During the Hackathon, held on 28-30 June 2019 in Chisinau, the participants were encouraged to create multimedia tools and applications, which would present journalistic materials in an attractive and interactive format for readers. Four winning teams were awarded USD 4250 each in order to develop their projects over four months.
The team ‘Hai să încercam’ [Let's try it] launched an application that will convert audio and video recordings in Romanian into text. The Voice2Text application (https://v2t.md/) allows to upload the audio or video file and convert it into text. ‘The need to create this tool started with our need, as journalists, to convert shows, simultaneous speeches, interviews and live broadcastings. The application was created to help journalists save time when they make the scripts’, Veronica Gidei explained the importance of the new tool. Currently, the accuracy of the translation is about 60%, but for the new period the team wants to improve the level of accuracy of the scripts by at least 20%.
The team START created a multimedia tool that involves the combination of audio, sound and video. ‘The website www.audiopress.org, that we created, offers eight possibilities for arranging the items listed in the multimedia articles in a way which will make them more attractive. Thus, the audio recording from multimedia articles can be replaced by an interactive element,’ said Corina Seremet, one of the authors of the new tool.
The Locals team is creating the platform Media Karma (https://mediakarma.digital) to facilitate the interaction between journalists, cameramen, technicians and IT specialists involved in creating media content. ‘The platform is intended for media outlets and NGOs who want to create multimedia content and need the services of designers, photographs, cameramen, etc. Those who are interested, media outlets and NGOs on the one hand, and contributors, on the other hand, will be able to register on this platform and, if necessary, they will find each other in order to create quality media content’, the journalist Ana Dubeli, member of the Locals team, explained.
The LABS 42 team developed the application MMENTS (mments.netlify.com), that moderates uncensored comments or the ones that incite hatred. ‘Various media outlets deactivated the comments section on their websites because many of them are uncensored and cannot be moderated. Therefore, the fear of such comments motivated us to create a tool that is based on artificial intelligence and helps moderate comments. Our application is called MMENTS. The comment passes through the neural network, and when it contains uncensored words, attack against the author or other people, it is automatically blocked’, said Vadim Rusu, one of the authors of the application. For now, the new application can only detect comments in English.
The 5th edition of ‘The Fifth Power’ Media Hackathon was organised by the Independent Journalism Center under ‘Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M)’ Project, funded by USAID and UK aid and implemented by Internews in Moldova.