NewsBeam: Redesign the News

Wirtualna Polska's winning Hackdays tool

09 April 2014

Sarah Toporoff @SJToporoff

How can we give a news article context and narrative—as journalists? As readers? This was the question 12 teams sought to answer at our latest Editors Lab Gazeta Wyborcza Hackdays in Warsaw, organised around the theme ‘News Storytelling: In real-time, in multimedia, and on mobile’.

News site Wirtualna Polska (wp.pl) won our Warsaw Hackdays for their tool NewsBeam. It is a simple app or add-on to ‘redesign the news and deepen the context of current issues’. NewsBeam provides users with a customizable news timeline and allows personalised notifications for only the updates you care about.


Sarah Marshall, Social Media Editor at The Wall Street Journal and a jury member, said NewsBeam was chosen as the big winner thanks to its ‘user engagement and beautiful reading experience’. One of the creators, Tomasz Grynkiewicz, was confident in his team’s simple design: ‘NewsBeam is friendly and easy to implement. It’s not a revolution. We kept it to the do-able’.

'Wouldn’t it be cool, if you would get alert only when Malaysia Airlines Boeing was found?'

NewsBeam also facilitates user interaction and allows readers to curate their own news experience. It lets people decide not only what subjects they want to read about, but how deep they want to to go. For example, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool, if you would get alert only when Malaysia Airlines Boeing was found?’

The teams presented their new tools as part of a media seminar organised by Gazeta Wyborcza: ‘Storytelling in the Digital Media Era’. Featured speakers included Sarah Marshall, Angus Foster (BBC News) and Madhav Chinnappa (Google) among others. The jury also awarded a special mention to the team from Gazeta.pl for their app Kaleidoscope, a tool for journalists to curate developing news. Over 200 seminar attendees voted Murator and Newsweek Polska  as the audience favorites.

The Editors Lab – Gazeta Wyborcza Hackdays was supported by Google and Orange. Thanks to eGovernment Foundation, Chamber of Press Publishers, Press Magazine and Prasa.Info for their partnership with this event.

Preview Of “GRUPA WIRTUALNA POLSKA Presentation Newsbeampdf”
Michał Januszewski, Tomasz Mikulski, and Tomasz Grynkiewicz from wp.pl will compete against other winning Editors Lab teams from this season at the Hackdays Final. This last stage of the Editors Lab tournament will take place during the GEN Summit in Barcelona 11-13 June 2014.


See also: The latest tools from our New York Hackdays.