Our Editors Lab programme took us to Seoul, for a hackathon seeking to address the upcoming presidential election coverage in South Korea and, creating more awareness and engagement on political issues.

Emilie Kodjo
Apr 6, 2017 · 6 min read

The Global Editors Network and Media Today, with the support of the Google News Lab, gathered top newsrooms from South Korea in Seoul on 31 March and 1 April for an Editors Lab focused on developing new election coverage prototypes in anticipation of the 2017 presidential election.

Seoul Editors Lab at Media Today

This hackathon was part of our Editors Lab programme, now in its fifth season; each team is composed of a journalist, a developer, and a designer. The Seoul Editors Lab hosted 20 teams over two days to work and create on a prototype aimed at improving presidential election coverage. Teams competed against each other to build the most efficient project possible, which they pitched in front of a jury of experts at the end of the two-day sprint. Winners from each event will attend the Editors Lab Final, which will take place at the GEN Summit 2017 in Vienna, 21–23 June.

You can find all of the past events of the 2016–2017 Editors Lab season here.

A little inside knowledge goes a long way

Guest speakers visited the hackathon on the first day of the event, to impart their knowledge and tips to the participants, pointing out great tools they can use to create their prototypes, sharing inspiring projects

Mapping Election Result : 5 Ways to Super Charge Your Visualization

Talk with Alicia Parlapiano, Graphics Editor, The New York Times

To help and inspire the teams with election data visualisation insights, Alicia Parlapaino, Graphic Editor for the New York Times joined the event via video chat and summarised in 5 simple and actionable points what can be done in terms of the visual representation of election data.

  1. Make more than one election map – Good visualisation requires trade-offs but also comparison. Pay attention to accessibility, fairness and context.

2. Keep the design simple – Get rid of anything that is not essential.

3. Provide good analysis – Add value to the data.

4. Take advantage of print – There are still things it can do better than the web.

5. Make mobile a priority – Most NYT election results traffic was from mobile.

Jungsoo Kang, CEO of Mediati

New trends for news content creator

Jungsoo Kang, CEO of Mediati talked about “News consumption & implications for news content creators”, where he emphasised the importance to understand and adapt to the ever-growing importance of video in digital news and platforms.

‘We are in the age when video dominates everything’

Reporting elections with Google Trends

Irene Jay Liu, APAC Lead for the Google News Lab, flew from Hong Kong to Seoul to tell the teams about the numerous tools available for journalists reporting on politics and, to pass on valuable advice to the 20 teams on how to improve this particular aspect of their reporting using Google tools for data journalism, as well as Google Trends.

‘’ Using data to tell story creatively as a journalist can impact elections by keeping the citizens informed over complex political topics or issues.’’

Crafting clever tools to improve election coverage

After two days of intense brainstorming and prototyping, teams had to pitch their final idea and prototype in front of the jury – each team had three and a half minutes to present.

List of prototypes presented

  1. PD Journal — PShot: a viral photo filter service for selfies that makes citizen participation in politics fun and entertaining.
  2. Bizhanhook — #By The People offer a real time fact-checking solution on politicians’ speech. Users can drag the subtitles to question a statement, or upload evidences to prove or disprove the statement.
  3. DongaScience — Candidate don’t keep campaign promises? Meet Election Campaign Pledge Shopping mall that makes the cost of pledges made open to public.
  4. Winkl — WeChat uses collective intelligence to provide real time fact checking on political debates.
  5. NewsLabit (HanKyung.com)— NegaVacc analyses data and deliver negative information of presidential candidates using natural language processing and emotion analysis.
  6. NBT — GiveSlide: Watch ads and sponsor your favourite political candidates
  7. NoBA – GooduPeople offers an interactive venue for discussion and participation based on political facts.
  8. Sublime — Sublime: Become a politician yourself and understand the spectrum of political issues by gaming.
  9. Mopodia — We Are Jjira: Linking potential fake political news to Google search for citizen.
  10. Hankyoreh — Linkage Of Speech: Readers can view all speech and actions of candidates in a single timeline news story.
  11. News1Korea (310)– By your line is an app to dramatically increase citizen’s political participation by sharing their photos to media with watermark credits.
  12. Blackbox — Gamification to increase citizens participation in voting during election using entertainment and guilt.
  13. M-Robo — ThemeLock: A fact-checking service to confirm political information using financial stocks model.
  14. CyberTimes — Fact News analyses political video and audio from YouTube’s live using video analytics API powered by Google.
  15. Cheonji-ilbo — Presidential Women’s Commitment Budget Analysis: Organize & publish government’s budget data, by collaborating with budget department of National Assembly of Korea.
  16. Gunchinews — Ask Candidate is an one-stop platform for the public to find out the number of fulfilled pledges made by candidates, allowing citizen to have transparent information on their past history.
  17. Team Citizoom — Provide quotes of the presidential candidates and members of Korean national assembly based on the unique users’ characteristics and interests.
  18. Deepr — Deep_tionary, a crowdsource-based dictionary platform that empower millennial to participate in politics with relevant news and entertaining user-generated explanations.
  19. MPark — Polivote, a Bitcoin crowdfunded platform to support election pledges. Forget political candidates & parties!
  20. The Asia Economy Daily — Undercover Waves: See at one glance on all topics mentioned about political candidates — power by Open Data.

And the winner is…

The winning team from Deepr

After careful deliberations, the jury composed of Irene Jay Liu from Google News Lab, Alan Kang from Box and Whisker, Taiho Lee from tPay, Donghwan Kim from Misfits, Janghyun Choi from The Circle Foundation, Ohyeon Kweon from UFOfactory and GEN’s Sarah Toporoff crowned the team from Deepr Media as the winner of the competition in Seoul. Their project ‘Deep_tionary’ is a crowdsource-based dictionary platform meant to empower millennials to get more involved in politics with relevant news and entertaining user-generated explanations.

The Deepr team said of their project:

“We understand for many young people especially millennials are not interested in politics, and to address this issue and to encourage them to learn and later participate in politics. We wanted to build a mobile tool, which is why we created ‘’Deep_tionary’’, and in the midst of what happened in South Korea recently, we see the importance to empower our new generation with the knowledge they deserve in an entertaining way.”

Special mentions went to the teams from DongaScience for their prototype Election Campaign Pledge Shopping Mall and to Bizhankook for #By The People.

Public’s choice went to Bizhankook for #By The People.


Read more about the Seoul Editors LabAll the pictures


Editors Lab Impact

Prototyping the future of news

Emilie Kodjo

Written by

UN Communications consultant, Former Director of Communications and Public Affairs, The Global Editors Network

Editors Lab Impact

Prototyping the future of news

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