Swansea Students come top in BBC University#newsHACK challenge

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Undergraduate students from the Department of Computer Science won three out of four prizes as well as claiming the overall winner prize in the BBC’s University#newsHACK initiative Wales Challenge (South Wales).

As part of the BBC’s innovative future internet-led plans, the BBC newsHACK initiative invites teams from Universities around Wales to make, create and write the news. 

The Challenge: How might we create a location-aware personalised news experience that shapes itself around YOU?

Six University teams from South Wales took the opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of BBC judges at the event which took place in the Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 26-27 March. Each team had to impress the judges with their designs and prototypes.

Ten students, nine from the Department of Computer Science and one from Media Studies made up Swansea University’s two teams, Oxwich and Rhosilli. Those who participated were Stuart Watson, Priya Patel, Kajal Grant-Hindocha, Riza Gulsen, Matheus Torquato, Cameron Steer, Mathew Lloyd, Peter Jenkins, Kristoffer Page and Jonathan Bailey. The two teams won 3 out of the four prizes available, including the prize for overall best hack.

The winning categories were

  • Deliver the news (won by Swansea Team Oxwich)
  • Talk about the news (won by Swansea Team Rhosilli)
  • Surprise Us!/Overall winner (won by Swansea Team Rhosilli)

The lucky winners will be visiting the BBC connected studios in London!

Cameron Steer, a 3rd year Computer Science undergraduate said, “I found BBC #newsHACK to be a fantastic exercise of creativity and meaningful personal development. The two days provided me with a fast paced exciting environment, full of enthusiasm, creativity and social activity. I gained hands on experience with innovative BBC tools, and engaged with experts from development to journalistic backgrounds. Being part of an amazing team I was given the power to innovate and shape the future of the way people engaged with the news.”

  • #newsHACKs are Journalism-focused events by BBC News Labs & Connected Studio. #newsHACK is all about intense multi-discipline collaboration on specific Journalism problem spaces. 
  • Universities from around Wales were invited to make, create and write the future of news and to explore the art of the possible with our APIs, innovative data services, and a wealth of content.