#newsHACK 1 - The Hacks


The full list of entries in the inaugral #newsHACK were (in order of the demos on Friday 18th October 2013):

1. Newsbeat/Newsnight by The Guardian

A quicker and easier for people to understand what’s happening in the world

  • Challenge category: Best Visual News Experience
  • Technologies Used: Guardian API, Juicer API, d3, sencha touch
  • Team: Matthew Chadburn, Cecilia Dobbs, David Vella, Feilding Cage, Nick Haley

2. IVY by Dapperazzi

Ever watched a video and wanted to find out more? Deeper dives, driven by video, powered by storyline.


  • Challenge category: Best Live & Breaking News Experience
  • Technologies Used: PHP, JS, Responsive CSS, HTML 5 Video.
  • Team: Crystal Hirschorn, Wayne McManus, Sam French, Ulrik Hogrebe

3. NewsBounce by Lancaster Uni

Personalised news stories displayed on public screens


  • Challenge category: e.g. Best Visual News Experience that Scales and Surprise Us
  • Technologies Used: Python, Tornado, iOS, Content API, Location API, Juicer API, SPARQL, Lancaster Uni Mercury API (App Store for Public Displays)
  • Team: Mike Harding, Sarah Clinch, Chris Winstanley, Mateusz Mikusz

4. Timevine by Swansea University

Timevine is a timline visualisation of interconnected storylines, people and places


5. Local Weather News by Hurricane Mike

Location based Weather news aggregation timeline. Highlight local weather events and their impact, with a timeline view to navigate back through the historical content based on your chosen location


  • Challenge category: Suprise Us
  • Technologies Used: BBC Juicer APIs, location service, Google Maps, iOS
  • iOS app - not shared
  • Team: Michael Taylor, Stuart WilsonSimon Frampton, Mala Vadhia, James Metcalfe, .

6. BBC Listnr by BBC News Apps

A second screen companion app providing related News topics to the content being watched.


  • Challenge category: e.g. Best Live & Breaking News Experience.
  • Technologies Used: e.g. BBC Juicer APIs, Live Topics API, Audio Fingerprinting technology, iOS
  • Team: Keith Moon, Rowun Giles, Aodh O’Lionaird, Joachim Falck-Hansen, Niko Vijayaratnam.

7. My News Views Visual Journalism

A personal visual wall of news generated by your favourite tweeters’ comments and conversations. It keeps you in the news loop and gives you the stories behind the stream.

If your tastes are a little more eclectic than the mainstream media, My News Views presents you with a front page of the latest news tailored to your interests. You’ll discover stories you might otherwise have missed, related to the subjects your timeline is talking about. As the conversations continue, so too does your front page.

The prototype takes hashtags from your twitter stream, sanitises them to create queries to the News Juicer. It then extracts photos and links to stories and tweets, and displays them as a visual stream.

Next steps might involve parsing tweets for content rather than relying on hashtags and adding other social networks. The visual layer could also be adapted for other types of personalisation, such as location, manually specified subject areas or chosen curators.


  • Challenge category: Best Visual News Experience that Scales.
  • Technologies Used: BBC Juicer APIs, Twitter API, PHP, HTML, CSS, JS, jQuery with the Isotope library
  • Team: Steven Atherton, Chris Ashton, Sophia Domfeh, Helene Sears, Charlotte Thornton, Bella Hurrell, Dominic Bailey, Andrew Leimdorfer

8. Westminster Watchdog by The Times Digital

Social gamification app to train an algorithm to spot lobbying behaviour in parliament


  • Challenge category: Best use of linked data in journalist tools
  • Technologies Used: They Work For You API, IRLIB (Machine Learning Algorithm), Drupal, NLP Processor
  • Team: AEndrew Rininsland, Joseph Stashko, Mario Cameira, Matt Taylor, Nicola Hughes

9. Newsdash by Team Dundee

A News dashboard that lets you explore how a story has evolved over time by showing the history and relationships between articles that are part of a particular storyline.



  • Challenge category: Best Visual News Experience that Scales.
  • Technologies Used: BBC Juicer APIs, Storyline, SPARQL, D3.js, PHP, HTML, CSS, JS, CSS Shapes, Bootstrap, JQuery.
  • Team: Jack Graham, Kyle Harrison, Toby Philp, Sam Hood, Euan Morrison.

10. Pinpoint by BBC K&L

11. Rubix News by 3 Minutes 16 Seconds

A new way to visualise most popular news feeds


  • Challenge category: Best live and breaking news experience and Surprise Us!
  • Prototype: http://rubiksnews.servebeer.com
  • Technologies Used: Node.js, PHP , WebGL, JavaScript, Twitter Streaming API, BBC Live Topics API, Juicer API
  • Team: Adriaan Pelzer, Grant Maskell

12. News Forager by Team AnnoMarket

Combining text, semantic annotations and linked data to provide a rich news search resource for journalists. The team consists of Sheffield University staff & PhD students, and the Press Association’s semantic data manager.


  • Challenge category: Best use of linked data in journalist tools.
  • Technologies Used: GATE, GATE Mimir, DBPedia, Freebase, Java.
  • Team: Ian Roberts, Mark Greenwood, Dominic Rout, Helen Lippell.

