Mark Glaser at PBS's MediaShift has written Web Focus Leads Newspapers to Hire Programmers for Editorial Staff, an article about how some (but not many) newspapers have been hiring Web developers. Disclaimer: I was interviewed for the article.
Specifically, the article focuses on the Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune, which has hired a programmer to work in its news department. I really like this quote from Aaron Ritchey, the person they hired:
At The News Tribune, I am the programmer. If I were working at a company that hires dozens of programmers, I would be just a programmer. I enjoy the extra responsibility of being the planner, the developer, and the tester.
That, to me, nicely sums up the key advantage of being a developer on a journalism team. Sure, the money isn't as good as a straight-up tech job, and the geek cred is nonexistent. But it's worth it for the chance to be creative and to make a difference in your community. If you're a hacker, would you rather be a cog in the machine or an independent voice?