I sent an e-mail from a hotel room in Berlin in September of last year, while completely blitzed out from jetlag. In it, I mentioned the idea of putting together a site that could serve as a center-point for a lot of the amazing code being written in the journalism community. The response I got from the couple people I ran the idea by was “Yeah, that sounds great, but who’s going to do it?”
Earlier this year I decided the answer was “us,” and I assembled a team to build it.
And today, after many months of building something from nothing, it’s launched: Announcing, Source
Through feature articles that dig into the specifics of the code and the motivations that behind it, through an index to open code repositoriesproduced by the journo-code community, and an index to that community itself, Source connects the many lines of code that make up journalism today with the people that write them. We’ve built relationships between code, people, and organizations deep into the data models of Source because we know that code is always a reflection of the individuals that create it and that those individuals combine to create a thriving community.
Journalism is in a time of massive innovation and reinvention. From data journalism to building news applications, news organizations both big and small are trying things anew. Rethinking the way the world learns about itself is a huge, exciting, and inspiring task. At OpenNews, we’re assisting this lofty goal by helping to strengthen and grow the code and community that is working to build journalism’s future. We do this through our fellowship program, through our sponsorship of hack days, through our code sprint grants, and now through Source.
This wouldn’t have been anywhere near possible without the incredible work of the Source team: Erin Kissane, who I tricked into coming to a conference in Phoenix last December so I could talk her into running this project with me, and Ryan Pitts, whose coding skills and amazing insights didn’t just build a great site, but built *the right* site. Their work, along with the always-there kick-assery of Erika Owens and the steady server-side hand of Ross Bruniges, has been thrilling to be a part of.
It also wouldn’t have been possible without feedback and ideas from dozens of people in the journo-code community who, over the last ten months, saw this project as their own. We’re proud to be a part of that community and to bring something like this into it.
This blog post is already longer than it needs to be: Go view Source! Go follow us on Twitter! And, most importantly, spread the word!