The joyful crowd at the Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires Media Party. (photo/Ramiro Chanes)

Scholarships+: $250 toward events and programs that help develop your work

Whether you’re a developer in a small newsroom without much budget for training, a data reporter figuring out your next step, or a freelancer eager to connect with the wider community, OpenNews offers $250 toward events and program expenses that help you develop your work at the intersection of journalism and tech. You might want to attend a conference or workshop, take a class, join a training, or sign up for a leadership program. You know best what you need. If cost is a hardship, we want to help.

New skills and new relationships can transform your work, and we offer programs like this to strengthen your support networks and open new doors no matter where you are in your career. Sharing knowledge between peers is one of the key ways our community builds expertise, and we know that helping one journalist —like you!—will help many journalists do better work.

How to apply

Our first round of applications for 2021 is now closed, and we’re planning to open a second round of applications in June. If you’d like to get notifications about key dates in this program, Twitter and our newsletter are great ways to stay up-to-date.

What this program offers

  • $250 toward events or program expenses that help you develop your work in journalism and tech.
  • Our support in connecting you to other resources, people, and opportunities related to your work.

Who should apply

  • Anyone working at the intersection of journalism and tech: developers, designers, reporters, editors, audience experts, product thinkers, newsroom allies.
  • People of color, women, journalists from local and regional news organizations, and other underrepresented groups in journalism and technology are strongly encouraged to apply.

What happens after you apply

OpenNews staff reviews applications and notifies all applicants.

What happens after I receive a stipend

You tell us how everything went! We’ll send you a short follow-up survey, and we’ll be excited to check out anything you write or build as part of the experience.


What kinds of things can I use a stipend for?
Our original scholarships program helped people attend journalism events, and that’s part of this program, too. Previous recipients have attended events like NICAR, Internet Freedom Festival, Data Harvest, SND, ONA, IRE, NABJ, AAJA, EIJ, Collaborative Journalism Summit, LION, SembraMedia, and Allied Media Conference. Program support isn’t at all limited to this list, but we hope it helps you imagine the range of national, regional, and local opportunities to connect with people working on the same kinds of projects and problems that you are.

We added the “plus” to Scholarships+ because conference registration isn’t the only way financial support can help fill the gaps for journalists. Maybe you’re looking into a statistics course, a leadership-development program, a coding workshop, a career coach, some facilitation training. Maybe you want to study dataviz, newsroom collaboration, social justice, census data, poverty and inequality, or something competely different! We’re excited to hear your ideas, and to imagine how your journalism will change.

Can people outside of the U.S. apply for the scholarship?
Applications are open to everyone. We prioritize applications from journalists of color and journalists from regional and local news organizations, but we’re open to applications from anyone working at the intersection of journalism and technology.

When will I receive my stipend?
When we notify recipients, we’ll include information about how to receive funds. We’ll ask you to fill out a stipend form and a form to gather your W-9 details, and then our administrators will process the payment. It may take a month or so for check processing.

What if I need an amount other than $250?
We’re able to offer $250 stipends at this time. If the program you want to participate in costs less than $250, that’s totally fine! The rest of the stipend can be used to cover your time spent participating. If the program costs more than $250, you may be able to find additional support elsewhere: Many conferences, programs, and professional organizations offer their own scholarships or other discounts, and those are always worth looking into. Events may also have things like volunteering options to help cut down on costs.

What if I need something other than funding?
We have lots of ways to connect you with peer support from the journalism community! If you could use some help with a data story, we offer Peer Data Review. If you need resources for making your newsroom more anti-racist, equitable, and just, check out the DEI Coalition. If you’re working on another type of project and you wonder if we can help, we’d love to hear from you.

How do you decide who will receive a stipend?
OpenNews staff reviews all applications. We prioritize applications from members of communities underrepresented in journalism and technology and journalists from small and non-coastal newsrooms. We also prioritize applications that will allow the person to take part in a program where they are speaking or otherwise making a major contribution.

What about your conference, SRCCON?
We run a separate scholarship process for SRCCON events. You can find more details about how we approached scholarships for our most recent conference on the SRCCON website

Who funds this program?
These stipends are made possible by a grant from the Democracy Fund and contributions from OpenNews sustainers.


If you have any additional questions that we didn’t cover here, please reach out!