Journalism, but not as you know it

Our next meet-up is being held in the first week of May

There are storytellers everywhere, working with different technologies, mediums, and for different audiences.

How do these different storytellers work? Can art be journalism, if it’s informing society about an injustice?

We're close to locking in a panel who will be showcasing a range of truly innovative design and artistically informed storytelling methods, and how they have used these in their own work.

We’ll confirm who will be speaking early next week.

And we’re back live! Regardless of whether you want to stream the event or attend physically, please RSVP via our Meetup page.

We have capacity for 18 people to join us IRL. If you’d like to come along, please head over to this doc and register for Covid purposes.

For everyone else, we will be streaming the panel via Zoom (and taking questions from both audiences).

Event details

  • Date: Wed, May 5

  • Time: 5.30pm IRL, panel kicks off at 6pm

  • Where: QUT Gardens Point, Gibson Room (Z Block, Level 10); or via our Zoom live stream - don’t forget to RSVP either way


🎨 How about art as data…? Take a tour through this virtual Bob Ross gallery, or dive into the colour breakdown charts

🌏 Journalism for kids, but an amazing visualisation for parents or any adult TBH: the NY Times tackles the story of climate change

🚢 This year’s dominant meme (so far), in game form: could you steer a tanker through the Suez Canal

🗞️ The talk given by Professor Amanda Lotz for Hacks/Hackers Brisbane about how internet technologies disrupted the newspaper business is now online

About last month...

‌Big thanks to Michael Collett and Julian Fell for talking about natural language generation, and how they’re using it to communicate emergency information via voice apps. Jules has written more about it here, or these are some of the key points from their presentation:

  • In short, natural language generation (NLG) is turning data into spoken language. It’s not ML or AI - what we’re talking about is human controlled: “whoever creates an NLG script is in total control of the text that comes out”

  • At ABC Emergency, we have a way of outputting data from emergency services – but this is visual

  • But on a voice platform, you can’t express information visually. So we used NLG to solve the issue for voice

  • We looked at examples of what other organisations were doing. At the BBC, they used one script to create 690 stories when an electorate was called

  • The AP also does this: it provides financial reports on 4,000 companies each quarter; and Arria turned Covid-19 data into written summaries

  • At the ABC, Jules built Hyperdrive, which he stitched together from open sources

  • He demonstrated how to construct a single sentence in a national story: this vastly reduces the leg work of NLG, but the value is really high for the audience because they get information specific to them

  • One of the trip-ups with NLG: how do we make sure postcodes are said properly, but house numbers are said a different way?

If you’re interested in exploring this topic more, there’s a stack of academic writing worth checking out (but some are behind paywalls):

Other bits

‌Don't forget we have a website where you can find out about speaking at, or pitching ideas for, a Hacks/Hackers Brisbane event.

About us

Hacks/Hackers is an international grassroots journalism organisation with dozens of chapters and thousands of members across four continents. Our mission is to create a network of journalists (“hacks”) and technologists (“hackers”) who rethink the future of news and information.

Hacks/Hackers Brisbane is run by Quants & Quills.