I’m excited to announce the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership, a Mozilla Drumbeat project supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Journalism Program.

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 organizations are facing today.

We’ll be working with some amazing news partners: BBC, Boston.com, The Guardian, and Zeit Online, who are launching the partnership with us, and many more who we will invite to join the initiative.

If you’re excited about the challenges and opportunities facing journalism, we want you to be part of this: If you’re interested, please join the project mailing list.

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.

Over the course of the partnership, we’ll be awarding at least 15 year-long fellowships to participants who demonstrate passion, great ideas and collaborative skills. This fellowship cohort might include software developers, user experience designers and statisticians. We’re open to many types of candidates. The fellows will be embedded within the news partner organizations, where they will work side-by-side with newsmakers, producing experimental news applications based on open-source, open-web technologies.

In the coming months, as we get the partnership going, I will be sharing more of our thinking, announcing new partners, and so on. In the next few weeks, we’ll be asking some big questions that will help to refine the plan for the project.

We’re aiming to formally launch the program with a design challenge in the spring — aimed at finding great ideas, and great people — so, if you haven’t already, please join the project mailing list and follow along with our thinking on the project wiki.

Also check out the Knight Foundation’s blog post here and a post from our news innovation consultant, Phillip Smith, here.

I will be writing about the project extensively here on Idea Lab and at my site: www.nathanieljames.org. Let us know what you think of the idea in the comments.