Welcome Tyler Machado to INN Labs!

Tyler Machado

We're so excited to welcome Tyler Machado to the INN Labs team as our front-end developer.

Tyler Machado is a web developer based in Boston, MA, and working at the intersection of technology, journalism, and visual storytelling. Tyler previously worked as the editorial developer for Harvard Business Review, where he built interactive graphics and helped start HBR’s chatbot presence on Slack and Facebook Messenger. Before that he worked on web development, social media and email newsletters at the Vermont newsweekly Seven Days. He’s led sessions at SRCCON, Cascade BOS, and Boston University's Storytelling With Data Workshops, and he's won awards from Folio: Magazine and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia.

Tyler recently received a certificate in data science from Harvard University. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Saint Michael's College, where he won the John D. Donoghue Award for outstanding service to student publications. He has done volunteer work with the DIY arts website Boston Hassle, as well as the Code For America and Girl Develop It groups in Burlington, VT.

At INN, Tyler will be the front-end lead on our team, working on a mix of INN Labs tools and client projects, and contributing to our mission of building open source software that serves independent and nonprofit publishers.

Tyler starts full time with us on February 5, and we're thrilled to have him on board!

We’re hiring! Join INN Labs as a part-time account manager

Account Manager

The Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), a network of 140+ nonprofit news organizations, has an immediate opening for a part-time account manager with INN Labs, our product and technology team.

INN Labs focuses on solving problems that we're uniquely suited to tackle at a network level, such as:

  • Building open-source publishing tools to support newsrooms' editorial and business goals
  • Providing custom web development, training, and resources to consulting clients
  • Supporting 40+ member websites using Largo, an open source WordPress platform/framework that we design, build and maintain

Read about our team values and learn more about us on labs.inn.org.

As account manager for INN Labs, you’ll be building strong relationships with the expanding number of news organizations powered by WordPress. And you’ll be growing INN’s portfolio of news technology accounts.

INN Labs operates as a mission-driven social enterprise, providing subsidized news technology and open source publishing tools to news organizations as part of its mission to support and expand public service journalism.

You’ll own our customer relationships, making sure members and other clients are well-served, that they know how INN Labs can help them and understand the news products we build. You’ll grow the revenue stream from this work, which helps cover nonprofits’ costs and supports INN’s continued public service work. You’ll provide continual feedback and intelligence on customer needs to the product team.

The ideal candidate for this position is an outgoing professional who knows the technology needs of news organizations and can increase the scope and impact of INN’s design and development work. You’ll introduce INN Labs’ work to nonprofit and independent news startups and serve as client liaison for enterprise-level partners such as NPR, publishing groups, university innovation labs and other journalism initiatives.

Ultimately, you should be able to grow INN Labs' business and its mission impact by building successful, long-term partnerships from our membership base and beyond.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop new business, identifying new opportunities to grow revenue and advance public service journalism
  • Operate as the lead point of contact on member and client projects and develop strong mutual relationships
  • Ensure the timely and successful delivery of our work to clients
  • Contribute to project proposals, handle contract negotiations and manage the processes of contracting and project updates

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Significant experience in account management and sales in an agency setting
  • Proven ability to manage multiple accounts at a time with strict attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, experience with direct client interaction strongly preferred
  • Experience explaining technical concepts to non-technical users
  • Excellent listening, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • An interest in mission-driven work and social enterprise

Nice to have:

  • An understanding of the nonprofit news industry and publishing priorities
  • Experience working remotely
  • Experience working with WordPress
  • Familiarity with best practices for web design and development, ideally in a news environment

We are a distributed team and this is a remote, salaried position with some benefits. Previous experience working remotely would be helpful but we'll do whatever we can to help and support your transition if this is your first remote job.

INN is an equal-opportunity employer, and we are committed to creating a workplace where diversity is valued. People of color, women, and members of other under-represented groups in journalism, media, and technology are strongly encouraged to apply. In addition to federal law requirements, INN complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.


Please read this post about our application and interview process and then send your resumé and cover letter to julia+jobs@inn.org.

