Welcome to "Media in Context" - the Inaugural Hackathon of the Al Jazeera Canvas Community!

This year, the inaugural Canvas hackathon is focused on “Media in Context”. Context has always been around us, from where we are, how we are feeling, what time it is, and even our history and culture. How can we apply the idea of context to media and journalism? How do different contexts affect the different phases of media, from production, to distribution, to consumption and interpretation? We believe that exploring new forms of contextually-aware media at this year’s Media in Context hackathon will help us tell a better human story.


#1: Giving Voice to the Voiceless with Data

#2: What's in the papers today, HAL?

#3: Putting Things Back in Context

#4: Mapping an Understanding

#5: Media on the Move

#6: Looking at the Numbers

#7: Smarter Headlines

#8: Archive Archaeology

#9: Think Outside the Comment Box

#10: Discovering History and Culture

#11: Fully Immersed in Media

#12: Do You Trust Your Media?

View full rules


  • Participants: Teams of selected individuals participating from the physical hackathon at QNCC, Doha, Qatar. No remote submissions accepted, except if they are directly assisting a team at the event through our #CanvasConnect Twitter hashtag.
  • Countries: International! We have participants arriving from Qatar, Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North and South America!


  • Categories: See the 12 challenge statements at http://canvas.aljazeera.com/challenges/
  • What to create: functioning software application or data analysis or visualization; demonstration video; screenshots; materials for judges and presentation

How to enter

To enter this challenge, you MUST be one of the selected Media in Context participants on a team at the hackathon in Doha, Qatar.

Include in your submission all links to code repositories, images or design assets, demos, and videos or other resources you will need in your challenge presentation to the judges. Basically, if it's not listed here in ChallengePost, it didn't happen!


Matt Carroll

Matt Carroll
MIT Media Lab

Matteo Penzo

Matteo Penzo
frog design inc.

Osama Hassanain

Osama Hassanain
Tech Wadi

Yaser Bishr

Yaser Bishr
Al Jazeera

Haroon Meer

Haroon Meer

Aysha Al Mudahka

Aysha Al Mudahka

Reem Al Mansouri

Reem Al Mansouri
Al Jazeera

Judging Criteria

  • Innovation
    How well does the team’s solution address the hackathon challenge they chose? Did they incorporate the challenge’s recommendations or even imagine their own criteria above and beyond these? How much risk-taking or innovation was involved in this approach?
  • Potential for Use
    How sustainable is this solution? Is it a good candidate for incubation? Would Al Jazeera or another media organization find this solution immediately useful, deployable, and continue to improve it? Are there established user communities?
  • Impact and Disruptive Potential
    How substantially will this solution change the way media is produced, distributed, or consumed? Does this solution make a significant advancement in a media or technology domain or impact the current “state of the art”?
  • Technical and Design Quality
    Does the solution make use of an appropriate variety of open source technologies and third party APIs? Is the solution aesthetically appealing and indicative of good design principles? Is it reliable and functional, even for a hackathon prototype?
  • Values and Ethics of the Journalism Profession
    How well does this solution embody the journalistic ideals of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, and diversity?