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#newsHACK II: the 2014 News Industry Innovation Event

Matt Shearer

Innovation Manager

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BBC News Labs are pleased to announce #newsHACK II - a news industry innovation event on 1st & 2nd May 2014.

Competition winners at the first newsHACK event last year

Following the success of #newsHACK in 2013, this event will see 30 teams made up of news organisation and academic institutions from across the British Isles take part in a competition to prototype news experiences and journalism tools of the future.

Participants at the first newsHACK in 2013

The event is a partnership between Global Editors Network (sponsored by Google) and BBC Connected Studio, as part of BBC News Labs innovation programme.

The event will be hosted in Glasgow and Dublin (2 venues concurrently) and is forming part of the Global Editors Network 2013-2014 global Editors Lab Hack Days programme - 22 Hack events around the world, culminating in the Global Editors Hackdays final in June.

Two teams from #newsHACK II will win places in this Global Editors Network final, which will be in Barcelona.

The overarching theme of the event is “The future of news curation”, which focusses on the challenge of how news organisations cope with the editorial challenges and opportunities presented by data in the newsroom, and provide the richest possible experience for audiences across devices and modes of consumption.

This will include, but is not limited to, these categories:

1. Context for the News - Prototype a News experience that provides users with the "back story": explainers, key information, archive content, "why this is in the News", etc. Look for connections, content and design devices that address a varying knowledge of key concepts in each story.

2. Connecting the News - Prototype a News experience that provides serendipitous, surprising and relevant journeys across the News, and one that encourages discovery and sharing. Look for ways to pique audience interests, to tap into social media habits, and support consumption across devices.

3. Theming the News with "Story types" - Prototype a novel approach to story groupings. Linked data topics are useful and well understood, so how might we use "Story types" to group stories and provide further personalisation capability? For example, there are possibilities in sentiment-driven, or "narrative type" groupings - e.g. "about unlikely heroines", "with famous victims", "with humourous elements" - that we could use in combination with Topics.

Importantly, in all areas we are focussing on innovation at scale, and how organisations can succeed in these categories without driving up costs "per News story".

BBC News Labs will be providing the News Labs APIs and curation tools to participants for prototyping purposes, featuring auto-tagged content and curated News stories from across the British Isles. This will help teams by providing News content connected via linked data Topics and Storylines.

Further details of the competition categories, and documentation on the new technologies available at the event, will be published in April.

While the event has a competitive basis, the hope is that (as happened in #newsHACK 2013) the participants will collaborate, seed new ideas, and share and solve common problems for the News industry.

If you are part of a News Organisation, or Academic institution, and would like to submit a multidiscipline team of up to 5, please apply through Eventbryte.

If you have any further questions please email BBC Connected Studio.

Matt Shearer is Innovation Manager, BBC News Labs

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