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Headline Hunt Trivia: Engaging Readers Like Never Before


November 2, 2023


Special Report: The AI-Augmented Journalist




Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of articles produced by students taking NYU’s Media Law and Ethics class with a focus on generative artificial intelligence.  Students were challenged to come up with novel uses for AI to advance the field of journalism. This post was created using ChatGPT and edited by a human.

Image created using Dall.e

Image created using Dall.e [Credit: Tiana Molony]

Finding innovative ways to captivate readers and promote active engagement with news content has become a paramount challenge in a world where information is abundant, but attention spans are limited. Enter the groundbreaking initiative: Headline Hunt: A News-Driven Trivia Game. 

What is it?

Headline Hunt Trivia, showcased here on The Click, is a dynamic and immersive experience designed to bolster reader engagement on news sites. Drawing inspiration from the ever-popular world of trivia games, the project takes the essence of current events and transforms it into an exciting game that keeps readers coming back for more.

At the core of this project lies a collection of trivia questions, all generated by ChatGPT, a cutting-edge language model renowned for its remarkable ability to comprehend and manipulate text. These questions serve as the backbone of the game, enticing readers to test their knowledge and awareness of recent news articles published on The Click by students in NYU’s American Journalism Online master’s program. 

The inspiration

The motivation behind this innovation is twofold: 1) to create a vibrant space for friendly competition among readers and 2) to foster a stronger connection between the audience and the news content they consume. By offering a weekly trivia game, the project encourages readers to actively engage with The Click News and stay informed. The allure of potential prizes, such as coveted free subscriptions, further adds to the excitement and incentivizes participation.

The creation

This website was created by programmer Oliver Pelly, who used the programs Python for the backend, MySQL for the database, and Angular for the front end. I collaborated with him and created the trivia using JSON, a text-based representation of JavaScript. I asked ChatGPT and Google Bard to create trivia questions based on articles I fed them. Then, I edited the questions and answers as I saw fit.

How it works 

The mechanics of Headline Hunt are simple yet effective. Readers can easily access the game by following a link provided on The Click’s website. Upon clicking the link, they are transported to TheClickTrivia.com, the dedicated platform for the trivia game. Here, readers encounter a series of thought-provoking questions based on recent articles authored by AJO students. The questions touch upon various subjects and encourage readers to delve into the depths of the news to uncover the correct answers.

The interactive experience doesn’t stop at answering questions. Readers receive instant feedback on their responses, learning whether they got the right answer. Players also receive other player information by seeing what percentage of Click readers got the question correct. In the case of a missed question, the game provides an opportunity for growth by directing readers back to the source article on The Click only after they have answered the question. By facilitating this seamless transition between the trivia game and the original content, the project promotes engagement and fosters a deeper understanding of the news.

Screenshot of the quiz being created in JSON

Screenshot of the quiz being created in JSON [Credit: Tiana Molony]

The potential of Headline Hunt extends far beyond its initial implementation. With its well-crafted framework and adaptable design, the project can transcend boundaries and find a home in numerous news outlets, enhancing engagement across diverse platforms. As the world of journalism evolves, initiatives like this serve as a testament to the power of creativity and innovation in redefining the way we interact with news content.

Future uses

Ultimately, Headline Hunt is a shining example of how forward-thinking ideas can breathe new life into traditional news consumption. By infusing an element of competition and entertainment into the news-reading experience, this project redefines the relationship between readers and news, creating a community of informed and engaged individuals eager to explore, learn, and share. As Headline Hunt continues to evolve and expand, its impact on the realm of journalism promises to be nothing short of transformative. Right now, I have to create the weekly trivia questions using JSON and ChatGPT. In the future, Headline Hunt will expand to other news outlets and be able to automate weekly trivia questions.

Click here for “Headline Hunt Trivia #1”

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