New journalism/technology prototypes unveiled Wednesday

On Wednesday, December 3, journalism and computer science students in the latest version of Northwestern’s “Collaborative Innovation in Journalism and Technology” class will unveil the prototypes they’ve built over the past 10 weeks. You’re invited to see what they’ve come up with.

The students have been working since September, when I and Associate Prof. Larry Birnbaum of the computer science department in the McCormick School formed seven interdisciplinary teams out of the 25 students enrolled in the class. We gave them a list of broadly defined project ideas, asked them for their preferences and tried to assign students to ideas they were most interested in.

The projects they will be presenting are:

  • NewsTube: A search engine for news video
  • Funnelist: A tool that helps journalists manage Twitter lists
  • MyNPR: An app for personalizing NPR podcasts
  • Slice: An "information diet" app for tracking a user's online behavior
  • Info+: A browser extension that provides context for news stories by displaying relevant tweets and Reddit threads
  • LocalPulse: A system that displays links most frequently shared on Twitter in different metropolitan areas
  • persoNews: An application that recommends news articles based on the content of a user's tweets.

In general, we strive for a mix of projects relevant to journalism and media: tools for journalists, software for publishers, and applications that could be useful or fun for media consumers.  We use an agile-development approach; teams are expected to present an updated version of their project each week.  Every team will present a functional prototype and outline additional work they would do if they had more time.

For the faculty, these classes are a lot of fun because we enjoy seeing the journalism and computer science students learn to communicate and collaborate.  Some projects could end up being further developed by the professional staff here at the Knight Lab.

Please RSVP for the event on MeetUp (Details: 5:30 pm (Chicago time), Wednesday, Dec. 3 at the McCormick Tribune Center -- 3rd floor, room 3-127). If you can't attend in person, we'll be streaming the presentation at

We hope you'll join us, in person or on the live stream. Want to get a sense of the issues the students have been wrestling with? Check out the class blog, Tech Media Street.

About the author

Rich Gordon

Professor and Director of Digital Innovation

Journalism/tech intersection, my passion for 25 years, data journalism, Miami Herald web director, now hacker journalism.

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