Hacks and Hackers Connect, a series of events building regional communities of media entrepreneurs, brought journalists and developers together at Runway Incubator in San Francisco, California last weekend. I was there representing the Solutions Journalism Network, and since our whole team is about spreading the practice of reporting on responses to social problems, I want to open my notebook up to you!
A full Saturday agenda kicked off with mentor-led discussions. While I wish I could have replicated myself eight times over so I could make it to every session (including one on design thinking led by Solutions Journalism Network Bay Area member Ed Bice of Meedan), I chose “Elements of venture design: How to get your startup venture ready in 20 weeks” with Corey Ford of the media accelerator Matter.
A former producer for PBS Frontline, he said journalists have a special power when it comes to pitches because they understand the value of character-driven narratives. We talked about how forces tend to pull us away from the ‘fail faster in order to succeed sooner’ culture that Matter sees as the secret to success.
And although I spent two years working for a media company I joined as the first hire, have been hooked on tech podcasts ever since listening to the first episode of StartUp, and spend a lot of my time with entrepreneurs through my work with SJN and Devex, this session made me feel more empowered than ever to do my part to shape the future of media.
Following the session, I stood in a row of journalists and developers who pitched their ideas to the full group of 100 media entrepreneurs that would divide up into small groups. My question: “How might we incentivize more storytelling on responses to problems?” [Read more…]