OpenNews

Moving our work forward from SRCCON:POWER

by Erika Owens

brainstorming questions from a workshop

These were some of the questions we tackled during needs-finding workshops earlier in this year, and questions that continue to inform our work. (Photo: Dan Sinker)

This week we’re hosting SRCCON:POWER to spend two days delving into the power dynamics that influence our work in journalism and technology. We want to let you know about our plans for how to support the work coming out of this event in 2019 and beyond.

How we can help

SRCCON:POWER is an important opportunity to join together and refine some ideas for working together to shift how power functions in journalism. The sessions and speakers will share lots of ideas that participants can take back to their newsrooms, and we want to help make that process even easier. We’re always eager to help with project ideas that folks have, but Gabriela Rodriguez pointed out that “let us know how we can help!” is a little less actionable than for us to tell you what we can offer. So we’re rectifying that!

Here’s what we can offer:

  • Consulting and feedback - We can act as a sounding board, help you shape your idea, share facilitation and project management expertise.
  • Small-scale financial support - Would covering a meal help get people from your news org into a room? We might be able to cover the check.
  • Training and external expertise - We can help connect you with particular expertise, within and outside of journalism (and potentially pay for it).
  • Spread the word about your work - We can work with you to write about your project, help find collaborators or participants.

Does that kind of help sound of interest? We’ve just released a community support request form for you to tell us about what you’re working on and how we might be able to help! In addition, we also opened another round of our popular Ticket+Travel Scholarship application, if getting to an event would help your work. This support is open to anyone, not only participants at our conference.

We’re grateful to our sponsors the News Integrity Initiative, Democracy Fund, JSK Fellowship, and Vox Media for supporting the event and this work.

Connecting people, changing journalism

We convened SRCCON:POWER because we know it’s vital to have space to connect with colleagues, to know that you’re not alone, and to take a moment away from the day-to-day to reflect on challenges in the field. The event has room to share conversations and research, to dig deeply into questions about how teams function and journalism as an industry organizes itself. The audience includes folks in technical and digital roles who lead innovative work and are pushing to shift the cultures within their organizations and journalism overall.

These are core values for OpenNews: the power of collective action, the importance of time together to restore and fortify ourselves, and the necessity of changing the status quo in this industry. The news nerd community we support began by pushing for openness in code, sharing processes and teaching one another. While that work continues to shape journalism and the open web overall, this community also recognizes that journalism needs to be more diverse and inclusive, and is working together to make that happen.

OpenNews works alongside the news nerd community to strengthen network connections and offer support for making change. In 2019, we will continue this work and focus on projects that help create more inclusive, equitable cultures within newsrooms and in particular:

  • help define career pathways for tech within journalism
  • support journalists of color
  • support technologists at regional and local publications.

There is lots of overlap between each of these areas, and we’re excited about exploring the intersections and the specific types of support each group needs as well.

We’re here to support you

We’ve seen how important a range of financial and planning supports can be, and, in the new year, we’re excited to tell you more about our experiences with offering this help. One thing we saw from interviews with local coders and our News Nerd Survey results is how much members of the journalism-code community turn to one another for support. Many of you already know that this support is available, but not everyone does. We’re working to change that. Our job at OpenNews is to bring visibility to latent structures, to strengthen emerging networks, to help knit together connections between people and resources, and fill in the gaps where we find them.

We’ll have lots more to share coming out of SRCCON:POWER this week. Keep an eye on @SRCCON, and if it sparks an idea let us know.

posted December 12, 2018 | posted in OpenNews 

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