Why I’m A Newsroom Coder

And why you should be, too.

I won’t sugarcoat it. At first glance, being a coder at a journalism company doesn’t seem very attractive. We’ve got old buildings where the cafeteria is probably a vending machine — and not one of the fancy vending machines. You’ll probably disagree with our executives about digital tactics and strategy — and you’re probably right, too. Reporters can be brusque, gruff and completely uninterested in what you’re working on. You’ll probably be issued a crappy PC and a tiny monitor in a desk beside someone whose workspace looks straight out of “Locker Hawkers.” And we definitely won’t pay you as well as these guys.

But journalism offers something else, something extra.

We’ve got soul.

We’ve got a mission.

We’re self-critical.

We’ve got stacks of interesting structured data aching to be investigated and summarized. Our reporters are staring down the federal government, tracking people who are otherwise invisible and watching the epidemics most people don’t even know about.

And we need your help.

So, like Steve Jobs once asked John Sculley: Do you want to increase the click-through rate on a widget by 0.01 percent? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?

Join our merry band of news hackers: Apply for the 2015 Knight-Mozilla fellowship.

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