Editors Lab

Prototyping the Future of News

A Worldwide Series of Hackdays

The GEN Editors Lab programme is a worldwide series of hackdays hosted by leading news organisations such as The New York Times, The Guardian and El País. Editors Lab brings together developers, journalists and designers from top newsrooms to build news prototypes during an intensive two-day competition. The Global Editors Network has already run four successful Editors Lab seasons.

The fifth season has just started.

Hosted by the world's leading newsrooms:

BBC Sueddeutsche El Pais logo NewYorkTimes huffington-post-logoretouché the guardian logo test DieZeit Clarin leparisien Lespresso india-today-logo VRT rappler-transparent 24com

How does it work ?

1/ Editors Lab gathers around 10 teams of media innovators coming from the region’s best newsrooms for a two-day competition. The teams are composed of 1 developer, 1 journalist and 1 designer.

2/ The teams work on a theme such as Newsgaming, Rethinking Live-blogging, Improving Loyalty, Re-imagining commenting, etc.

3/ They develop news prototypes: apps, new features for the website, interactive visualisations, games, widgets, etc.

4/ They attend workshops given by our partners who share their expertise on the Editors Lab theme.

5/ The winning team is selected by a jury of experts. The team will benefit from the mentoring of media experts from the GEN network. They will share their ideas and skills to help the teams implement their projects in the coming months after the event.

6/ The winning team also wins an invitation to the Editors Lab Final held during the annual GEN Summit. The Editors Lab Final is a unique competition gathering the “crème de la crème” of media innovators from across the globe. It is the only journalism competition that is truly global, presenting such a high level of excellence in front of 600+ Editors -in- chief and media executives.

Why participate in Editors Lab ?

1/ Innovate without the constraints of a conventional work environment

2/ Break the barriers between the editorial and technical teams

3/ Collaborate between newsrooms

4/ Develop lasting innovation within a programme designed to support the implementation of the prototypes. 


  • Who can participate ? 

- Each team must be composed of 3 people : One journalist, one graphic designer and one coder/developer. Each team must represent a media organisation (at least one member must come from the represented media organisation and have a mandate, others may be freelance or from other organisations)


  • What are the teams expected to produce ? 

- The teams are expected to produce a working prototype. If they are not able to do so, they can present a proof of concept and mockups. At the end of the Hackdays, they have to give a 5 minute presentation about their projects. Even if a working prototype is not produced at the end of the event, the team must work with the primary objective of publishing their project during the following weeks, at least as a demo or a beta version.


  • What are the judging criteria ?

1. Editorial quality : How innovative is the project ? How useful to the users will it be?
2. Design : How user-friendly is the interface ? How creative is the design ?
3. Development : How functional is the prototype ? What level of technical expertise does this project demonstrate ?
4. Implementation : 
   a) Scalability : What is the potential scale of the idea
  b) Viability : Is it logistically and technically feasible ? 
No preparation is needed before the event, all participants will be provided with the relevant information to start their projects on the first day of the event.


  • Who keeps the copyright ?

- A description of each project will be published by GEN after the event, but each team is free to decide what information about the project can be published and shared by GEN. The copyright of the project is held by the media represented by the team.


Supported by Google and Yahoo! News


Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google has packed a lot into a relatively young life. Since Google was founded in 1998, the company has grown to serve hundreds of thousands of users and customers around the world.

Yahoo! Transparent

Yahoo is the world's largest start-up, which means that we move fast and always let our users lead the way. Founded in 1994 by two Stanford PhD candidates, we've grown into a company that helps you find what you're looking for on any Internet-connected device. Our employees are rewarded for curiosity and we celebrate explorers, relying on our passionate and transformative talent to do what's right for our users.

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