Double Hackdays with BBC

An Editors Lab First

08 May 2014

Sarah Toporoff @SJToporoff

Last Thursday and Friday GEN held its first ever Editors Lab double Hackdays: two events taking place simultaneously in both Dublin and Glasgow. In partnership with BBC #newsHACK, these Hackdays were two days of furious cross-continental innovation around the theme 'The Future of News Curation'.

The jury selected two winning teams, one from each location, to move on to the Editors Lab Hackdays Final in Barcelona next month: The Times in Dublin for their project Know It All and The Financial Times in Glasgow with BlindSpot.


The winning team from The Financial Times.

When asked about their winning app BlindSpot, The FT team described it as a way to 'filter out the articles that you are bound to see because the people you follow will already have shared it and introduce you to the stories that make you nudge the person sitting next to you and say, "Hey, did you know…?"'. BlindSpot's tagline is 'fighting confirmation bias'.

Meanwhile in Dublin, The Times' app Know It All tracks what readers have read on a particular topic and makes recommendations on how to improve their 'Knowledge'.

There was a heathly atmosphere of competition between Dublin and Glasgow over the two days, encouraged by the event's MC Robin Cramp. 


The two events were connected via live video link-ups so both groups could benefit from Masterclasses, including one from founder of Storylines, Harry Robbins. He explained how to make the most of this tool that helps journalists with background and content for more effective narrative building. 


Storylines maps made available to the teams from the API thanks to BBC. 

The jury also awarded prizes for strength in specific aspects of the theme:

  • 'Connecting the News': Hujo-Insight (Dublin)
  • 'Explaining the news': BBC Location Service (Dublin)
  • 'Tools for Journalists': The Independent (Dublin)
  • 'Theming the news': Sky News (Dublin)
  • Special award 'Newscrack award': The Wall Street Journal (Glasgow) and University of the West of Scotland (Glasgow)
  • Special award 'Visually inspired': Best User Experience goes to BBC Archive (Dublin)

Congratulations to all participants and best of luck on implementing your new tools! 


See also:

More details about the winning projects from the Editors lab BBC #newsHACK.

Editors Lab — Vanguard Hackdays in Lagos, Nigeria.