Software developer Mozilla and the Knight Foundation have joined forces to launch a $2.5m (£1.5m) project to help develop digital innovation in news organisations.

The Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership (abbreviated MoJo: Mozilla+Journalism), will run for three years and include a series of innovation challenges for developers, designers and other web creatives.

The initiative will also fund 15-year-long fellowships in news organisations for developers and designers to build new experimental news applications based on open-source technology.

The BBC, the Guardian, the Boston Globe and Zeit Online are among the news groups that will take part in the project. Mozilla is keen to hear from other news organisations interested in getting involved.

Mozilla news technology programme manager Nathaniel James said: "For the next three years, we will have the opportunity to engage a huge community, bring people together for trainings and in-person events, and ultimately build software and thought leadership to address the challenges that news organisations are facing today.
"We are creating a major new opportunity for the growing community of news innovators, sometimes called news hackers.

"Every phase of the partnership, from the innovation challenges to our online courses and in person news hacking events, will help participants learn, network and build a community around their interests, develop their careers, and take leadership at the intersection of news and technology."

Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen said in a release: "Digital technology evolves daily, changing how people access and interact with the news. Technology has changed what we demand from news and is even affecting journalistic values.

"Really successful technology companies are built to handle that. Most newsrooms aren't. This program will help bridge the gap."

The scheme is part of the Mozilla Drumbeat initiative, which encourages web users to collaborate on practical projects to "guard the open nature of the internet".

More information about how the scheme will work can be found on the Knight Foundation blog.

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