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Open-sourcing the news: Knight-Mozilla embeds tech gurus in news agencies

On the opening day of the Mozilla Festival in London on Friday, the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership announced five technology fellows who will spend the next year embedded in leading news agencies, studying the needs of the modern newsroom.

The Guardian, The Boston Globe, Al Jazeera English, Zeit Online, and the BBC have opened their newsrooms so these innovators can find new ways that open source Web technology can advance the values of journalism.

The Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership, or “MoJo” as it’s called, is a three-year partnership between the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Mozilla to utilize open Web technology to advance modern journalism. It began last April, and has already featured such developer challenges as: “How can new web video tools transform news storytelling?”; “Going beyond comment threads: How can we reinvent news discussions?”; and “Making news better for the people who create and read it using only open Web technologies, (no Flash, iOS, or any other proprietary SDKs.)”

“This first cohort of Knight-Mozilla fellows is an impressive group, and well positioned to add real value – both to their partner news organizations and to the journalism field in general,” said John S. Bracken, director of media innovation at Knight Foundation. “At Knight, we see great promise in these intersections of technology and journalism.”

These five individuals are just the first in a set of 15-20 fellows that will be embedded in newsrooms throughout the world to create new tools and innovations for “news experiences” that are as open and widely accessible as possible.

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