Video, Hackdays and Startups

Lessons from the GEN Summit

14 June 2014

Concha Catalan @conchacatalan

Some innovations for video in the newsroom at the GEN summit in Barcelona came from competitions parallel to the event and equally inspiring: Editors Lab Hackdays and Startups for News Battle.

The winners of the Editors Lab Hackday final competition, @JoshTBoswell @EoinTunstead and @aendrew from The Times, proposed ‘a seamless truly multimedia experience.’ Their prototype allows journalists to insert small video play buttons in between the copy of the article, allowing readers to view snippets as they read. It is worth to mention that the code is opensource. They even had time to blog about it. You can find the presentation here

Don’t miss following next year’s GEN Editors Lab Hackdays on this website. The quality of what teams from all over the world have been able to produce in 48 hours in this season 2013-2014 makes you think how much better content some papers could produce if more and more newsrooms took hackathons more seriously and knocked down the walls between journalists and programmers once and for all.

Re-designing working space can also have a huge impact on your media, as Jan-Eric Peters implied in his presentation on Thursday. He is Editor-in-Chief of Die Welt, Welt am Sonntag and Welt Kompakt, and most attendants were impressed when he mentioned that ‘only twelve people work on our printed edition.’ Digital and print blend together, digital comes first, and editors work in a circular structure, 'the Eye,' in the centre of the newsroom.

The other innovation came from Wibbitz, which got a mention in the Startups for News Battle. With sophisticated technology, they produce video summaries out of texts. When somebody expressed concern about the appropriateness and copyright of images, co-founder Yotam Cohen said they have both been taken into account. 

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