Hacking at Montclair State University

On the weekend of Jan. 25, Hack Jersey will host a hackathon at Montclair State University that will focus on journalists and coders working together to build innovative projects using publicly available data. Register before Jan. 24 here.

According to the website, the idea of a Jersey-based hackathon began with a conversation between Debbie Galant, director of the NJ News Commons at Montclair State University, and Tom Meagher, data editor at Digital First Media, at the Online News Association conference in September. “Since then, dozens of volunteers from news organizations, nonprofits and tech startups across the state have come onto our planning team,” Galant said. “And Knight-Mozilla’s OpenNews initiative joined the NJ News Commons as a leading sponsor of our hack weekend.”

Participants will meet at a launch party on Friday, Jan. 25 at Fitzgerald’s 1928 in Glen Ridge (RSVP here!). The next morning, through our primary sponsor, the NJ News Commons, the hackathon will begin at University Hall at Montclair State. Participants will break into teams and have 24 hours to create their open source projects.

During the course of the weekend, participants will have access to mentors and will listen to keynote speeches by Matt Ericson, deputy graphics director at the New York Times, ProPublica managing editor Stephen Engelberg and  news apps developer Jeff Larson.

On Sunday afternoon, Jan. 27, a panel of media and tech judges will choose the winners and award prizes to the best projects. Right now prizes include:

– A tour of the New York Times’ R & D Lab and lunch with Michael Zimbalist, vice president for research and development operations and New Jersey resident.

– Lunch with Jeff Jarvis, new media pundit, author of “What Would Google Do?” and New Jersey resident.

– A one-year subscription to the CartoDB mapping platform.

– A special prize for the best project related to Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath

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