Hacks and Hackers Bang Out 12 iPad Apps Over the Weekend

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Journalists and computer programmers teamed up in San Francisco over the weekend to see what kind of news-related iPad apps they could come up with in the space of 48 hours. Modeled on 48-hour film projects, the competition—called Hacks/Hackers Unite—came up with 12 different apps, including winners two winners: “Who’s Reppin’ Me?” which uses geolocation to identify who your representatives are and then pull in news stories about them and allow you to communicate with them via Twitter; and “Citizen Kid News,” a news app for kids.

The 80 competitors also produced tools to create news quizzes, tools for photographers to create slideshows, and a recipe framework for food stories.

The competition was the brainchild of Burt Herman, a former Stanford Knight Fellow, who several months ago started hosting Hacks/Hackers meetups in the Bay Area to get journalists and technologists talking together.

“We’ve seen a lot of talk about the future of journalism,” Herman told WebNewser. “Now we have people saying we need to experiment and innovate. But you can’t just talk about it all the time. You have to do it.”

Herman’s headed to New York next month to host the first Gotham version of Hacks/Hackers. Co-hosting the June 2 event is former New York Times journo and current Knight News Challenge judge Jennifer 8. Lee and NYT interactive news technologies editor Aron Pilhofer. Check their site for the location.