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From data to diversity: What we will explore at the News Impact Summits 2021


From data to diversity: What we will explore at the News Impact Summits 2021

Picture of Ángela Pontes Rodriguez
Ángela Pontes Rodriguez — Freelance Project Manager
May 11, 2021

The European Journalism Centre, powered by the Google News Initiative, presents two new Summits on data journalism and diversity, equity and inclusion for 2021.

The News Impact Summits bring together international media experts and local news communities to explore new technology, tools, and methods that can improve the way journalists cover their stories and work in the newsroom. The European Journalism Centre hosts these events with the mission to provide free media innovation events and training to build a stronger European media industry and a more robust democracy.

The News Impact Summits 2021 (#NIS2021) will be held online on the European Journalism Centre’s YouTube channel. The event series is organised by the EJC and powered by the Google News Initiative and this year will focus on two of the most relevant topics for today’s media industry and engaged citizens — data journalism and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Experts in data visualisation will discuss the importance of democratising data and the role of technology in data journalism. DEI specialists will share the importance of diversifying newsrooms and their editorial coverage to better reflect the reality of minorities and how social movements like #BLM provoked a worldwide awareness of these issues.

Join the #NIS2021!

“Democratising data: Making data a tool of effective journalism”

Date: 15 June

Data journalism thrived in 2020, due to the wide array of effective data visualisations produced by newsrooms covering the COVID-19 outbreak. Data journalists worked with health specialists, scientists, and health reporters to translate complex datasets into more visual, interactive maps and charts for citizens to better understand the flood of information they were exposed to.

The influx of this information, together with a lack of knowledge on reading new data has led to a rapid spread of misinformation. Amidst the noise, many have selectively used data to entrench existing beliefs and assumptions, contributing to broad social divisions and the further rise of populist movements. These developments point to the need for journalists to harness this data and present it to a public that can see the realities of their society, rather than an agenda-driven distortion of it.

At Democratising data: Making data a tool of effective journalism we’ll discuss how data visualisation goes beyond the numbers and ends up affecting public debate and democracy. We’ll explore how new user interfaces and data gathering technologies are contributing to an increased public understanding of news stories. We’ll explore issues around public trust as they relate to technologies like artificial intelligence and deepfakes. With the German election coming in September and the French elections next year, what lessons have we learned from the U.S 2020 election to avoid a mass spreading of distorted data?

Join us for this Summit on 15 June 2021! Register on our website and receive programme updates in your inbox.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion in the media industry: How can journalism better cover our changing societies?”

Date: 23 September

The average level of trust in the news in 2020 was 38% according to Reuters institute’s Digital News Report 2020. Recent social and political issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, #MeToo, and #Black LivesMatter are accelerating the need for change in newsrooms. The drive for more diversity, equity and inclusion is one of the greatest opportunities we have to rewrite journalism’s future. Newsrooms that are representative will do better journalism, engage communities more deeply (perhaps for the first time) and be more innovative and sustainable — no matter what their revenue model is.

The moral argument for embracing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is also a business one. When diverse audiences’s needs are reflected in journalism, audiences are more engaged. Diverse staff and inclusive workplaces prevent disinformation and catch blind spots in reporting. Diverse teams almost double innovation revenue in most companies (compared to those with below-average diversity of staff) and boost commercial revenue by 35% according to Mckinsey. Leading DEI experts conclude that when diversity is reflected in leadership and management positions, equity and inclusivity are fostered in such a way that blind spots unveil and eradicate themselves.

In the media industry, we need to ask ourselves important questions. How focused have we been on diversity? Have minority communities in our countries been represented in our newsrooms? How have we been covering news related to these communities? How can we create more equal, diversified and inclusive newsrooms?

Join us for this Summit on 23 September 2021! Register on our website and receive programme updates in your inbox.

What’s new this year?

  • The Summits will be a one-day event happening in a four-hour timeframe.
  • Shorter sessions, longer discussions with the speakers.
  • More networking opportunities.
  • Join our LinkedIn event pages for the Summits “Democratising data” and “Diversity, equity and inclusion in the media industry” to chat with peers and establish business relationships, even before the event.

What to do until the first Summit day?

  • Subscribe to our YouTube channel and be notified when the events are about to start.
  • Register on our website for the events and receive programme updates straight to your inbox.
  • Watch the past #NISOnline2020 on Data Journalism, Audience Engagement, Audio & Voice to start feeling the NIS vibe.


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