From prototype to product: A selection of Editors Lab successes

Here we’ll feature some of the prototypes that were developed and implemented following our hackathons

Updated 21 November 2018.


  • IDN Times introduced Z-Lection, an interface for journalists to field questions from young or first-time voters, prototyped at the Jakarta Editors Lab 2018. See it here.
  • Oxpeckers published the investigative piece ‘Kruger’s contested borderlands’ to dig into whether game reserves are useful buffers against poaching or land grabs by foreigners and politicians. It was built from their prototype from an Editors Lab in November 2017. See it here.
  • BBC made an in-article chat interface for better contextualisation at the Editors Lab Final 2017 in Vienna. Read more.
  • created ARA Stories to publish visual summaries to their mobile site. The format takes cues from Snapchat stories and was created at a 2018 Editors Lab in Madrid. Read more.
  • The Hindu created an interactive to show how Indian women face numerous hurdles in accomplishing even basic goals in life, whether it is owning a mobile phone or a house in her own name. Prototyped at an Editors Lab in 2017, they published it on International Women’s Day 2018. Discover here.


  • Süddeutsche Zeitung is improving the way media reports on political polls. Their data team devised a method to visualise polling uncertainty for a clearer look at who is ahead, who is behind, and by how much. Read more.
  • A team from The Daily Telegraph in Australia found a way to incorporate 360-degree storytelling into their reporting on a tight budget using Google Street View. Main Street was created at an Editors Lab in Sydney in 2017. Read more.
  • How can you get young people more engaged in political news? MeanIt is a startup born out of the Seoul Editors Lab. It’s a crowdsourced dictionary that allows users to define trending political words or phrases. Read more.
  • At the Süddeutsche Zeitung Editors Lab held in Munich back in 2016, the trio from ORF built a framework called bot-OX, to quickly and easily generate Facebook Messenger chatbots. The prototype was later used to create a chatbot for the Austrian presidential elections. Read more.
  • Times of India built a progressive web app through which users can track air quality and log their health symptoms to track the effect of pollution. Read more.
  • Cape Town-based Oxpeckers created #GreenAlert, an open-source platform that lets citizens track environmental impact assessments and aims to stimulate public engagement and debate around new developments. Read more.
  • Air quality is a huge problem in Stuttgart, Germany. Stuttgarter Zeitung built a city-wide sensor journalism project to provide citizens with detailed air quality news and illustrate the extent of the issue. Read more.
  • Mumbai-based WTD News built a site called MissManage to fix the gender gap in financial literacy. It pushes need-based financial news depending on the reader’s profile. Read more.
  • Le Parisien created Kodako, a reporting tool which grew to become the “Swiss army knife” of the newsroom. This collaborative data collection tool (“Co-da-co”) allows reporters to publish and update data instantly from the field. Read more.


  • Facebook Monitor by Der Standard unearths comments deleted by page admins. A comment may be deleted to silence critical voices. Facebook Monitor makes visible, which comments are unpublished. Read more.
  • Game of Oil, by Finnish broadcaster Yle, puts you in control of the global fuel market. This newsgame simplifies a complex topic with a single task: make a profit by selling oil at a higher price than you bought it. Read more.
  • Beat, a project by The West Australian, filters masses of police dispatch data into an easy-to-understand map, where locations of police interventions are categorised by level of newsworthiness, seriousness and urgency. Read more.
  • In elections, Who really decides?” ABC News visualised this tricky question in a scalable project created at the Walkleys Editors Lab in Sydney. Read more.
  • Offsite was developed by Mic at The Huffington Post and Editors Lab in New York in April 2016. This widget empowers the readers to act on the news. Read more.


  • App of Cards was developed by Brief during the Gazeta Wyborcza Editors Lab in 2015. It analysed the buzz around the presidential elections, showing how the hype correlates with the polls. Read more.
  • LocalFocus Widget API was developed at our NOS Editors Lab in 2015. It’s an open-source API that adapts data journalism pieces to the geolocalisation of its reader. Read more.
  • Perspecs is a news aggregation app presenting three different views on a story. It was launched by Trinity Mirror after having been prototyped at the BBC Editors Lab. Read more.
  • TVN24 created Bridgecast, a second screen app to make election coverage more interactive. It was prototyped in Warsaw during the Gazeta Wyborcza Editors Lab in 2015. Read more.


  • TagesWoche created the data journalism piece The incredible rise of migrant remittances. The project debunks stereotypes on migration and was made in March 2013 at an Editors Lab in Austria. Read more.
  • Vox’s signature card stacks evolved in part thanks to an Editors Lab prototype from 2013. We spoke to Vox’s Lauren Rabaino about the journey of an idea to a news product. Read more.
  • BBC Rewind is a database of the BBC archive to produce new stories based on historical content. A team from BBC Rewind staff participated in the BBC #newsHACK Editors Lab, in May 2014. Read more.
  • Open Knowledge Foundation created News Reads Us at a 2014 Editors Lab. This interactive story shows how news websites could endanger their readers’ privacy by engaging in excessive user tracking. Using API-detecting trackers in real time, the tool identifies which websites share users’ behaviours with which advertisers and metrics services. Discover here.


  • Brian Boyer, Visuals Editor at NPR, built a newsgame at The New York Times Editors Lab in 2013. The prototype was then remixed as Drum Fill Friday for NPR Music. Read more.
  • Digital First Media created The Waffler in 2013. It is a game that puts users in the role of a politician seeking office. They have to take a stance on a barrage of policy questions. Can they stay true to their values and still garner voters’ support? Discover here.