Hacks/Hackers Connect
Credit: Screengrab from Hacks/Hackers Connect

A new initiative called Hacks/Hackers Connect launches today, aiming to offer a series of free one-day events for media entrepreneurs.

The program is a partnership between Hacks/Hackers and the News Lab at Google, and aims to support journalists and technologists by enabling them to learn from each other and receive mentoring from key figures in the industry.

"Our aim is to spark the next generation of media start-ups", said Burt Herman, co-founder of Hacks/Hackers.

The idea behind the project is to give people who are passionate about innovation and the future of media a chance to interact easily, whether they are "start-up veterans who've been in the trenches" or people with a current job looking to bring an idea to life.

Hacks/Hackers Connect is free of charge for participants and there will be a "light" application process, he said.

The program is open to everyone, from journalists working for news organisations to engineers working in technology companies.

Those attending will have the opportunity to meet people who can help them develop existing ideas or collaborate with others on potential projects.

The first Hacks/Hackers Connect event will take place in Berlin on 27 June, with other locations around the globe such as London, New York City and San Francisco to be confirmed later in the year.

The program will initially focus on Europe and the United States, but is hoping to expand in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Hacks/Hackers began in San Francisco in 2009 and has quickly expanded to include more than 60 chapters across all continents.

Hacks/Hackers Connect is also looking at ways of expanding funding opportunities in the future, through similar partnerships that ensure the sustainability of journalism.

"We need the things that journalism did in order to have a functioning democratic society", Herman pointed out, "even if the future doesn't look like what conventional journalism looked like in the past."

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