Hackathons have a long way to go before it starts receiving serious, mature, and objective attention by the media. Often times, they get written up as a composite of cliches, somewhere along the lines of “hackers that aren’t trying to get into your bank accounts” to “hyper-caffeinated hoodie-wearing kids staying up for countless hours” (this is, to be fair, a true depiction, but it’s not necessarily nuanced nor completely representative articulation of what makes a hackathon hacker).

But as hackathons, college and otherwise, grow increasingly ubiquitous, there is a sense that news sites are beginning to flesh out their vocabulary of terms and concepts in their reporting on hackathons. In this post, we curate a few recent pieces that are worth flipping through.

MIT’s pretty awesome Hack the Breast Pump hackathon, which took place on the weekend of September 20th, was written up quite a bit, but I want to highlight just two. The first came from The New Yorker:

The hackathon didn’t solve the maternal-leave problem; it didn’t solve gender-inequality problems. The breast pump still sucks. But whether or not the weekend’s results reach store shelves, the hackathon may have taken the breast pump a step closer to sucking as nature intended.

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And then second came from Newsweek:

“This could really change the game,” Erin Freeburger, a member of the winning team told Newsweek. “You’re getting real information from pumping mothers. We don’t have that. We don’t know how long it takes the average mother to make four, six or eight ounces… We can get real norms as opposed to just throwing out these general guidelines and making mothers feel inadequate.”

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The Washington Times previewed Hack Mizzou, that should be wrapping up as I’m writing this, last week:

“These are things that aren’t just really cool,” Perdieu said, “but they’re practical, too. . It’s such a creative process, that at the end of the weekend, you have these amazing projects.”

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Entrepreneur ran this piece a few days ago on Unhackathon, which was held at AlleyNYC on September 19th.

What if there was a hackathon that, instead of just celebrating the end result, placed the focus was on learning, so attendees could experiment and pick up new skills without feeling embarrassed about their lack of expertise? Paine mulled this over on the bus ride back from Montreal, and just before dawn, as the bus neared the border, she resolved to organize an event – she’d already labeled it an ‘unhackathon’ in her head — that would do just that.

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Over at GeekWire, Seattle’s Hack the Central District event gets a write-up, highlighting the city-sponsored hackathon’s focus on inclusivity:

“Our theory of change is that it’s not about willingness or ability — it’s about access and opportunity,” Lovell said. “This event has demonstrated that our theory of change has merit.”

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Technical.ly Philly reported on Al-Jazeera’s first ever hackathon that’s set to kick off at Doha, Qatar on November 29th:

The hackathon will mark the first time Al Jazeera will release a real-time feed, or API, of its news, Brennan said. Challenges include conducting a big-data analysis of Al Jazeera’s news coverage and building a tool that offers geographical context to news stories.

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Read anything good in the news about hackathons? I wanna see it. Hit me up: nicholas (at) majorleaguehacking (dot) com.