13. StoryPull by Mozilla/News Pool/BBC News/Furthermore

Pull requests for news stories


  • Challenge category: Surprise Us
  • Technologies Used: Node.js, MongoDb, Knockout.js
  • Team: Friedrich Lindenberg, Annabel Church, Steve Johnson, Ryan O’Connor

14. Dennis Media Factory by Dennis Media Factory

An app that services the 10 most important stories since the last time I checked the news. This is a time-saving app.


  • Challenge category: Best live and breaking news experience.
  • Technologies Used: Android, Guardian API, Juicer APIs.
  • Team: Alex Watson, Sally Shepard, Clementine Vioux, Marcin Lament, Mohammad Haque

15. Connected Storyline by The Grads

A connected red button application for exploring storylines.


  • Challenge category: Best visual news experience that scales.
  • Technologies Used: Ruby, JS, CSS, HTML 5, Juicer, Content API, Media Selector, BBC Redux.
  • Team: Robin Murphy, David Simkin, Sam Starling, Jose Nogueira Alban, Melanie Moeller.

16. Storyline by The Lat Longs (Location Services and Travel News, Cardiff)

Letting our audience scroll through a story with maps and imagery.

Much of our news is understood through names of countries and places - the Syrian Conflict, the Japanese Tsunami, the Woolwich attack.

Our Storylines work lets the user scroll through Connected Stories on a single page, using locations as the “chapters” or entrance points into parts of the story.

Where place is important, then it’s used as a gateway. Where it’s not, it’s moved out of the way in favour of rich imagery and quotes.

We’ve used The Arab Spring and Edward Snowden as initial examples. More importantly, our prototype is genuinely configured by the data given to it, and so could be powered by any News Connected Story.


  • Challenge category: Best Visual News Experience that Scales.
  • Technologies Used: e.g. Javascript, OpenLayers 3, CSS3
  • Source code: https://github.com/jrcryer/story-newshack/
  • Team: Tom Collins, Darren Lucas, Kevin Bradwick, Julian Kirby, James Cryer, Chris Henden.

17. News Drop by Culture Lab (Newcastle Uni)

A toolkit for supporting community journalism. It consists of a physical object which you place in your community. The object acts like a journalistic base for a particular news story. It projects a dynamic newspaper and an opinion poller feature. It has an ambient display of how relevant the story is locally and nationally.

A web page allows community journalists to curate the live Newspaper by writing their own stories and by using content from other sources. Specifically, it allows them to do in-depth research around a story.


  • Challenge category: Surprise Us! & Journalism tool.
  • Technologies Used: BBC Juicer APIs, HTML 5, PHP, .Net Gadgeteer, Pico projector.
  • Team: Andrew Garbett, Tom Bartindale, Sebastian Mellor, Jan Kucan from Digital Interaction Group at Culture Lab

18. talkNews by Sky News

Natural language driven news aggregation hack


  • Challenge category: Surprise Us
  • Technologies Used: Node.js, Angular.js, Chrome Web Speed APIs, Juicer API, Sky News API
  • Team: James Murphy, Paul Fairless, Patrick Troughton, Marcos Carceles, Miranda Richardson

19. Brian Fantana by Brian Fantana (BBC World Service)

  • Demo link: Brian Fantana on Heroku
  • Team: James Mockett @jamesmockett, Manjit Rekhi, Philip Whitehall, Stefano Belloro and Will Metcalf.

20. Perspectivator by Team Financial Times

How do you make numbers meaningful to readers, particular in finance when the numbers can be mind-bogglingly large? One FT story this week had “$33.4tn of credit derivatives in 2008”. One from today had $2.5bn - a fine that HSBC may face in the US. We built a tool that adds this perspective, in a personalised and localised way.


  • Challenge category: e.g. Best Visual News Experience that Scales.
  • Technologies Used: Chrome Extension, Heroku, Public Data sets.
  • Team: Chris Gathercole, Matthew Andrews, Luke Blaney, Ada Edwards, Lisa Pollack.


22. Connected Couch by Team Raven

We’re going to revolutionise the way you watch television


  • Challenge category: Surprise Us
  • Technologies Used: Raven, Juicer API, MongoDb, PHP, HTML5
  • Team: Paul Randall, Michael Satterthwaite, Geoff House, Dave Bevan, Mark Glanville, Silvia Costeloe, Amira Fathalla

23. Need to Know by BBC News Archive

The nearest thing to going back in time you can get


  • Challenge category: Surprise Us
  • Technologies Used: Juicer API, Davina, Jupiter
  • Team: Richard Cable, Paul Rissen, Dominik Von Malaise, Jody-Lan Castle, Anthony Hughes, Nigel McAlpine, Mathew Attlee

24. Window On The Newsroom

25. Journalism Tagging by BBC R&D & UCL


26. Screenshift by Kenny’s Tobelrone

A mobile app that extends the BBC News responsive web site onto your TV.


  • Challenge category: Best visual news experience that scales.
  • Technologies Used: iOS.
  • Team: Tom Maslen, David Blooman, Simon Thulbourn, Ransome Mpini, Gerry Fletcher.

27. Donuts by Marvelous Mechanical Metameter

Political balance analysis tool

  • Challenge category: e.g. Best Visual News Experience that Scales.
  • Technologies Used: e.g. BBC Juicer APIs, HTML, D3, etc.
  • Team: Katie Roberts, Karl Lloyd, James East

That’s all !

There were 27 registered hacks.