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You Should be the Vox Media 2015 OpenNews Fellow

In June, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews announced we were selected as a host for one of its 2015 fellows. We're proud of this opportunity to support the open source journalism community, along with media organizations that we respect such as NPR, La Nacion, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Center for Investigative Reporting.

If you write code, you want to contribute to open source and you're interested in media, you should apply for the OpenNews fellowship immediately. This fellowship allows you to apply your skills and ideas embedded within a newsroom and in the larger global OpenNews community. There is a worldwide search for applicants, so you don't have to be a U.S. citizen. The deadline is August 16th.

Over at SOURCE, Erin Kissane has done the hard work of rounding up from the community the best arguments for why developers should apply for the fellowship and use the experience to discover why it's so empowering and exciting to write code in the newsroom. And Lauren Rabaino, the product manager on The Verge and our Editorial Apps team breaks it down really well along with this good summary:

"...because it's fun, you will be working with insanely smart peers serving an insanely smart audience, there will be lots of whiskey and cursing, and election night pizza, all while building news and information solutions no one else ever has before"

What will a OpenNews fellow do at Vox Media?

We publish seven media properties: SB Nation (a collection of 300+ sports communities by and for fans), The Verge(technology, arts, science and culture), Polygon (video game business and culture), Eater (restaurants and nightlife), Racked (fashion), Curbed (home and real estate) and most recently Vox (understanding the news).

Our Vox Product team of programmers, product managers, designers, devops and QA collaborates directly and closely with the editorial teams of each of these sites, in some cases embedded directly within their newsrooms (or Slack chat rooms). We have built a custom platform called Chorus that we use to rapidly launch and iterate on the ideas we develop with these editorial teams including new story formats, editorial workflow tools, community-building capabilities and analytics. We work in small, cross-functional teams but we share a culture of user-centric design, shipping early and often and actively empowering the voices of our editorial team and the communities that gather around them.

An OpenNews fellow would join the Vox Product team and work on active projects across our editorial teams with the goal of understanding our platform Chorus and to help us open source the elements that would be beneficial to the larger journalism community. We have benefited greatly from open source as we have aggressively built a media company from scratch. Now we're eager to give back as an active member of the OpenNews community. This year at our hack week, VAX, we kicked off the process by making it easier for our teams to share our work with the open news community and releasing some code, but there is still much left to do. We want you to help us shape that commitment. And we hope, as all of our team members have, that you bring something new - a set of skills, a perspective, an experience - that will help us evolve as a team.

We also have a chat bot that always needs to learn new tricks. Maybe you can help us with that too?

We love OpenNews

Twelve of our team members, including two of our interns, just returned from Philly where we attended the first annual SRCCON, a conference organized by OpenNews. Many more of our team wanted to be there, but the tickets for this new event sold out within minutes each time a batch of tickets was released.

The excitement for SRCCON was well placed. A diverse group of developers, journalists, product managers and designers - people who like to make things in the newsroom - all gathered together to work through common problems, compare notes and share their work.

Our team participated in many of the sessions including ones on redesigning the newsroom, training the newsroom, human-driven design, a couple on content management systems, using web type and avoiding data-journalism disasters. Mandy Brown organized a session to brainstorm who we were missing at SRCCON and how to make sure they get involved next time. Lauren Rabaino and Scott Kellum led a conversation about sustainable art-directed, long-form stories.

We've all attended technology and journalism conferences, but SRCCON was unique. Listening, collaboration and discussion were encouraged in every session and a clear Code of Conduct was emphasized from the very beginning. And it felt like the event helped serve the larger purpose of building a strong community around a shared mission of open source in service to journalism.

We felt welcomed into the global OpenNews community - and, now, we can't wait to get more involved.

You should do the same. Apply Now!