We’re hiring! Join INN Labs as a front-end developer and designer

We're looking for a front-end developer-slash-designer to join our team! In this role, you'll be the team's go-to design and CSS/JS expert, working on client projects and INN Labs tools like Largo and our publishing plugins. The job is full-time and fully remote!

Continue reading "We’re hiring! Join INN Labs as a front-end developer and designer"

Plugin Releases: Two new News Match plugins are ready for action

This week we released two new WordPress plugins to support our members' News Match fundraising campaigns. Next week we will be hosting a webinar, WordPress Tools for your News Match Campaign, to demo the plugins and share some technical best practices for year-end fundraising. Continue reading "Plugin Releases: Two new News Match plugins are ready for action"

Meet the Team: Kay Lima, Support & Community Lead

Photo credit: Laura Bertocci

In Part 2 of our "Meet the Team" series, we'll get to know Kay Lima, our Support & Community Lead.

Kay joined the team in January of this year to support our members and clients, helping them make the best possible use of the tools we build – and she's been a driving force ever since. Not only does she own our support process and evangelize our work, but she's spearheaded internal operational improvements, is a fierce project manager, and she's really brought the team together by introducing us to all sorts of team-building techniques.

More from Kay, in her own words:

Where are you from?

Originally from MA, now living in sunny Denver, CO.

How would you describe what you do?

My official title is Support & Community Lead; I oversee the support, documentation and training for Largo and the plugins we maintain, provide Google Analytics, AdWords, and SEO consulting, some front-end development and also manage website projects.

What's your favorite part of your job?

Helping our incredible members and working with such a fantastic team!

What are some noteworthy projects you've worked on at INN?

So far, I've revamped our support Help Desk (support.largoproject.org) and our project management process, presented a webinar on Google AdWords and Ad Grants, and have directly helped 60 different members with ongoing support.

Where do you get your news?

TheSkimm, Alexa flash briefings, NPR, Vice News/Viceland, NYTimes (the Sunday paper edition), Snapchat, and Twitter.

Who or what inspires you?

Tony Hsieh (for team culture and customer service), April Bloomfield (general awesomeness), girls who code (and their inspiring projects) and my wonderful mother.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I'm really proud of graduating from a rigorous full-stack bootcamp focusing on JavaScript and PHP-based stacks.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love hiking, running, and skateboarding with my husband and our dog. You can also find me at a craft brewery or cafe, local tech meetup, farmers market, or working on a personal coding or brush lettering project.

What's your favorite part of working remotely?

Working with my dog!

What's your favorite kind of pie?


What's your personality type?


If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

A Midas touch of sorts, except instead of turning what I touch to gold, it would instantly solve problems and eliminate suffering.

What's your favorite album?

This is really hard... A three-way tie between: Fugazi - The Argument, The Clash - Combat Rock and Verdi's La Traviata recorded at the Met with Pavarotti and Studer, conducted by James Levine.

Favorite place you've traveled to?

Sicily. What an incredibly wild and beautiful place! I spent time there (and elsewhere in Italy) working on organic farms and eating... lots of eating.

Are you a dog or cat person?

Definitely a dog person. 🙂

Most recently used gif:

And lastly, describe yourself in 5 emojis or less:

?  ⛰️  ?  ?  ?

Nerd Alert 101: What does a thesaurus eat for breakfast?


What we're pondering this week.

  Adam: ...will be back next week! ?

  BenToday, we use software to draw maps. In days of yore, though, it required a number of specialized, shiny, mechanical implements, a number of which have been photographed by the CIA and posted on Flickr for your viewing pleasure.

  Gabe: Behance’s Year in Review is a beautiful compendium of exemplary illustration, photography, and design work in 2016.

  Julia: After experimenting with 24 different data visualization tools to chart a single dataset, Lisa Charlotte Rost shared her findings to help you choose the right tech for your needs.

  RC: Freedom of the Press Foundation has released Secure The News, their automated tool to track adoption of HTTPS website encryption by news organizations.

  Inndy: Never trust a caroling robot.


Work we admire by our journalism peers

Muckrock – the collaborative news site that allows you to file, track, and share public records requests – recently went open source in order to help more people take advantage of our right to public records.

