Challenge Description


Traditional media companies are struggling to reinvent themselves in the face of competition from digital giants such as Netflix and Amazon, but also against the flood of socially curated content produced by ordinary people, amateurs and niche players.

At the same time, the credibility of the entire media business is under threat, being blamed for bias and encouraging social divisions, this while the media sector has a pivotal role keeping the public informed and thus protecting democracy.

So join us in the media challenge where we’ll come up with new media concepts that aren’t prone to clickbait, sensationalism and lazy reporting, while still exploiting the very best that new technology, video and audio has to offer!


Workshop topic 1: Trust


Popping the filter bubbles


The entire media sector is coming under withering criticism, being blamed for bias and a disregard of truth in their pursuit of ever more clicks. Real debate is further stifled by the algorithms that social media use to push mainly popular and affirming news stories to users, often lacking credibility, in absence of proper fact-checking. Such trends create – in the words of some commentators – “echo chambers” or “filter bubbles” that are partly to blame for the increasingly divided societies in the UK, Europe and the USA.

So let’s come up with new media concepts that aren’t prone to clickbait, sensationalism and lazy reporting. Let’s create concepts that gently ease us out of our ‘echo chambers’ and create space for meaningful, trustworthy and complex debate.


Workshop topic 2: Audiovisuals on-demand


New technologies and business models


The days of arguing over remote control possession in front of ponderous television sets are behind us. Nor do we bother moving around antennas to tune in to our favourite radio show.

We no longer solely rely on television and radio to take in or daily portion of news and audiovisual entertainment.

The ways in which audiovisual media reaches our eyes, ears and brains are no longer linear, but almost de facto on-demand. Traditional television companies are competing for audiences, both with digital giants (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, etc.) and socially curated content creators (e.g. vloggers). A similar shift is impacting good old radio – albeit at a considerably lower pace.  

Many of the traditional companies are struggling to reinvent themselves in the face of such competition and seem hesitant to fully embrace the opportunities new technologies offer. On the receiver side, to what extent are we prepared to trade the traditional linear video and audio shapes – familiar and uncomplicated in use – for new technologies that are fast and versatile and nearly unlimited in their choice range of audiovisual entertainment? Let’s explore the opportunities at this linear-digital intersection, aiming for novel audiovisual entertainment all while taking along the best of what radio and television have offered us these past decades!


Workshop topic 3: BelgianFacts


Reliable food for political discussions


The relationship between politics and media is known to be complex, mutually influencing and not without controversy. In order to facilitate meaningful discussions about politics, the newsroom of De Tijd wants to collect and present reliable, high quality data in an understandable and logically structured way. To this end, the newsroom engages in the development of a new project that is inspired by ‘USAFacts’, an initiative by Steve Ballmer (former CEO of Microsoft). USAFacts has the objective of showing where the government money comes from, where it is spent, whom it serves and what the outcomes are.

The time is more than right to build a ‘BelgiumFacts’, allowing us to verify our political inclinations with solid and sure facts. Come and join De Tijd in this workshop where we will reflect on where to find this data, how to visualize it and how to provide access for as many citizens as possible.

Want to us to tell you when the full Hack Belgium program is ready?

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