Low Pass at the Times/Sunday Times

Build The News

Back in late February, me and four others – two journalists, two devs – took part in Build The News, a hackathon that the Times/Sunday Times‘s digital news team had put on.

We won.

(Somewhat unexpectedly, that is. The tool we built -a Twitter search tool, designed to allow journalists covering a breaking news story to find original information amid the noise of a thousand retweets – worked for the first time roughly five seconds before we had to present it at the end of the weekend.)

Off the back of this, we were invited in to spend last week developing the tool in The Times‘s offices, supported and encouraged by the digital news team.

A full account of our week can be found in this blogpost I wrote for the digital news team’s Tumblr, but, in short, it was great.

It gave us a brilliant opportunity to really crack on with developing the tool, and – I’m still not quite sure how Nick Petrie wangled this – we also got facetime with a huge number of reporters, social media journalists and executives across the News UK titles, who contributed really valuable thoughts on use cases.

So what happens next? Well, we all have various commitments, so it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that, as a group, we’ve had barely a moment’s thought to consider what happens next. So us putting our heads together and working out where we see Low Pass going is probably what happens next.

Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can roll it out in some form, though.

Team Low Pass is: Ashley Pace, Kadhim Shubber (hacks), Jeshua Maxey and Giovanni Charles (hackers). And me (hack).

The tool has been developed on an open source basis to date, and is on Github.