Google and AP Announce Winners of Journalism and Technology Scholarships

Six ‘new’ journalists – also known as students – have received $20,000 scholarships from a joint initiative between Google and the Associated Press.

As we wrote about last August, the AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship is geared at both undergraduate and graduate students interested in the “intersection of journalism, computer science and new media.” Funded by the AP and Google, it is administered by the Online News Association (ONA).

“There’s nothing more exciting than seeing these new journalist hybrids emerging from our colleges across the U.S.,” Jane McDonnell, ONA Executive Director, said in the press release. “While digital media professionals continue to evolve the game, these students will transform the playing field.”

The recipients range from a sophomore at the University of Minnesota to a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. They each submitted proposals and a team of digital media leaders reviewed the applications and eventually selected the winning six students.

The press release included the students’ proposals. Here they are, in a slightly boiled down version. The full proposals are available on the ONA Press Room.

John Osborn
First-year graduate student, the University of California, Berkeley
Age: 29
The proposal: “I’m proposing the ‘Candidate,’ a well-researched simulation where the player is a congressional candidate. Using real-world examples on the campaign trail, real data about campaign finance and voting records, and real criticisms of the current electoral system, players will gain a rich understanding of how money influences elections, and how the electoral system works.”

Rebecca Rolfe

First-year graduate student, the Georgia Institute of Technology
Age: 25
The proposal: “I am undertaking the project of examining how recipients of select Oscar awards express their gratitude. … I will be taking the transcribed acceptance speeches from the Academy Awards public database and analyzing them for patterns. The final product will be an online interactive data visualization that depicts an evolution of Oscar acceptance speeches over the years.”

Katie Zhu
Junior, Northwestern University
Age: 20
The proposal: “My proposal for LedeHub is to adapt the tenets of Git, a distributed version control system, reappropriating its functionality as it applies to the processes of journalism. I will implement a web application layer on top of this core functionality to build a tool for social reporting, writing and coding in the open.”

Reginald James
Junior, University of California, Berkeley
: 30
The proposal: “I propose to launch Onyx Express Digital. With my classmates, I will launch a mobile-friendly, hyperlocal-style website for the black community at UC Berkeley. The website will include UC Berkeley news, feature stories about current students, faculty and staff, alumni, and other issues that affect students of color disproportionately, such as student loans and health issues.”

Kevin Schaul
Sophomore, University of Minnesota
: 20
The proposal: “Let’s make the web simpler for everyone, without toning down its possibilities. Take my simple tool – Box Chart Maker. Sure, it has limitations, but it enables almost any Internet user to create an attractive interactive graphic. A journalist who wants to emphasize a number in their article can click a few buttons on my tool and paste the provided code into their CMS.”

Emily Eggleston
Second-year graduate student, University of Wisconsin-Madison
: 24
The proposal: “In December, I started the first data-driven journalism group at UW-Madison. As the data journalism group enters its second semester, we are gearing up to tackle the stories hiding in Madison’s data. Madison Commons, a hyperlocal news site run by the department, recruited our group to produce databased stories about our Wisconsin metropolis.”

I personally really like the hyperlocal website geared to the black community at UC Berkeley and the news game. What proposals do you think have the most potential?

Have these proposals piqued your interest? Applications for the 2013-2014 academic year AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship will open April 30. College sophomores or higher with one year left in studying are encouraged to apply. More details on eligibility are available at