Public-Powered Journalism – Flipping the Newsroom

Date(s) - 07/24/18
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Hosted by
Chi Hack Night

Public-Powered Journalism – Flipping the Newsroom

Chi Hack Night

Chi Hack Night

July 24, 6pm

The journalism industry is going through its share of crises: from record low trust, to collapsing business models and fake news. New experiments are needed to address these life-and-death issues for this pillar of democracy.

Here in Chicago, a promising experiment has been underway since 2012. It’s a new methodology for creating journalism that deeply involves the public every step of the way. And from Chicago this process has spread around the globe, helping newsrooms improve their relevance, relationships and revenue.

Jennifer Brandel, CEO & Co-founder of Hearken and Co-founder of WBEZ’s Curious City, will overview public-powered journalism and detail the promises and pitfalls inherent in trying to shift longstanding institutions from the inside out.

The Chi Hack Night is a free, weekly event in Chicago to build, share and learn about civic tech and tools to create, support, or serve public good.

Join us every Tuesday from 6-10pm on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart to hear from interesting speakers, learn from each other and work on civic projects. Non-techies are very welcome!

What happens at a hack night?

Every week, we have a 10-15 minute presentation by a government agency, non-profit, company or group who’ve made use of open data or built a civic technology application. The goal of these presentations is to showcase the different uses and opportunities, as well as challenges and successes in the civic technology movement.

After the presentation, the format of the event is similar to that of a hackathon where breakout groups self-organize to work on civic apps, discuss policies and their implications, learn technical skills and network with a welcoming and diverse community at the intersection of technology and government.

But I’m not a techie!

That’s ok! We encourage non-technical folks to pair up and learn from our community’s designers and developers. We’ve seen time and time again, he best civic projects come from teams with a diverse background.

Remember, there’s much more to making a great app than just coding.


Derek Eder, Christopher Whitaker and Juan-Pablo Velez

The Chi Hack Night is organized by Derek Eder, Christopher Whitaker and (formerly) Juan-Pablo Velez. You can contact them here.

Every month, we hold an open Leadership Council Meeting to discuss new ideas and ways to make the hack night better. Anyone is welcome to join!