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Dan Sinker - Photo by Daniel X. O'Neil

Dan Sinker

Chicago, USA

Journalist, programmer and disrupter

Director, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project (2011-present)

Assistant Professor of Journalism, Columbia College Chicago (2008-11)

Dan Sinker is the Director of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project, which is dedicated to helping build and strengthen the community writing code for journalism. Knight-Mozilla OpenNews is driving open innovation and collaboration in journalism through its fellowships program, its Code Convenings which bring newsroom developers together to collaborate on open-source projects, the website Source and the conference SRCCON which brings the most innovative minds in newsroom code together every year.

From 1994-2007, Dan was the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the influential underground culture magazine Punk Planet, as well as the founder and Editor of a line of fiercely independent books, Punk Planet Books, an imprint of Akashic Books. Distributed to a worldwide audience, Punk Planet was a driving force in punk music and activist politics. In 2001 Dan published “We Owe You Nothing: Punk Planet, the Collected Interviews”, which explored the crossover of punk and activism. It was met with widespread critical acclaim.

Dan went on to become a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2007-08, where he studied the impact of mobile technologies on traditional publishing models. From 2008-11 he taught in the journalism department at Columbia College Chicago, where he focused on entrepreneurial journalism and the mobile web.

Politically active for 25 years, Dan was the anonymous writer behind the popular parody Twitter account @MayorEmanuel. @MayorEmanuel is credited with redefining the nature of political satire for the social media generation and for challenging expecations for storytelling on platforms like Twitter. The Twitter account was collected and annotated in the book “The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel” in 2011, which is widely regarded as the first significant Twitter novel.

In the same year, Dan built the Chicago Mayoral Election Scorecard, aggregating news, social media chatter and data about the candidates in one central location. More recently, he developed CellStories.net, a mobile website that offers a daily story available exclusively on your phone. He also builds robots in his basement.

Our Comment

"Dan Sinker loves telling stories. He talks about the widespread impact of open source innovation, the future of media and journalism, and why he feels optimistic about both. He believes that “it’s through collaboration, openness, and ‘showing your work’ that we’ll see real innovation in journalism.”"

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