The Field Guide to Open Source in the Newsroom is a collaborative project. It gets better every time anyone from the journalism-code community shares advice, writes up an experience, asks a question, or even just spots a typo. We'd love to add your voice to this project.

Who should contribute

This project actively encourages contributions from people of all genders and statuses, races, ethnicities, ages, creeds, nationalities, persuasions, alignments, sizes, shapes, and journalistic affiliations. You are welcome here. By participating in this project, you are agreeing to abide by its code of conduct.

The guidebook also benefits from contributors of all skill levels. Telling the story of a library you released and developed into a community resource is awesome. So is asking a question as you work through your first open-source project. If you're wondering what you might be able to offer, here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Could you read through the guidebook and tell us what's missing, or what could be better?
  • Could you write up a case study covering a project you've worked on?
  • Could you describe the cultural roadblocks you've run into in your newsroom, and how you've pushed through them?
  • Could you help refine or add to the checklists at the ends of chapters?
  • Could you work on translating this documentation into another language?

Where to start

The documentation in this guidebook lives in a GitHub repository, where we love to see comments, issues, and pull requests. If you're interested in contributing but you're not sure where to start, we have a great list of open issues—pick one and dive in!

How to contribute

If you'd like to submit an update to this guidebook, first of all, thank you! If your changes could use some editorial consideration, please open an issue on GitHub so there's an easy place to have that conversation. Or if you're tackling an existing issue, please leave a comment on the issue to let people know—that way someone else won't end up duplicating your effort.

If you're comfortable using git and GitHub, you should feel free to submit changes by cloning this project and opening a pull request. (And when you do, we'd love it if you'd add yourself to the AUTHORS list as well.) If you're not used to git, we're also very happy to receive comments and updates at


This project includes ongoing efforts to localize for readers in:

Our process

This documentation is released under the MIT license, so by submitting an update, you're agreeing to share your changes under this license as well. We may edit your work for style and consistency with the rest of the guidebook, or offer feedback about anything that might need to be revised.

When we merge your changes, this project will acknowledge you in the AUTHORS list, and the Field Guide to Open Source in the Newsroom will just have gotten significantly better.

Code of conduct

OpenNews is committed to providing a welcoming and harassment-free environment. This project exists in a public space, so we think it's particularly important to identify our principles in creating a supportive community.

Participants in this project agree to:

  • Be considerate in speech and actions, and actively acknowledge and respect the boundaries of fellow contributors.

  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech. Harassment includes, but is not limited to: deliberate intimidation; sustained or willful disruption of conversations or other work; use of sexual or discriminatory imagery, comments, or jokes; and unwelcome sexual attention.

  • Be welcoming, friendly, patient, and kind. Ask questions. In disagreement or critique, explain why you feel the way you do, and recognize that other contributors also make decisions with good intentions and the best information available to them.

If anyone violates this code of conduct, project coordinators may take any action we deem appropriate, including but not limited to warning the participant or banning them from contribution.

Instances of abuse, harassment, or other unacceptable behavior may be reported by emailing, an address that reaches all OpenNews staff members.


Language on welcoming all communities adapted from the agate project. Code of conduct adapted from SRCCON and INN.