Phillip Smith

Six @KnightMozilla lightning pitches from Chicago-area #HacksHackers

After peeking inside the Chicago Tribune’s news apps team last week, I descended deep, deep into the Tribune’s basement. Once home to printing presses, the lower levels of the Tribune tower were about to host a conversation about the future of news, courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Chicago and the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership.

Fueled only by pizza and sugary sodas, and a mercilessly-short presentation, these brave hacks and hackers put pen to paper and brainstormed how to improve news experiences on the open Web.

A mere thirty minutes later, they were asked to present those ideas back to the group. Here they are:


I’m excited about what the MoJo team has been able to do via these ‘design jam’ events with the Hacks/Hackers community and our news partners. It’s more than just getting the word out about the innovation challenges: we’re helping to build community and conversations around the field of news innovation that will have impact for years to come.

A big thanks is due to Trib staffers Joe Germuska and Chris Groskopf, and Medill’s Rich Gordon for organizing this event. And to the following folks who made the event possible by showing up and really participating:

Thanks again, folks. If I missed your name, please let me know.


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


Want to launch a local news business? Apply now for the journalism entrepreneurship boot camp

I’m excited to announce that applications are now open again for the journalism entrepreneurship boot camp. And I’m even more excited to ...… Continue reading