RSS News feed for local Hartford news appears upon clicking the tree
Scrolling through a Facebook feed, you find countless articles written by big-name papers and third party sources that feed readers fake or biased news. The goal of this project was to counteract that by getting rid of the big names all together. The Root is a platform where users can get real-time news articles from local news sources only. If something happens in a region, readers can stay informed by reading the papers of that region; no third party commentary, no big-name news. And all while giving struggling local newspapers a larger platform.
What it does
The Root is an interactive map with markers for various cities across America. When you click on a city's marker, you get access to that city's local news feed. You can read about how New Yorkers feel about their President's latest announcement and then hop over to the other side of the country to read the perspective of an Arizonian.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
We didn't have much experience before coming to this hackathon so every step was a challenge for us. The biggest challenge was probably starting our project and trying to head in the right direction--we had plenty of ideas in mind, but didn't know how we could implement any of it. We knew enough to know what we were looking for, but not enough to actually implement it. Talking to other hackers and mentors, researching, and testing out all of our possible solutions was time consuming but rewarding.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As we previously mentioned, none of us had been to hackathon or built a website/app before, so everything we learned this weekend was completely new to us. We are most proud of how much we were able to learn in a short amount of time and being able to collaborate on a project that resulted in something real and useful.
What we learned
What's next for The Root
Because of the nature of the hackathon, we didn't get to make the program as dynamic as we had hoped. As of right now, there are only feeds for a few cities on the east coast and one on the west, but we'd like to expand this so that local news from across the country is presented on the platform, and hopefully we can do this globally with the help of a few translation API's we found. Ideally, we want to be able to filter the news sources so that we get only the most important headlines. We'd also like to add a Trending Now feature that would allow you to see the new articles that are gaining traction in the news currently. We hope this feature could provide more direction to users. We'd like to make some modifications to improve user experience, and all in all we'd like this to be a resource that can be attached to a Facebook page so that people can get access to accurate news sources.