Posted by Tom Foremski - May 24, 2010
Burt Herman organized a fascinating event this past weekend, bringing together journalists and software engineers to produce news apps for the iPad.
The first ever Hacks/Hackers event produced 12 apps in just 30 hours, and a panel of judges picked the two best apps: "An iPad application to make news exciting for kids and a location-aware web application where users react to news stories about their legislators."
Burt Herman is the founder of Hacks/Hackers - a group that meets every month to discuss the overlap of technology and journalism, a subject that greatly interests me. For years I have been predicting the emergence of a new type of profession: media engineer - part hack (journalist) and part hacker (software engineer).
Mr Herman said:""The future of journalism is about experimentation and being open to new ideas, and bringing people from diverse disciplines together to think creatively and work together. The journalists and technologists easily found a common dialogue and collaborated to build impressive projects in a short time."
Here is a list of all the apps: http://unite.hackshackers.com/2010/05/order-of-presentations/
Here is a more detailed description of the winning apps:
-Citizen Kid News: an iPad app that provides a visually dynamic and accessible framework for kids to safely explore and interact with the news. Top kid-appealing news content is curated on a daily basis, in 5 categories: Animals, World, Science, Sports and Entertainment. A photographic touch interface provides a window into each story, and kids can select stories for further exploration that includes additional text, photos, video and audio. The app incorporates game mechanics to encourage participation: kids earn points for commenting on articles, viewing videos about the reporter's process, and eventually contributing their own articles. Kids earn badges along the way, starting with "Cub Reporter" and culminating with "Editor".
-Who's Reppin' Me?: a Web-based app that feeds users news stories about their political representatives based on location. Users can then send Tweets to lawmakers to express their approval or disapproval of their actions. The app is online at http://whosreppin.me/