The week of 20 February 2023 was the third and final time that MediaNumeric hosted it’s in-person course on data-driven journalism, creative storytelling and fact-checking. SWPS University in the beautiful city of Warsaw, Poland was the students, teachers and the MediaNumeric team’s home for the week. Take a trip down memory lane with us and discover how we experienced our final week-long course!
Jacqueline Pietsch (Agence France-Presse (AFP)) has been a member of the MediaNumeric team from the very beginning. This time, however, Jacqueline took on the role of lecturer by kicking-off day 1 by introducing the students to our current news media landscape with the help of some handy props; a bowl of fruit! After a unique and insightful first session, we dove straight into the ethical practices surrounding journalism with lectures on media ethics and the social impact of journalism & media transitions. After a quick break the students then got to learn all about navigating copyright and had a workshop on the main stages of a data project, from data exploration to storytelling. Coaches Jacqueline Pietsch, Susannah Montgomery (Inholland University), Kuba Piwowar (SWPS University), and Ewa Korzeniowska (SWPS University) then took the afternoon to introduce the students to the topic for their case study, namely, the war in Ukraine.
Day 2 was all about data! We kicked off with a lecture and a workshop on strategies of the data search, including big data. The students were then introduced to role that archives play in the field of data with a lecture on archival search. The final lecture of the day covered the topic of tools & databases: basic principles & choice of apps after which the students could spend the majority of the afternoon working in their groups on the case study; today the students were encouraged to finalise their topic so they could start with the data analysis as soon as possible! In the evening there was time for networking, but first, we had to make it across town; POTUS was visiting Warsaw ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It’s day 3 and we’re already half way through the course! Today there were only two lectures, but they covered a lot of in-depth and crucial information: panorama of multimedia storytelling & the contributions of data and techniques & tools adapted to multimedia storytelling. The students then had the afternoon off to discover the fascinating city of Warsaw!
I am still feeling honored to have been able to participate in the programme! It has been a great opportunity to learn more about the topics that I consider to be interesting and important. This week has been incredibly interesting and inspiring, filled with lectures, workshops and events held by professionals and lecturers from Poland, France and The Netherlands.– Didi Baas, MediaNumeric & Inholland University student
Day 4 was a lecture-free day! Instead, we had a study visit with the incredible non-profit newsroom Outriders. Outriders covers global issues having local impact. They seek answers to problems, fears and needs and explain things which happen far, but influence your daily life. After an inspiring session the students were then ready to take their first quiz and you guessed it, work on their case studies for the remainder of the day!
On the final full day of the course the students were introduced to the world of misinformation with the always impressive AFP team. AFP’s fact-checkers taught us all about confronting the misinformation universe and debunking dis/misinformation & data manipulation. The afternoon was dedicated to the final preparations for the case studies as tomorrow, the students would have to pitch their findings on the war in Ukraine to a panel of expert judges.
This week, our new cohort of students took their journalistic and storytelling responsibilities very seriously when weaving together data-driven stories about the toll this war has had within Ukraine and beyond.– Susannah Montgomery, MediaNumeric coach & Inholland University lecturer
On the final day of an amazing week, the students completed their second and last quiz and got ready for those nerve wracking case study pitches! Each of the four groups shared their data-based stories about the war in Ukraine to a panel of judges. Each group truly had a unique and insightful take on the dire situation. We were told stories about Ukraine’s physical borders with the European Union, how the Ukrainian war could result in Europe’s independence from Russian gas import, how the war in Ukraine has affected human trafficking, and Putin’s nuclear diplomacy & and the Polish response. The students were praised by the judges for their hard work on this sensitive topic and given some crucial tips and tricks to better their storytelling skills in the future. After a sigh of relief, the students were handed their coveted certificates worth 5 ECTS and with that completed the MediaNumeric course! Congratulations to all the MediaNumeric students in Warsaw and a big thanks from the MediaNumeric team for making our final in-person course such a memorable one!