Continuing ed on the cheap

If Phase I of the Internet tsunami was adjusting to shifts in the journalism pecking order, Phase II may be learning how to translate all the raw data that’s being unleashed into compelling stories. Bottom line? Take advantage of budget-friendly learning opportunities like this week-end’s Hack Jersey hackathon at Montclair State, which promises to be a good hands-on introduction to data crunching and coding. Although registration for the hackathon is closed, here are two ways to get in on the action:

  • Friday night: The launch party at Fitzgerald’s 1928 in Glen Ridge. The party (hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar) starts at 7 p.m. and is free to anyone interested in news and innovation, but you must RSVP for a ticket. This is a chance to get a feel for the possibilities of data journalism as hackathon participants introduce themselves to each other and form teams. Sponsors and editors from The Star-LedgerThe Record and elsewhere have also been invited.
  • Sunday afternoon: Keynote speeches from Stephen Engelberg, editor in chief of ProPublica, and Jeff Larson, a News Apps developer at ProPublica plus project demonstrations and awards. These events are all open to the public and will start about 1:15 p.m. and run until about 4 p.m. at University Hall on the Montclair State campus. No RSVP necessary; just show up. The speeches and presentations will also be streamed on the web.
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