The Knight Foundation invites developers, technologists, civic hackers, and data crunchers to apply for its 2016 Knight-Mozilla OpenNews fellowships in the USA. Each year, the foundation invites a select group to spend 10 months working as Knight-Mozilla Fellows embedded in their partner newsrooms.
Fellowships are paid positions, and emphasize open-source development that strengthens specific newsrooms and the larger journalism-code community. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.
Fellows are based, unless special circumstances dictate, in the town of their host news organization. In 2016, the Fellows will be based with:
Our fellowship locations for 2016 are:

  • Correct!v – Berlin, Germany
  • The Coral Project – New York, NY (based out of the New York Times)
  • Frontline – Boston, MA
  • Los Angeles Times Data Desk – Los Angeles, CA
  • NPR – Washington, DC
  • Vox Media – Austin, TX; New York, NY; or Washington, DC

Worth of Award

  • Knight-Mozilla Fellows work in some of the best newsrooms in the world: they’re present as news breaks, write code for the day’s headlines, wrangle thorny datasets, and get to take a step back to build better newsroom tools and practices.
  • As a Fellow, you would live and work for 10 months in the city where your host newsroom is located (travel and housing is paid as part of the Fellowship) and work as a member of the newsroom team.
  • The Knight-Mozilla Fellowship is designed to allow flexibility for both Fellows and Fellowship Partners. The standard Fellowship offers a stipend of $60,000, paid in 10 monthly installments. Fellows are responsible for remitting all applicable taxes and other government payments as required.
  • Mozilla may, in consultation with Fellows and Fellowship Partners, elect to vary the amount and duration to accommodate the needs and availability of individual fellows and newsrooms.
  • To help offset cost of living in the Fellowship Partner location cities, the Fellowship also provides supplements for housing, childcare, health insurance, moving expenses, and helps pay for research/equipment and books. The Fellowship also covers the costs of required travel for Fellowship activities.
  • Supplements below listed as yearly maximums.


  • The Knight-Mozilla Fellowship program is designed to engage people who like to code and bring them—and their varied expertise—into newsroom. If you have a knack for coding and an interest in contributing your skills to journalistic projects, you are the type of person we are looking for.
  • Are you a developer, technologist, civic hacker, or data cruncher who wants to help change the world of journalism? Apply to become a 2016 Knight-Mozilla Fellow and spend ten months embedded in one of the best newsrooms in the world, writing open code and becoming a leader in the international journalism tech community.
  • There is no “typical” Fellow, and previous Fellows have come from a variety of backgrounds including academia, software engineering, open source coding, and newsroom development.
  • Most of their Fellows did not major in Computer Science, and many had never visited a newsroom before their Fellowship.
  • They are an inclusive program and seek Fellows who reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. Women and other under-represented participants in technology are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

  • The application is designed to be quick: just five questions plus some links to stuff you’ve made. There are no recommendations to hunt down and no trick questions.
  • Applications are submitted through a Screendoor form and are visible at the time they are submitted, but formal review does not begin until after the application deadline closes on August 21.

Initial Review

  • OpenNews staff review all of the applications and cull the batch to a manageable number for the news partners to review.
  • The news partners review this shorter list and submit a list of the five people they are most interested in learning more about.
  • These semifinalists are contacted for interviews. Applicants who are not moving forward in the selection process are notified.

Semi Finalists

  • Dan and Erika conduct short, standardized interviews with the semifinalists, asking a few questions that are about vision and skills/practical considerations.
  • The notes from these interviews are submitted back to the news partners for review, and the news partners are able to pick their top three finalists from the entire pool of semifinalists, not just the five they initially submitted. (Last year there was a lot of crossover at this stage.)
  • The semifinalists who are not moving forward are notified of their application status.


  • The news organization and OpenNews has a much longer interview with each of that news organization’s top three candidates. This interview is a chance for the news partner and the finalist to learn more about each other and what to expect from a Fellowship at that news organization.
  • In consultation with OpenNews and the news partners, the final Fellow selection is made for each news organization.

Deadline: Application is open until August 21, 2015 at midnight EDT.
The selected Fellows are notified and given an opportunity to ask additional questions of the news partner and OpenNews.

  • The finalists that were not selected as Fellows are notified of their application status.
  • A public announcement of the Fellows is made at the Mozilla Festival.

Click here for more details and to apply.

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