ProPublica's got another amazing fellowship for a coder to work on our News Applications desk.
Starting later this year, ProPublica is going to be part of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellowship program. The OpenNews Fellow will work as a member of our news applications team on major journalism projects and will also get to travel the world attending hack days and conferences. More information and how to apply is at the OpenNews site.
See our jobs page for details on a separate fellowship on ProPublica's News Applications desk.
Here's why you want to bring your nerdy talents to journalism, and especially to ProPublica.
ProPublica was founded to do great journalism that has impact. In our department, we make "news applications." Those are large interactive databases that help people understand how big national phenomena matter to them — like our Opportunity Gap project and Dollars for Docs. Just like the reporters with whom we work side by side, the work we do is journalism. We develop sources, we call for comment before we deploy, and we answer to editors. And our work needs to tell a story.
We like a beautiful algorithm and clean code as much as the next nerd, but we have deadlines, and lots of bad guys to vanquish. So if you code in news you won't find a long slow march to ship a feature release, or endless code reviews, or high-ceremony process, or lots of meetings. We tend not to have time for that stuff.
But what you will find is an enormously rewarding work atmosphere where you make a real difference in the world. You'll be part of a group of the best journalist-coders and computer-assisted reporters on the planet, and an organization that really believes in its mission — doing journalism with moral force that has real-world impact.
To give you a sense of the work you'll be doing, here's what we've been up to lately:
- Analyzing data from almost every school district in the country, looking for correlations between class and educational opportunities, and figuring out ways to show this relationship to readers in a way that they can understand immediately.
- Visualizing how and where super PACs are spending their money.
- Using machine learning and natural language processing to cluster and analyze political emails in real time, and trying to help readers understand how they're being targeted by campaigns.
- Scraping websites to collect data on pharmaceutical payments to doctors, and helping readers find their own doctors in the ocean of results.
We do mapping, stats, machine learning, NLP, and whatever it takes to do great journalism. We release the components we use to build our news applications as open source and the stories we write as creative commons.
If what you're interested in is changing the world and making useful software that tells a story and kicks some ass, please join us.
The OpenNews fellow will be chosen by the OpenNews folks. Applications are due Aug. 11, and the fellowship lasts 10 months. More details on the OpenNews site.