D2N Hackathon

Data2News (D2N) Madison Hackathon
Saturday, April 11, 2020

D2N is an all-day Data Journalism student hackathon where teams of students come together to analyze and report on local Madison data. This 12-hour hackathon will be held at UW-Madison on April 11, 2020. Registration, open to all University of Wisconsin, Madison students, will open on January 15, 2020.

What is a Data Journalism Hackathon?
A hackathon is a design-sprint event where (programming) teams must collaborate to complete a goal within a certain time frame. In computer science, the goal is often to produce a program or prototype. However, there are now hackathons that focus on a variety of topics, including data science.

Our hackathon focuses on local data journalism. Teams will have one day to analyze data about the local community, produce one data visualization, and write one 500-word news story.  The topic of the data will be announced on January 15, 2020.

Why Local Data?
In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the decline of local journalism and news stories that cover community events and issues. With more people relying on nationally-focused and digital news organizations for their information, local outlets are struggling to survive.

One area we think we can contribute is in data journalism: using quantitative data to cover news stories about our community. This journalistic tradition is a blend of both statistics and writing, and people who “do data journalism” must be able to tell stories through numbers and figures.

Though most data journalists explore national news stories, there is plenty of data at the local level worth exploring. We want to highlight these local datasets and facilitate collaborations between data scientists and journalists, particularly within the Madison community. We also hope that this event allows UW-Madison students, many of whom are not Wisconsin natives, to learn more about their city.

How can I participate?
In order to be eligible to participate, teams must be composed entirely of UW-Madison students (both graduate and undergraduate students may participate). Registration opens on January 1, 2020. Groups of three to four students can sign up as a team. We will also assist individuals or pairs that are looking to join teams.

As you form your team, we encourage you to build a team with the following skillsets:

  1. Data Science
  2. Data Visualization
  3. News Writing

People who are not in Madison can follow along using the hashtag #d2nMadison

We are currently seeking sponsorship and partners to help organize the event. For more information, please contact jlukito@wisc.edu.

This event is organized by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Computational Methods Research Group (CMRG), an interdisciplinary graduate-student lead team studying mass communication (including social media, news media, and political speech) with computational methods. The primary organizer is Josephine Lukito, student leader of CMRG from 2016 to 2019 and a UW-Madison Mass Communication Ph.D Candidate. The organizing team consists of Chuan Liu and Jiyoun Suk.