From Muckrock: "Our hope is that you’ll find new and useful ways to extend our work, whether you’re a newsroom standing up an internal FOIA tracker or maybe even a government agency looking for a better way to intake and process records requests."

Their site is available on GitHub.


Good jobs with good people

Mississippi Today is hiring a web developer and designer.

The Center for Public Integrity is looking for a news apps developer and data journalist.

The Texas Tribune is accepting applications for a data visuals developer.

INN is hiring a support and community lead.

If you're looking for general jobs in nonprofit news, the main INN newsletter had more than 16 job openings this week. Check it out and sign up here to get it in your inbox every Tuesday. Two INN newsletters are better than one!


Gather ye rosebuds

READ: Anything from this speculative narratives reading list.

LISTEN: A classical mixtape for times such as these.

EAT: Crème Brûlée French Toast – a rich twist on a classic.

DRINK: Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate. ☕

If you give a mouse a cookie...


Nerd Alert 99: One, two, skip a few…


What we're reading this week.

  Adam: Rekha Murthy proposes a framework for how public media should conduct journalism in the age of Donald Trump. Worth a read even if you’re not in public media, as independent nonprofit news organizations puzzle through many of the same questions.

  Ben: WordCamp US is happening today and this weekend. Not everyone can make it, so they’re streaming the sessions live. You do need to register to watch the streams, but the cost of admission is only your email address.

  Gabe: Check out this fabulous list of UI inspiration specifically for news sites. You’ll find nifty transitions, beautiful layouts, and clean interfaces. Like what you see? We’d love to help.

  Julia: AllSides lets you peruse daily news from Left, Right, and Center.

  RC: Check out The Economist’s work from the Trust Project hackathon this past week in London.

  Inndy: Remembering Robert the Robot, America's original toy robot sensation.


Our projects, manifest

RC made a trip across the pond to participate in a hack event organized by The Trust Project in London earlier this week. The goal was to create tools that can help news organizations meet eight "trust factors" that consumers have identified as important in judging what to believe. RC worked with some folks from the BBC to develop a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to correlate reporters' topical expertise with story topics, such that contextual reporter bios can be displayed with related stories. Stayed tuned next week for the plugin release!


Work we admire by our journalism peers

Kudos to ProPublica for their continuing coverage of hate crimes – who commits them, where they happen, and who should be tracking them.


Good jobs with good people

INN is hiring a Support and Community Lead.

KERA is looking for a Digital Designer-Developer.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is looking for a Senior Digital Platform Developer.

If you're looking for general jobs in nonprofit news, the main INN newsletter had 18 job openings this week. Check it out and sign up here if you'd like to get that in your inbox every week. Receiving two newsletters from INN is twice as good as one!


Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: Faster and faster and faster and faster and...

WATCH: Irish taste-testers test-taste American burgers.

EAT: Roasted honey sriracha brussels sprouts. Verified delicious.

DRINK: Apple cider mimosas. Everything's better with champagne.

Let's all take a break from our screens for a moment, shall we?

In Review: SRCCON 2016

Samantha Hankins, product designer with the Coral Project, and Julia Smith at SRCCON 2016.
Samantha Hankins, product designer with the Coral Project, and Julia Smith attending SRCCON 2016.

It's been a good summer for journalism conferences. This is the first of some session reviews and resource roundups from these events.

SRCCON 2016, OpenNews’ third annual gathering of newsroom technologists and data journalists, was held in Portland during the last week of July. This was my second time attending the event, which is organized as a hands-on unconference. Sessions tend to be conversational and participatory, with lots of brainstorming, wireframing, and knowledge-sharing. And although most participants are tech savvy, many sessions are more about people than code – focusing on newsroom culture and processes rather than technical tips and tricks.

The following are a few of the sessions I especially enjoyed.

Covering police shootings (and other events) when the data is terrible

Steven Rich and Aaron Williams facilitated this session about the Washington Post’s methods for gathering their own data on U.S. police shootings. Since the government dataset on the topic is so incomplete, the Post had do all the legwork themselves – from tracking down local news sources and police records to building its own database and Django admin panel to manage each incident and track its fact checking status. This piece is the public-facing result of their efforts.

