Many thanks to all participants for your excellent work! You can find documentation here (dribdat), all presentations (youtube), and debates on social media (twitter) to explore. For any questions, we are at your disposal.

On Feb. 21 and 22, Switzerland’s first Multilingual Media Hackathon will take place in Bern at the newsroom of SWI, the international service of the Swiss public broadcaster SRG-SSR. We are getting together on occasion of International Mother Language Day, a worldwide annual observance started by UNESCO for awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

About the organisers

At SWI, we publish in ten languages. Our daily news meetings involve discussions in at least three, sometimes five, languages. This degree of diversity could be seen as a liability; we consider it our greatest asset.

What’s the goal of the hackathon?

We will bring together journalists, coders, designers, and experts in multilingualism to find better solutions to elevate our linguistic diversity. We want to collaboratively work on solutions for multilingual media content productions, including text, video, and graphics.

We’re excited that interested people of linguistic diversity from a wide range of countries and backgrounds have already signed up. If you would also like to join, please register. We’ll notify you if you’re in or on the waiting list and a spot frees up. We can host a maximum of about 35 people.

Why should you join?

This is particularly exciting for us at SWI because this is the first time we are opening our doors to such a gathering of likeminded advocates of diversity. Join us to become part of our ongoing conversation about the future of multilingual media in Switzerland and beyond.

Who can join?

Everyone. You!

The hackathon is open to everyone interested in journalism, in the opportunities and challenges of publishing in several languages, in automatic translation and, more generally, in finding innovative solutions for multilingual and multicultural journalism. As an international public service broadcaster, we want to reach and serve as many people as possible.

What will we do at the hackathon?

There will be challenges, and the opportunity to pitch your own idea. We need journalists! Coders! Designers! And everyone with a passion for linguistic diversity and an open mind. Here are some ideas of topics that we could tackle together:

  • Translate/adapt long-form stories, breaking news, visualise comments
  • Multilingual video workflows, also on social media
  • Translation workflows in various publication tools
  • Workflows with various programming languages
  • How to get the most out of APIs and spreadsheets
  • Multilingual transcription and instant translations

You can find an overview of the already submitted project ideas and challenges, some useful datasets, tools, and inspiration, on the hackathon platform. Once your registration is confirmed, we would encourage you to JOIN one of the challenges, or to submit your own.


What are the rules?

All attendees, sponsors, partners, volunteers and staff at our hackathon are required to agree with the Hack Code of Conduct. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to ensure a safe environment for everybody.

Our goal is to create as many exemplary, publicly accessible projects as possible, and hackathon teams are strongly encouraged to apply open source and open content licenses to their work. Respecting laws and licenses also applies to any data you download, or remixes that you make. Make sure to follow the Terms of Use and always correctly attribute your sources.


Friday, February 21, 2020

  • 8:30 a.m. Doors open at SWI with coffee and Gipfeli
  • 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Lightning Talk
  • 9:30 a.m. Presentation of challenges
  • 1 p.m. Sandwich lunch
  • 6 p.m. Takeaway dinner

Saturday, February 22, 2020

  • 9 a.m. Work resumes
  • 1 p.m. Presentation of projects
  • 2 p.m. End of the hackathon
  • 2:30 p.m. Voting
  • 2:45 p.m. Presentation of winners

How do I get there?


Giacomettistrasse 1
3000 Bern 15

Coordinates: 46.943941, 7.473407

W3W: promise.novel.emphasis

By train

Take a train to Bern’s main station (Hauptbahnhof). From there, take the tram N. 7 to its terminal station, Ostring. From there, it is only a 5 minute walk to the SRG-SSR headquarters, where the SWI newsroom is located.


Do I need a project idea or a team to participate?

No, this is not necessary. At the beginning of the hackathon different project ideas and challenges will be presented. You can work on the project idea that inspires you the most.

Do I have to stay on-site for 24 hours?

No, that is not expected. It is important that you contribute to the success of your chosen project and discuss with your team when and where you work.

What do I need to bring with me?

Most importantly, don’t forget your laptop. You may also want to bring your notebook and pens. We will provide you with a basic supply of material, such as papers, flip charts, post-it, food, and drinks.

Can we get accommodation/travel expenses reimbursed?

Unfortunately, we do not have the means to support your travel or accommodation costs. Here are a few hotels you could stay at in Bern: Ibis Wankdorf, Ibis Style, Hotel Ambassador, Bed and Breakfast Villa Alma, The B.

We will try to help answer any other questions that you may have on travel and/or accommodation and we can issue attendance certificates should you need them for your employer.


Email: [email protected]


Hashtag: #swihack

Telegram: swi_hackathon