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Hacks/Hackers is a meetup group for journalists and technologists, founded in November 2009 by San Francisco journalist Burt Herman, New York Times developer Aron Pilhofer, and Medill professor Rich Gordon.
The group works to help journalists (hacks) and developers (hackers) learn from each other and collaborate on projects. Hacks/Hackers runs a blog and holds regular events in about two dozen cities, including San Francisco, New York City, and Boston. It also runs a programming help website, though the site’s future was in jeopardy as of mid-2011.
In May 2010, Hacks/Hackers held a conference, Hacks/Hackers Unite, which was attended by nearly 100 reporters, editors, designers, and others interested in the future of journalism. The two-day-long event included a hackathon during which attendees built 12 iPad news apps. Later in 2010, Hacks/Hackers also ran a six-week online course on journalism and technology in partnership with Mozilla.
Hacks/Hackers is funded through donations and is working to find sponsors and foundation grants, and to become a nonprofit organization.
Backfence was a network of user-driven hyperlocal news sites that launched in 2005 and closed in 2007. Backfence was founded in 2005 by Mark Potts and Susan DeFife with five staff members and two community sites in the Washington, D.C., area. It raised $3 million in local and national investment and eventually expanded to 13…