It was really great to get a glimpse behind the scenes into their process for collecting and cataloging this data. They’ve gathered a great deal of information that the public doesn’t get to see, and it was interesting to learn just how manual the process is – individual reporters calling every police department and victims’ families to verify information, etc.

The session ended with a question about maintainability: Will the Post be able to continue collecting this data this rigorously for years to come? This is a really important question in data reporting. When information is collected for a specific investigation or a particular report, what happens to the process after the original story is published? Can newsrooms afford to continue dedicating resources to maintaining ongoing data collection? How much should newsrooms be accountable for collecting this information – shouldn’t this be the government’s responsibility?

Designing brands at scale

This was a fun one. Vox Media’s Georgia Cowley and Josh Laincz facilitated this session, which was all about redesigning a brand from concept to completion. The first activity was a case study on Vox’s rebrand for Curbed, a site dedicated to place – homes, neighborhoods, and cities. They explained how the redesign process started with a concept, “creating spaces,” which evolved into a metaphor, “a room,” which then morphed into the abstract design elements of Curbed’s brand:

The header graphic from Curbed.com

Flat geometric shapes angled in such a way to evoke walls and corners and shadow.

Georgia and Josh guided the group through one more case study on the design system used to develop the brand for the 1968 Olympics.

For the rest of the session, the participants split into groups and created our own concepts for a theoretical “Summer Olympics in Portland” using the scalable design methods in discussion.

Accessibility in media

Accessibility is a topic I love to see covered, so I was excited to find a packed room for this session facilitated by John Burn-Murdoch and Joanna Kao of the Financial Times. We discussed the considerations and challenges we all encounter while striving to create accessible news products – and we looked at these topics not only from a developer’s standpoint, but also from the lens of designers, product managers, and social media specialists. It was one of the more productive sessions, and the facilitators prepared a great tip sheet on the subject. Also check out the notes and live transcript from the session.

(And for more tips on building accessible and mobile-friendly interactives, take a look at my Data Viz for All resources, originally compiled for SRCCON 2015.)

What ideas can we borrow from the design world to solve news design problems?

This session led participants through a few of 18F’s design methods and illustrated how they can help solve different types of news product and project management problems. The session touched on three different areas in journalism tech – product development, editorial projects, and internal tools and operations. Participants chose one of those three areas and then completed a modified feature dot-voting exercise as we discussed the common problems we face while working on these projects. The outcome of that exercise was recorded in the session notes.

Give and Receive: Can we strengthen our community through remote mentorship and office hours?

I led this session, which was focused on brainstorming ways to better facilitate connections between current members of the journalism-tech community and individuals who may not have the consistent access to the wider network. The discussion was framed around the idea of “office hours,” but it was meant to be a broader reimagining of what that a relationship between individuals could look like.

The idea for this conversation came out of this year’s SNDMakes event in San Francisco, where my team tackled a similar question and developed a prototype that would pair individuals for online video feedback sessions. The thought process behind the prototype was very interesting to me, and I was really curious what other news nerds might dream up given the same parameters.

The session started with a roundtable discussion about different users’ needs when it comes to staying connected with the community – the needs of the person who might want help or feedback, and the needs of the person providing it – and then the second half of the session was a design exercise to create an ideal workflow that would meet those needs.

The whiteboard
The whiteboard

An interesting idea born from one group’s design exercise was a slackbot that solves “the pin-drop problem” – where someone may want to ask a question or get feedback about something, but they don’t want to interrupt anyone else or potentially ask a “dumb” question in front of multiple people. So this slackbot would take an anonymized question and add it to a queue of questions to be released only during a specified office hour, which is when the host would answer. The group liked that this concept would allow you to ask the question at the moment you’re stuck instead of during the office hour (when it’s easy to forget what you hoped to ask).

I thought the session went pretty well, as a whole, thanks to all the participants!

And the same could be said for SRCCON in general – OpenNews does a truly fantastic job creating an engaging and inclusive event, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of it.