This time at the BBC Old Broadcasting House in London
Last year we organised our first “Data Journalism Unconference” in New York City to discuss and tackle data journalism challenges across borders. Over 60 of the greatest data journalism minds gathered together, coming from 20 different countries, representing the five continents and a wide range of skills related to data journalism. It was such a huge success, that we want to do it again!
So it is with no surprise but with great excitment that the Global Editors Network organised the second edition of the Data Journalism Unconference, a FREE, invitation only event, on 23 May 2017 at the BBC Old Broadcasting House in London, UK.
Organised in partnership with BBC News, with support from Google and Chartbeat, the event gathered around 45 participants from 16 countries, representing the five continents. We learned from our experience of last year and built a top quality event, with some incredible guests coming from all over the world. It was a unique and exclusive opportunity to exchange ideas on how teams, techniques and models vary from one country to the other, with the ultimate goal to initiate fruitful international collaborations.
All-in-all we had lots of fun discussing the issues many data journalists have had in the back of their minds for a while such as: how to convince their boss that data journalism is worth the resources, how to measure the success of their story, what bad practices should they stay away from, and so on. At the end of the day, the shortlisted projects of the Data Journalism Awards 2017 were revealed.
Folks from the Financial Times, DW, Al Jazeera, Condé Nast and The Economist took part, but also people from organisations such as Kiln, DJChina.org, or OSF. That gave us a great range of expertise and led to some insightful sessions on the state of data journalism worldwide.
On the day before and after the unconference (22 and 24 May 2017), the Global Editors Network organised Study Tours in four of the most famous data journalism newsrooms in London (the FT, The Guardian, Google and the BBC). These study tours were exclusively open to guests of the unconference.
The goal of this unconference was to give to the audience the keys of the debate through sessions and presentations that are short and engaging.
We dropped the format of a traditional conference and created a creative space for peer-to-peer learning where everybody’s voice was heard. Fishbowl discussions, human spectrograms, rapid case studies, workshops and group talks – all of this were included. The content was decided by the participants. Every participant was given the chance to actively take part in the day’s sessions and to shape the agenda of the unconference. Facilitators were present to help the day go smoothly.
Data journalism today, just like the rest of the news industry, is facing many challenges, from the transition to mobile and native content to monetisation, and machine learning. Artificial intelligence and VR could have a huge impact on the practice of data journalism worldwide, but are we trully ready or trained for it? How can data teams better prepare for what’s coming? Can those new practices also be affordable?
Data journalists and their team often work on stories of international impact, but they rarely get the chance to exchange best practices and new models with their counterparts in other countries, let alone other continents.
As experiments and data journalism workflows are quite different in Asia-Pacific, in Africa, in Europe and in the Americas, learning from others’ experiences and building new solutions to ensure a viable future for cross border data journalism seems like a crucial next step.
Along these lines, the Global Editors Network launched the Data Journalism Unconference in 2016, a FREE, invitation only event to discuss the latest trends in data journalism and tackle data teams’ challenges across borders. It took place in New York City at the Thomson Reuters headquarters and it went so well that we organised a new one this year on 23 May 2017 at the BBC Old Broadcasting House in London, UK.
Guests from the 5 continents attended the first edition of this event on 10 May 2016 in New York City, from countries such as Argentina, Kenya, Norway, Nigeria, Brazil, China, and Tanzania (as well as the US).
Simon Rogers, Data Editor for Google News Lab in San Francisco and director of the DJA 2016, as well as Paul Steiger, Executive Chairman of ProPublica and president of the DJA jury, both took part on the day.
Want to get a better idea of who came? Here are some previous guests:
Reginald Chua and Janet Roberts (both from Thomson Reuters – US), Youyou Zhou (AP – US/China), Michael Hudson (senior editor of ICIJ’s Panama Papers – US), Justin Arenstein (Code for Africa – Kenya), Troy Thibodeaux (AP – US), Fela Olagunju (Voice of Nigeria – Nigeria), Dan Sinker (Knight-Mozilla OpenNews – US), Angelica Peralta Ramos (La Nacion – Argentina), Peter Bale (formerly CPI and ICIJ – US), Tove Knutsen (Bergens Tidende – Norway), Lisa Charlotte Rost (formerly NPR – Germany), Jonathan Stray (Tow Center, Columbia University – US), Jose Carlo Medina (News Deeply – Philippines), Declan Galvin (Sahara Reporter – Nigeria).
Members of the DJA jury were also present.