On February 12th & 13th 2022 40 programmers, designers, and news veterans gathered for the third HackThePress hackathon.

HackThePress’ local news partners - ClearSky and Social Spider - issued three problem statements to the attendees:

  • How can we build connections between members of a local community?
  • How can we amplify voices within a local community?
  • How can we surface information about a local community?

We were blown away by what the attendees managed to produce…

You can view the event photo album here - please upload your own if you took any!

The Projects

5 projects were created and demoed, you can watch the presentations and prize-giving ceremony here:

The HackThePress 2022 Feb Presentations
The HackThePress 2022 Feb Prize Giving


Neighbourletter (First Place)

A tool for local community leaders to create hyperlocal newsletters using stories, events, and recommendations sourced from their community members.

Neighbourletter removes the technical challenges, moderation issues, and organisational burden off community leaders who want to help source and amplify news from their local neighbourhood – all using the accessible medium of email.

Code: https://github.com/DaveCoded/hack-the-press

Team: Filip Debczak, David Bernhard (twitter: @daveforall), Maggie Appleton (twitter: @mappletons), Amber R

TL;DR News (Second Place)

Programmatically create videos from an article URL that summarises the story to encourage higher levels of engagement with young people.

Code: https://github.com/slarsendisney/video-news

Team: Victor - @victormasson21, SLD - @slarsendisney, Christine - @xIrusux, Ruben - @infoxicator, Zeya - @ZeyaRabani

StreetGov (Third Place)

StreetGov is an app (current prototype iOS but easily converted to a web app or Android app) that allows residents of a local area to easily post any problems, or solutions to problems, upvote to give their opinions on the importance of any problems and receive feedback and responses from local politicians or MPs.

Code: https://github.com/newsspeakhack/DistrictDisclosureApp

Team: Joana Ferreira (LinkedIn @joanaferreira0011), Melissa Tranfield (@MelTranfield Twitter), Amrit Sahani, Yuji Develle, Marcus Mattus (@marcusmattus), Sam Stephenson (@samstphenson), Ryan Finlayson


One important element that makes local community news works is community engagement. People love being connected to others and their community, and we love hearing about what's happening near us.

One of the problems we're facing as a community is the feeling of disconnect between ourselves and where we live. There might be a food market pop-up down the road, an abandoned building that was once a castle, or a traffic gridlock around the corner, and we'd have no idea.

People are getting more disconnected and they have limited channels to spark an interest with their community. To solve this problem of disengagement, we need a solution that feels relevant to individuals and rekindles their relationship with their community.

Enter Terrace. Terrace lets you engage with your area and your community as you go - specific to your location. As you wander around your neighbourhood, you'll get helpful alerts to keep you posted on the latest update on your area, and let you know what events are on using geolocation tags.

Code: https://github.com/qasim9872/hack-the-press-backend https://github.com/sanjeevvp/hack-the-press-geo-app

Team: Sanjeev https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanjeev-ponnapula, NJ https://www.linkedin.com/in/nguya-lupindula-38453683/, Qasim https://www.linkedin.com/in/qasim9872/, Min, Ciaran, Ruthu, Massi https://www.linkedin.com/in/massi-mapani-b29472a6, Jess https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-mahendra/

Local Lead Finder

A tool for local journalists to find people in their area who can inform local stories

Code: https://github.com/darrenvong/local-lead-finder

Team: Harriet, Am, Darren (@mrdarrenv), Matt (@mattmegarry)

What Next?

Come to the next hack-night on March 2nd.
We'll be offering tech, product, and design mentorship to people who attend - we want to support all the projects from the hackathon and help make them a reality.


Thanks to our sponsors who made the event possible: