BuzzFeed Open Lab for Journalism, Technology, and the Arts is a lab and a studio fellowship in the company’s San Francisco bureau. Lab Fellows work to invent their own creative technical projects, while collaborating with each other and with BuzzFeed reporters to tell stories in unconventional formats or gather information along the way. Follow our blog to see what we’re working on right now.
Everything we do is open source, so you can find much of the code we’re writing on GitHub. Our 3d plans are available on Thingiverse, you can see some of our video experiments on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page.
We announced the lab in Spring 2015, and the first class of fellows started in the Fall of 2015. We’re working on things like reporting with helmet-mounted air quality sensors, twitter bots, automated writing, campaign finance games, plush objects built with sensors that can record their own treatment, and capturing sentiment analysis on hyper local social media content. We’re building rib-cages to protect electronics inside of stuffed animals and mounts to hold a pair of cameras to the belly of a drone.
GE has partnered with BuzzFeed to support one fellow who works on projects that explore the Internet of Things, and our Eyebeam fellow has one foot in Eyebeam’s residency, working alongside internationally recognized and award-winning artists working with technology.
In addition to GE and Eyebeam, we have a fantastic advisory team: Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed Director of Engineering James Burns, BuzzFeed board member and a16z partner Chris Dixon, Chris Anderson (CEO of 3D Robotics and former Wired editor-in-chief), artist and engineer Natalie Jeremijenko, Greg Petroff (GE Global Research), Catherine Bracy (civic technologist and Managing Director of the TechEquity Collaborative), T Jason Anderson (Associate Professor of Architecture at California College of the Arts, founder of studioAnomalous). They interact regularly with fellows, helping us solve problems and connect with smart people who have encountered similar obstacles.
We’re looking for hardware and software projects with the potential to advance journalism, give reporters new tools, or provide news consumers with better information.
In general we’re looking for creative technical projects that explore new ways to gather information and tell stories. Tell us what you want to make! We’re not looking for reporting pitches. We are looking for folks who want to come develop new ways to incorporate drones or robots in journalism or use sensors to collect data in creative ways. We are looking for pitches that bring machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, or data science into the newsroom to help identify hidden stories and tell them better.
This is a hands-on lab. We’re open to proposals that include some training or self-study to hone your skills, but you should have experience programming in the tools you plan to use.
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