Grady College partners with MediaShift to host third annual Journalism School Hackathon

To help shape the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, Grady College will host and coproduce MediaShift’s third annual Journalism School Hackathon Oct. 21-23.

Teams of individuals from different schools with journalism, design, business and technology based skillsets will work together with faculty facilitators to develop and present solutions to fact checking in regards to social media, photos, video and data platforms.

“This gives [participants] a fast-paced experience of learning about entrepreneurship, collaboration and teamwork with faculty and professionals serving as mentors,” explained Mark Glaser, founder and executive editor of MediaShift.

In addition to work sessions and presentations, students also will receive training from industry leaders and keynote lectures from expert professionals.

Mark Johnson, senior lecturer of photojournalism and chief technology officer at Grady College, will serve as one of the speakers along with Glaser and Claire Wardle, research director at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

According to Johnson, the program’s objective is “to do more hands-on work and less time sitting and listening.”

While faculty and professionals will be helpful resources throughout the process, students will be the primary idea generators for their teams, actively brainstorming, creating and presenting their startups.

“I’d like to see students from different programs be able to continue to connect and share ideas afterwards,” Johnson said. “We teach things one way at Grady and a different way at Temple University and another at the University of Wisconsin, and [when we] put all these people in the same room together…we can come up with different and stronger ideas.”

Judges will choose the winning project with the best proof of viability, feasibility and desirability.

The Hackathon’s mission is to provide participants with an improved awareness of the importance of verification as well as an improved skillset to verify information in classrooms and workplaces.

 “The goal is to have folks at the end of the 36-hour time span walk away and say, ‘Alright I’ve learned something new, I’ve come away with some tools and I have some ideas as to how I can apply them.’”

The Hackathon is open to all faculty, students and professionals.  No coding background is required.  Register here.

Date: October 3, 2016
Author:  Gabrielle Cowand,
Contact:  Mark E. Johnson,