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Hacks/Hackers Unite

KQED Public Media joined forces with the non-profit organization Hacks/Hackers to host Hacks/Hackers Unite, a weekend-long event that brought together journalists and technologists to create storytelling applications for tablet devices such as the iPad.

Approximately 80 journalists and software developers formed teams at the start of the May 22-23 weekend and delivered 12 iPad applications less than 30 hours later. Teams presented their completed projects to a panel of four judges and a standing-room only crowd. Two applications, both with an eye towards engaging youth, received top honors.

The Winners

whosreppin.me presentation

Who's Reppin' Me? is a Web-based application that feeds users news stories about their political representatives based on location. Users can then send humorous, automated Tweets to lawmakers to express approval or disapproval of their actions. Danny Fenster and Paul Howe, the team behind Who's Reppin Me? hope that humor will catch the attention of young people and make political coverage more enticing.

Citizen Kid News screenshot

Citizen Kid News is an iPad app that provides a visually dynamic and accessible framework for kids to safely explore and interact with the news. Kid-appealing news content is curated on a daily basis. A photographic touch interface provides a window into each story, which kids can select for further exploration. The application encourages participation: kids earn points for commenting on articles, viewing videos, and eventually contributing their own articles. Kids earn badges along the way, starting with “Cub Reporter” and culminating with “Editor." Citzen Kid News is the brainchild of Wallace E. Keller, Valerie Mih, Sarah Terry-Cobo, Scott Tran, and Poornima Weerasekara.

About Hacks/Hackers

"Hacks" are journalists trying to create new ways to tell stories in an ever-evolving media landscape. "Hackers" are technologists (software developers, programmers and coders) creating new methods to filter, visualize, and interact with information. Hacks/Hackers brings the two worlds together to shape the future of journalism and media through collaboration and innovation. Hacks/Hackers currently has more than 600 members from around the world and has held events in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington DC, and Chicago. The group’s first New York event is scheduled for early June.

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