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Hacks and Hackers New Executive Director is Planning for Growth

hackshackers post picFor the uninitiated, the Hacks and Hackers Network is an international, grassroots organization of journalists and technologists who use technology to visualize information and find and tell stories.

Since the group’s first meeting five years ago, in a bar in San Francisco, more than 80 communities worldwide now boast a Hacks and Hackers group.

In an effort to continue that growth, Jeanne Brooks, the group’s first-ever executive director, has come up with a plan to help the global journalism and technology group bolster its numbers as well as its impact.

Brooks, who is supported by a 2014-2015 fellowship from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, wrote on her blog, “At the outset, my aim is to create a roadmap for not only sustainability but for scaling the impact of the network.”

She added that while a global network of volunteer leaders has helped grow the movement, using various methods to organize and nurture local communities, a more comprehensive strategy is now needed to encourage new growth. Read more

Will Reuters’ Digital TV Service Appeal to the Masses?

reuterstvComing early next year is a digital-only service fit for mobile consumers called Reuters.TV, reported AdAge. The news broadcasts, available initially on iPhones and iPads and due in early 2015, are to be personalized depending on who’s watching and what he/she prefers in terms of length and news interests. Edited segments served to the viewer may also vary according to the consumer’s location in the country, thanks to an algorithmic approach from Reuters.

This step for the news company indicates what we have seen play out consistently in the past few years — TV news doesn’t have the audience or appeal it did during the pre-digital era. While mobile devices have made a way for TV shows to spread in popularity, increase engagement and earn big ad dollars, the television news industry hasn’t been able to translate success from the small screen to the even smaller screen.

As Isaac Showman, who will be the managing director of Reuters.TV, told AdAge, the desired audience for the service is “educated professionals between the ages of 27 and 47, many of whom have stopped watching traditional TV.”

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Knight Survey: High School Students Support First Amendment More Than Adults

photo courtesy CHSTV, via Poynter.org

photo courtesy CHSTV, via Poynter.org

High School students, who rank among the heaviest users of digital media, support First Amendment freedoms more than adults, for the first time in more than a decade, according to a recent survey by the Knight Foundation.
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Uncertain Future for NY Times Reporter Protecting Confidential Source

New York Times reporter James Risen

New York Times reporter James Risen, photo via Alex Menendez, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

It’s been more than three months since the Supreme Court turned down an appeal from Pulitzer-winning New York Times investigative reporter James Risen, who continues to face the looming threat of jail over his refusal to reveal a confidential source.

Back in June, the Supreme Court basically sided with the government by turning down Risen’s appeal related to a case whereby prosecutors are attempting to secure evidence in what they say is a national security prosecution.

In turn, journalists contend the government is infringing upon Risen’s press freedom by demanding he turn over a confidential source from a chapter in his 2006 book, State of War. Read more

BBC Pop Up Launches in Colorado

bbcpopupPop-up food trucks, fashion boutiques, flea markets. Now, there are pop-up newsrooms, too, thanks to BBC Pop Up. A truly mobile newsroom, BBC has sent a small crew of video journalists to travel around North America for six months to embed themselves in a place and dig around for good stories.

For their first stop, the team is in Boulder, Colo., where they’ve been since last week. Here’s their first dispatch on how residents have dealt with the aftermath of the Jamestown floods:

Mathew Danzico, of the Pop Up team and BBC’s Video Innovation Lab, says the project is about “empowering residents to tell their stories.” The team is posted together in a house and working out of a co-working space in the area. Since arriving, they’ve held town hall meetings to announce their presence, meet with residents and pick their brains about what to cover. They’re also holding journalism workshops at local universities.   Read more

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