Turning coders into journalists (hint: add spellcheck, subtract Skittles)

( posted from Guatemala / Xeni ) Rich Gordon of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism says,
The Medill School of Journalism just won a grant that will allow Medill to offer master's degree scholarships in journalism to computer programmers. It's among $12 million in grants awarded via the Knight News Challenge. The general idea is to lure talented coders, immerse them in the practice of journalism, and then turn them loose to figure out interesting ways of putting journalism and technology together. Our role model is Adrian Holovaty of the Washington Post (who also won a Knight News Challenge grant and, consequently, will be leaving the Post to launch a tech/journalism startup).

We want to enroll the first scholarship recipients this September, so we're looking to get the word out through the tech community as quickly as possible. I do think it's a pretty meaty idea and I am sure your readership will have some interesting perspectives (some will probably love it, others will probably say there's not much a j-school can teach a coder).

The page that describes the Medill program, including how to apply, is here. I've blogged about the initiative here. The full list of News Challenge winners is here. The press release announcing all the winners is here.