[Chicago] ANN: Journalism scholarships for coders

Rich Gordon richgor at northwestern.edu
Fri Jan 16 19:29:02 CET 2009

Chicago Python folks:


Please forgive the interruption, but your group's leadership thinks this
announcement would be of interest to some folks on your list:


The Medill School at Northwestern University, one of the nation's top
journalism schools, has a unique opportunity for skilled
programmer-developers: full scholarships to attend our one-year master's
program.  The scholarships, financed through a grant from the John S. and
James L. Knight Foundation, cover tuition and expenses.  Students can enroll
starting in June or September 2009, or January 2010.  (The program may be
extended beyond then, but we won't know that for a while.)  You can learn
more about the scholarships on our Web site at


Why are we doing this?  Simple.  The world of media and journalism is
changing rapidly.  People who understand coding and journalism are in great
demand now -- at traditional media companies as well as startups.  Newsrooms
want journalists who can help figure out the best way to present data-driven
stories on digital platforms. Media companies want people who can build
better systems for news production and distribution.  Startup companies want
developers who understand how people use and consume information. And there
are endless opportunities to create new digital products that engage
audiences with information they need to be citizens.  With programming
experience and a master's degree from Medill, the scholarship winners will
be perfectly positioned to help invent the future of media and journalism.
For a programmer's perspective, read this Q&A I did with the first two
scholarship winners:


What scholarship winners do: For the first three calendar quarters, they
study the craft, culture and process of journalism - reporting, writing and
storytelling - as well as choosing from a variety of elective courses.  In
their final quarter, the "programmer-journalists" enroll in one of our
innovation courses, in which they collaborate with other master's students
to invent something new and relevant to journalism and media.  The team
including the first two scholarship winners just wrapped up by launching
News Mixer (<http://www.newsmixer.us>), a site designed to engage young
adults in conversation and interaction around the news.  You can read more
about News Mixer at
(And check out the reaction the project has been getting:


Last week I attended the ChiPY meeting in downtown Chicago and made a brief
announcement about the scholarship program.  If you'd like to hear more
about it at a future program, please let me and Brian Ray know.  And if you
were one of the members who talked to me after the meeting and haven't been
in touch with me since then, please let me know.


Any questions? Feel free to contact me: richgor - at - northwestern.edu, or
the phone number below.  


Rich Gordon

Associate Professor, Director of Digital Media in Education

Medill School, Northwestern University

1870 Campus Drive

Evanston, IL 60208

(847) 467-5968


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