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Hackdays and digital product managers: a conversation with the Global Editors Network

By Natalia Karbasova

In order to boost innovation and encourage new strategies about news presentation, the Global Editors Network (GEN) and Russian news agency RIA Novosti held a Hackday on Dec. 10-11 in Moscow. Called “Hack the Newsroom,” the event brought together three-person teams made up of an editor or journalist, a developer and a designer from national and regional Russian media organizations.

It was one of a series of such hackdays held at some of the globe’s leading newsrooms this year. The aim is to help newsrooms develop new approaches to producing and presenting editorial content and think creatively about apps, interactivity, data visualization and newsgaming projects.

“There are a lot of innovations in newsrooms, but they don’t often come from the editorial side,” said Antoine Laurent, GEN’s deputy director. “To deliver innovative content on a regular basis, you need to have a direct connection between the technical and editorial sides. Innovation comes from collaboration.”

The winning project

This time, it was all about big data and data journalism. Participants had to turn open data into compelling stories. As a result, participants came up with projects mostly based on national data.

You can watch the presentation of the final pitches here (in Russian). The winning project was developed by the team from the Moscow-based magazine “Bolshoi Gorod” (“Big City”). They presented an interactive map of Moscow showing where city residents spend their free time based on based on 126,000 of check-ins by users of VK, a popular Russian social networking site.

In this interview, Laurent told onMedia why he thinks data journalism is here to stay, why GEN is holding a series of hackdays and how journalists will need to manage digital content in the future.


Friday 2013-11-29



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