubt the Knight-Mozilla fellowship would go so far as defining a standardised content distribution platform between broadcasters, let alone managing future device convergence. Think it's more focused on current practical newsroom technology like enhancing interactivity rather than the blue sky strategy content in the article.

  • Comment number 8.

    Joseph, I think the intention is precisely for BBC to do some blue sky thinking here, not just scrambling to address current technology issues. Otherwise it will constantly be in a reactive state to technology changes like most broadcasters were with social media in newsrooms.

  • Comment number 9.

    @Dan Sinker - thank you for the reply and glad to hear the fellowship is open to international participants!

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    This is a wonderful opportunity Steve - wish I were more tech-savvy to participate! Will the results of the fellowship be published somewhere on the BBC site (not of who won, of what is actually produced by the fellowship)?


  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Talking about technology, why is the only place on the beeb where you can post a comment. Does keeping the old format have anything to do with it?

  • Comment number 14.

    @paulmerhaba - you can post comments but the new system for the reporter blogs is really horrid... and don't even get me started on the ridiculous letter-count restrictions for these comments. Hopefully the Specials team and the new Knight-Mozilla fellow can work a bit more on improving interactivity with news consumers.


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