IJJ Co-sponsors Hackathon
The hackathon is being coordinated by RDataVox, a nonprofit that seeks to leverage data use for underserved communities.
LOS ANGELES, CA – The world is opening up, and data is everywhere. IBM estimates that we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data every day, and it is expanding faster than anything else we have ever measured. That means data journalism is becoming the future of our society.
As part of its efforts to grow communities of data users and to encourage journalists, NGOs, scientists and programmers to explore opportunities together, RDataVox is excited to announce the first Hackathon on Immigration in Los Angeles.
The 2-day event is designed to demystify “open” data around three simple questions:
•Now that data has been “opened,” how can we make the most of it?
•How can we use open software to breathe new life to our data?
•How can we empower journalists to be more active agents in their own communities?
“Journalists are the defenders of freedom. They provide a voice to the voiceless, hold the powerful accountable and empower people to stand up for themselves. Like never before, technology provides journalists unprecedented access to information that will equal the playing field for many of society’s most vulnerable-immigrants.” expressed Hugo Balta, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).
A team of experts from Google and Stanford University as well as journalists from national media outlets will lead the event. Participants will learn how to find, extract, and analyze public data, using open software tools, to tell better-informed stories. Working in teams, they will seek to build the most innovative use and visualization of immigration data.
Registration for the LA Hackathon on Immigration is open until November 20, 2012. The event will be held on December8-9, 2012, at La Opinion’s offices in Los Angeles.
“There are some who consider journalism a dead profession and industry. However, similar to the many activities that have been transformed with the advent of the Internet, journalism has evolved with the integration of hard data investigations and personal testimony. For La Opinion, it is very important to be able to work with such an excellent group to combine new investigative journalism with the topic of immigration for the benefit of the entire ethnic community,” stated Hilda García, vice president of multiplatform news and information at Impremedia.
“As a journalist myself, it’s exciting to have an opportunity to bring our data to life and produce exciting new content. This event will help journalists identify open technology to enhance their stories,” noted Claudia Núñez of RDataVox, a former Knight Fellow at Stanford University.
The event’s goal is to craft narratives, finding the “human” story through data and interactive support such as maps and applications that are open for use. “Today’s reporters need to become computational journalists and learn how to mine data in the public interest. That’s why the Press Club is supporting this timely and dramatic project,” said Will Lewis, president of the Los Angeles Press Club.
Phuong Ly, director of Institute for Justice and Journalism stated: “We’re proud to sponsor innovation that will help promote richer, more fact-based conversations about one of the most important issues of our time.”
The event is a partnership with La Opinion, Google, the Institute for Justice and Journalism, Sprint, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Los Angeles Press Club. “As the first national wireless carrier to introduce 4G in the U.S., advancement and innovation are at the forefront of everything we do at Sprint,” said Hector Galvan, Hispanic corporate communications/media relations manager. “We are delighted to be part of RDataVox, an organization that values technological innovation as much as we do,and their first hackathon in Los Angeles.”
The LA Hackathon on Immigration is the first phase of a series of future events in Washington, D.C., and Mexico City in collaboration with Datafest. “We journalists tend to be scared of numbers, however using data to tell stories can be easy. In fact, the majority of the data driven stories being done today are done using basic tools like Excel. Those skills can be learned in just one day,” stated Teresa Bouza of Datafest.
Balta emphasizes that NAHJ proudly supports the Hackathon on Immigration, which will train journalists in accessing and sharing crucial information by using technological tools. “Journalists can use open data to give the public what they rightfully own –government-gathered information,” he said.
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