EBU-RTS Big Data Hackathon

23 Mar 2016 - 24 Mar 2016

Geneva, Switzerland

[Update] Event report from the EBU-RTS Hackathon

The EBU-RTS Hackathon convened for the first time journalists, social media, and data experts, to reinvent innovative storytelling for sharing and explaining the refugee crisis. With data provided by the UNHCR, and coaching from the RTS, UNCHR and DeutscheWelle, the event gathered people from different professions, with the aim of networking and converging different views on how to treat such data. Additionally, the hackathon served as an opportunity for professionals to learn and share knowledge about techniques, tools and approaches relevant to the field.

During the two-day event on 23-24 March, the hackathon participants – who forms teams for their respective projects – worked with different sets of data they were provided, including charts, graphs etc. After a brainstorming exercise and a pitch, five teams were formed based on the participants’ interests and competences. Since not every team has to necessarily come up with a definitive project, the creative process of getting people together and bringing ideas from different professional backgrounds was very enriching. It also successfully reunited teams of people speaking different languages (French, English, German), and coming from different countries and backgrounds.

At the end of the event, the teams presented their projects and voted for their favourite one. Among the projects – ranging from connecting young Europeans and refugees around the world on the basis of their interests, to humanising refugee camps with personal stories – the winning project was about providing refugees with existing data, through a mobile app, with the aim of putting an end to rumours and of giving refugees accurate and current information about the current situation in different countries.

By Laetitia Honsberger


Event announcement

In the framework of the EBU’s Big Data Week, the EBU-Radio Télévision Suisse Hackathon will bring together journalists, social media experts, data experts and designers to reinvent digital storytelling to cover the refugee crisis. International partners, including Google News Lab, YouTube and the UNHCR will share insights and provide guidance.

Participants will receive expert coaching, share knowledge and collaborate to create meaningful data visualisations and create new approaches to data journalism and digital storytelling. The UNHCR will provide datasets that the participants can work with.

The EBU-RTS Hackathon will take place at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on 23-24 March. The event is not only open to data experts, but also provides an opportunity for journalists, social media experts and developers to network and learn about new techniques, tools and approaches.

View the EBU-RTS Hackathon programme; more information is available on the event webpage.