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The internet is destroying the business of news. Not only does the web make it harder to sell advertising on dead trees, it also changes what it means to investigate and tell a good news story. Scoops aren't just researched on the phone anymore, but in scraped databases or leaked data dumps. Yet most journalists are missing the skills to access such information effectively. This means two things: we need training for journos and collaborations between hacks and hackers.
Some news organisations are waking up to this fact: the New York Times has an interactive team that employs some of the best web developers, and the non-profit ProPublica has its own nerd team working as data-driven reporters. Working in a news organisation requires coders to change the way they do things and to focus on telling a good story, rather than building a beautiful application.
After coding on open data applications for a few years, I applied to join OpenNews and to try and build data-driven news applications from inside a news organisation. After a year at Spiegel Online and visiting news orgs around the world, I've explored not just the weird space of online news, but also the kinds of systems that we need to build to enable journalists to run their investigations deeper, and to keep track of the knowledge they collect.