The Walkley Coding Scholarships for journalists

We hear a lot about how people working in the media need to learn to code.

We’re still a few years from coding becoming compulsory for reporters and producers, but there is no denying it helps journalists and newsgroups get more done. It also adds increasingly important skills to your repertoire, and opportunities to your career.

But it can be almost impossible to afford to learn to code, especially if you’re in a junior or even mid-tier editorial role. It’s hard to teach yourself, and decent courses that take you from newbie to fully fledged app builder cost thousands.

We’re thrilled to announce the Walkleys has partnered with the Coder Factory Academy. It’s an accredited coding education provider that has worked with organisations such as the United Nations and Commonwealth Bank to offer coding education to people beyond the usual suspects.

We are offering up to 16 full scholarships for news professionals to participate in a part-time Saturday web app development course specially tailored for journalists by the Walkleys and the Coder Factory Academy. The Coder Factory Academy very generously agreed to increase the number of scholarships from 10 to 16 based on the deluge of entries. 

You can find out about the 20 recipients of the Walkleys Coding Scholarship here.

Our goal is to empower people in our industry develop the skills they need to survive and thrive in the future. While the recipients will graduate with the basic skills needed to begin exploring another career, our hope is they remain in the news industry to share the benefits of this investment with their colleagues and especially their audience.

What we’re looking for:

  • Journalists, editors or producers working full-time or part-time in newsrooms.
  • Freelance journalists or information activists.
  • People who come from a range of familiarity with coding. You can be a complete novice or fluent in a coding language or two.
  • People from a range of ages and backgrounds and levels in newsroom hierarchies.
  • We are particularly interested to hear from people who have a tool or project they hope to build, either for a newsroom or as part of a new venture.
  • People who are able to commit to the whole course (details below) and make it a priority during its duration.

Details about the scholarship:

  • The Academy has condensed their 12 week course into an eight week course on Saturdays from 10 until 4pm. Yes, it’s a big ask but you’ll be learning a career-changing skill. We will liaise with scholarship recipients to find the start date with courses expected to begin in April or May.
  • We will run two courses: one in Sydney and another in Melbourne at the Coder Factory Academy premises. The Sydney course will run in the first half of the year, and the Melbourne course in the second half of 2017.
  • The course will include an initial session with Coder Factory Staff and the Walkleys as an introduction to design thinking and product development.
  • You will be learning how to code in Ruby on Rails, a widely used and flexible language. Sites and apps built in Ruby on Rails include Airbnb, Goodreads and Kickstarter.
  • The scholarship applicants will be selected by the Walkley Foundation and the Coder Factory Academy, based on who we believe will gain the most from the course and use what they learn to support the finding and sharing of important news with the public.
  • Scholarship recipients will be expected to write a blog post about their experience for the Walkleys online publication.

Questions? Comments? Or keen to find out more about the Walkleys Innovation Education programs? Reach out to our innovation manager on rose.powell [at]