Build the future

“News organisations and journalists must cope with hundreds of first-time situations driven by technology at a pace unmatched in any other time in history. Novelty is the new normal.
Amy Webb, Nieman Lab

Our world is changing rapidly, but how do you deal with constant change? And is there a way to figure out the future of journalism hands-on? We believe there is. The solution is in learning by making, especially in interdisciplinary teams with code, design and storytelling skills.

idea + experiment + testing = wow

We love to do hackathons. But what the heck is that? It’s a pressure cooker, in which interdisciplinary teams co-create prototypes for online projects. Hackathons have taken the world by a storm and evolved, transitioning from a stereotypical computer programming weekend with energy drinks and pizza, into a place where coders and non-coders are figuring out the future of the web while learning by doing. Our hackathons especially caters to and is focused on media and journalism with a strong content component.

We see experts like journalists, developers and designers are still working in separate worlds, unable to speak each other’s languages. They rarely really work together simultaneously from the beginning of a project. We believe that we need to bridge this gap and bring these professionals together to increase understanding and foster collaboration to innovate in the field of digital and interactive storytelling.

The Team

Albertine Piels (@albertinepiels) is the director of Hackastory. She quit her job last year as an editor in chief at the Dutch national news station RTLZ so she can fully focus on Hackastory. Albertine has 15 years of experience in journalism, always with a strong focus on online media. After having lived and worked in New York City, Madrid, Vienna, Brussels and Cairo she’s back in the Netherlands, living in the middle of nowhere (with an extremely good internet connection).

Nienke Huitenga (@wzzzt) is a lecturer at a communication and multimedia design program and a transmedia producer. She designed the online media strategy for interactive projects Human Birdwings and The Modular Body of visual artist Floris Kaayk. Both stories went viral and are viewed tens of million times. She recently was awarded with a Gouden Kalf for best interactive work with The Modular Body.

Lieke van der Rijk is a communication and multimedia designer specializing in creating experiences through audio and visual storytelling. She’s working on the branding and design of Hackastory and its products. Also, as a tattoo enthusiast, she loves to do some designing on her own body.

As a coder Hay Kranen uses web technologies like HTML5 and Javascript to explore the boundaries of the medium, operating on the thin line between art, technology and narrative. Hay worked as a frontend developer for VPRO, a Dutch public broadcaster, and as a Wikipedian in Residence for the National Library of the Netherlands. Now he works as a newsroom developer at de Volkskrant, the leading quality newspaper in the Netherlands.