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Why Develop in the Newsroom

As we talk with people about the fellowships, one question keeps coming up: I’m a talented coder—why develop in the newsroom? So this week, one month out from our deadline to apply, we’ve posed that very question to people who do this for a living. (more)

Dan Sinker, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Project

So, why develop in the newsroom? Newsrooms differ from publication to publication, but generally, here’s my take on why you might want to work in one, dear talented coder: 

  • coming up with innovative ways to convey the news to readers is more rewarding than a/b testing a marketing campaign
  • you care more about real world problems than shaving yaks
  • you like to learn 
  • … and you definitely like to teach
  • you’re not in tech to sit in a dark room and come up with more efficient algorithms
  • … but sometimes you like coming up with more efficient ways of doing things
  • … because you don’t have the budget to throw more hardware at a problem

Because what other job would have you at various points:

Develop in the newsroom because you like challenges that come with rewards. Do it because you’ll love it.

Try it, you’ll see.

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