The Avast Foundation is committed to building a more equitable and just future for digital citizens around the globe. Robust discussion, informed debate, and trustworthy, impartial journalism are necessary components of the digital future that we imagine, and in order to ensure this, we need technological solutions as well as legal frameworks that support freedom of the press worldwide. This Fall, Avast Foundation was proud to sponsor the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty hackathon for press freedom, which brings together journalists, coders, designers, and other experts and supporters to build digital prototypes to address some of the challenges facing media and journalists. Below, we talk with Adil Gherib of the Prague RFE/RL about what this event means to his organization, whose journalists report the news in 27 languages and 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, providing what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.
Why is the Hackathon important? What does it deliver?
We believe that innovation should be at the heart of any organization because it distinguishes between leaders and followers. It allows us to scale up and add more employees, answer constantly changing customer needs, offer something unique to our journalists and audience, and attract talented, innovative people because they want to work for innovative companies.
Who does it benefit?
We selected the hackathon as an innovation practice because of the fast benefits it provides to our staff. They enable us to connect across different departments, solve specific issues of services facing our journalists, promote extensive teamwork, and think outside the box. It allows us also to connect with innovative minds outside our organization.
How important is the relationship with Avast Foundation?
Since our first hackathon, we have had Avast on our side in terms of sharing the event with its staff and now this financial support from the Foundation. We're see this relationship as pivotal in the Prague innovation ecosystem.
What has it delivered?
The Avast teams that participated in both hackathons brought so much value to the event by including artificial intelligence (AI) in their solutions in order to support Internet freedom. Avast Foundation funds also helped us to secure vendors that made our event a more impactful one.