NewsQ: Talk to Your Website

03 April 2014


When they heard the jury announce the winning team, they could not believe it. Kristen LeeCecilia Reyes and Lauren Johnston from the New York Daily News won the last Editors Lab - The New York Times Hackdays, and they will join the other winning teams for the Final Hackdays at the GEN Summit in Barcelona this June. You can see the prototype here.


The winning idea: 'We have data and reporting. As a newsroom we make decisions on how to present it, but we want to let our readers talk to us about what they want so they have curation control, contact and interaction. We embraced the hack theme of news as a conversation. Our idea is to let readers literally converse with our website turning the concept of a live chat into a method of site navigation.' In the demo, they showed how it worked: you type in a question (for example, 'who won the election in my district?'), and the website answers it directly, and provide links for more information. The team joked about getting some inspiration from Clippy, the Microsoft Word help tool. 

[To learn more about the Editors Lab, discover the experiment here]

The jury composed of Danny Schechter (MediaChannel.org), David Stolarsky (The New York Times) and Evangeline de Bourgoing (Programme Manager at GEN) were convinced by how NewsQ was very useful to their specific audience, as the theme was 'News as Conversation'. The tool is an incredibly simple and direct way to access information. The user-friendly interface has the potential to encourage widespread civic engagement. The Jury also awarded special mentions to Narratively and The Guardian US.

For this event, Reuters, our sponsor, opened the API of their Polling Explorer. They gave a Masterclass (with Maurice Tamman, Maryanne Murray and Charlie Szymanski) to teach the participants how to use it. Another Masterclass from Corey Frang, on 'Tips on useful tools to hack better and faster'.

Twet Reuters

To see all the projects that were presented at this Editors Lab and the live video, click here.

See also: Action Through Data - Traffic In Cairo: Akhbarak Wins Latest #EditorsLab Hackdays