DocumentCloud will launch a 'News Nerds in Residence' program - Technical.ly Philly

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Nov. 16, 2017 12:58 pm

DocumentCloud will launch a ‘News Nerds in Residence’ program

Temple University professor and NYT alum Aron Pilhofer scored a $50K grant from the Knight Foundation. Journo geeks, where ya at?

The grant will let DocumentCloud bring on three collaborators through 2018.

(Photo by Flickr user Jeff Eaton, used under a Creative Commons license)

A Philly-based open source tool called DocumentCloud — used by over 8,000 journalists at some 1,600 news organizations around the world — will roll out a “News Nerds in Residence” program to build digital tools for newsrooms.

Backed by a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, the program will bring on three collaborators for a quarter-length residency throughout 2018. The “News Nerds” will get access to DocumentCloud’s user base to test out projects that, if found useful, will become core features of the online platform, which currently hosts some 3.6 million documents uploaded by journalists.

DocumentCloud is one of eight organizations favored by a $4.5 million round of grants announced by the Knight Foundation on the ten-year anniversary of its News Challenge, the same push from which DocumentCloud was born.

The Miami-based organization also released a report on lessons yielded by the decade-long effort.

“The Knight News Challenge was born in response to the digital disruption of journalism,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. “The innovators receiving support today answered a call to action to use technology to create stronger, more informed communities.”

DocumentCloud also received $250,000 in funding earlier this year from the Knight Foundation and relocated to the Klein School of Journalism in an initiative to find its path to sustainability under the independent 501(c)3 nonprofit figure.

“This should be a good opportunity to leverage the community we built up,” said Aron Pilhofer, cofounder of DocumentCloud. “It’s mainly directed at journalist coders and coders in general who can help execute ideas. Whether they relate to documents or not, the aim is building things that can help journalists at a time they’re being asked to do more with less.”

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Applications are slated to open in Spring 2018.

Organizations: Knight Foundation
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