The bustling city lights of Warsaw played host to the MediaNumeric conference, where an impressive gathering of the media industry took place last November. Against the backdrop of an ever-evolving media landscape, the MediaNumeric Conference brought together experts and enthusiasts from various corners of the industry. The event, hosted by SWPS University, aimed not just to share important insights but to ignite conversations that would shape the future of media. From experienced professionals to aspiring talents, the conference unfolded as an event full of knowledge and innovation sharing within the media sector and among various media-related professions.
The Resilience of News Media: Data, storytelling & democracy
The conference focused on several themes with various different sessions and workshops, all exploring the multifaceted nature of our current media landscape. Each theme delved deep into crucial aspects that are being dealt with daily within the sector, such as data-driven journalism, creative storytelling, media ethics, tackling disinformation, and the future of the industry in an increasingly digital age.
Sessions on data-driven journalism explored the powerful bond between data analytics and journalistic storytelling. Experts showcased how, in an era dominated by big data, using this data could not only enhance the accuracy of reporting but also reveal compelling narratives hidden within the numbers.
Creative storytelling was also an important theme during the conference. The sessions discussed a variety of techniques to captivate audiences in an era where attention is a prized possession, offering an array of innovative approaches to create impactful narratives and create stories that resonate with the audience in a noisy digital landscape.
Discussions on media ethics served as a compass, guiding professionals through the ethical challenges that come with the power of storytelling. The conference emphasised the critical role media plays in shaping public opinion within democracies and the responsibility that comes with it.
Day 1: Diverse Discussions
One of the defining features of the conference was its commitment to diversity in voices. Attendees were treated to a variety of perspectives, with speakers representing a spectrum of roles – from data analysts and journalists to media researchers. The various speakers fostered an enriching environment, sparking inspiration, creativity and new ideas.
The presentations provided information on the daily practices of working with data within journalistic and creative contexts, by addressing different stages of a data project, as well as various data collection techniques, tools and databases that can be used during data collection and analysis. The value and challenges of data visualisation and data-driven journalism were discussed as well, highlighting the potential biases that can occur when working with data. The speakers also shared their own practical experience with tracking data and dealing with misinformation or data manipulation.
Day 2: Exploring Best Practices
The second day of the conference allowed the attendees to participate in workshops. The Google News Initiative provided a workshop in which techniques were discussed using the initiative’s most popular tool, Pinpoint. This tool, created specifically for journalists and researchers, allows users to analyse large collections of diverse data in no time. The workshop walked through the latest capabilities of this tool, helping scientists and investigative journalists around the world to break the news and dig deeper into their stories.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) also hosted a workshop, showcasing the latest tools and technologies – from current trends in online disinformation to exploring the basic practices of digital investigations, such as reverse image search, archiving and geolocation – to detect and tackle online disinformation.
Aside from participating in all the sessions and workshops, attendees seized the opportunity to network. The exchange of ideas continued in informal settings, creating an ecosystem where collaboration was not just encouraged but celebrated.
MediaNumeric Academy Launch
As a grand finale, the MediaNumeric Conference witnessed the launch of the MediaNumeric Academy. This platform, designed for content creators, storytellers, researchers, journalists, and students gearing up for a media career, promises to inspire and teach those who are looking to make a mark in the dynamic field of media. With courses ranging from themes that discuss data-driven journalism to creative storytelling with data, the academy symbolises MediaNumeric’s commitment to empowering the next generation of media professionals.
The MediaNumeric Conference 2023 was a commitment to shaping a responsible and innovative future for media, in which attendees shared their thoughts, ideas, inspiration and insights, echoing the success of the three year MediaNumeric project.
Are you also interested in expanding your skills and expertise in this ever-evolving field? Then register now for the free online course provided to you by the MediaNumeric Academy!