Learn to build news apps with For Journalism and ONA

By on May 22, 2013

We’re delighted to announce a new partnership between the Online News Association and For Journalism that brings a valuable benefit to our members — free step-by-step courses in coding taught by industry experts. As a result of our partnership, funded by the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, ONA members will have free access to all course material in this series. (Not an ONA member yet? Sign up now.) For Journalism (FJ), which recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, is creating a series of nine courses and educational materials for students, journalists and professors, taking a comprehensive approach to teaching how to build news applications. “There is so much to learn, and we want people to tackle projects that are useful, fun and challenging,” said Dave Stanton, ring leader at For Journalism. “We’ve asked a lot of people where they get stuck learning to code, and the overwhelming response is they need projects that are practical and immediately useful to keep motivation high.” In the fall, ONA members will be able to start by picking up the “Responsive Design” course to learn the fundamentals of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. From there, you can choose a Django and Rails course, which will transform your static project into a dynamic powerhouse. These courses essentially build the same apps but use the patterns and libraries most appropriate for those frameworks. Other courses will help you build out features for your projects — maps, visualizations, analyses, sanitizing data, storing data for long-term use and more. Plans are for each course to feature an ebook, screencasts, code repositories and forums. Teachers include Jeremy Bowers of NPR, Jacqui Maher of the New York Times, Michelle Minkoff of the Associated Press, Ryan Pitts at CensusReporter and more. This partnership will provide every ONA member access for one year to the first series of courses, set to begin in August, and a 50 percent discount to any other courses created during that time. “We are thrilled to offer our members the latest in technical training that so many newsrooms desire,” said Jeanne Brooks, Digital Director, ONA. “Our goal is to provide valuable resources that are accessible and affordable to the ONA community. We hope this is just the beginning of our partnership with FJ and will work to grow future digital training opportunities for our members.”

Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women's Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. Jennifer is a business and design strategist with over a decade of experience creating industry-changing training programs, investing in award-winning projects, and managing key relationships with journalism partners and tech stakeholders. She regularly coaches managers, senior leaders and entrepreneurs on challenges related to their careers and launching new ventures. Jennifer shares advice for navigating tough work challenges in Work Space, a monthly column for Fortune.