Knight Foundation supports the Global Editors Network, a nonprofit that empowers newsroom leaders to innovate, to demonstrate the value of data journalism. Below, Deputy Director Antoine Laurent writes about the network’s experience hosting “hackdays” to develop new newsroom content and tools around the world. Above: Editor's Lab Ria Novosti Hackday in Moscow.
Over the past 12 months, the Global Editors Network visited newsrooms all over the world to organize journalism hackdays where teams of journalists, designers and developers have competed in the development of innovative journalism tools, content and apps. This program of hackdays, called Editors Lab, took us from The New York Times to India Today, via Zeit Online in Berlin, NOS in Holland, Clarin in Argentina and many others. It’s been an incredible trip around different journalistic cultures. Here are some of our key takeaways:
1. There were few differences in journalism cultures.
As surprising as it might seem, cultural differences do not matter that much when it comes to journalism hackdays: When you travel to newsrooms around the world you find the same types participating in the events and creating content together: newspeople, looking for informative and innovative content. It’s the same for the standards in journalism graphic design and Web development; we found good journalists, developers and graphic designers everywhere. Even in countries where we were organizing the first journalism hackdays—at India Today and the Egypt Media Development Program—good teams produced quality projects. Still, a few things were different.