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What the EJC is looking forward to at the International Journalism Festival


What the EJC is looking forward to at the International Journalism Festival

Picture of Vera Penêda
Vera Penêda — Director Programmes & impact
March 27, 2024

Two sessions, one networking event, and our top recommendations for Perugia

The International Journalism Festival in Perugia (IJF24), Italy, is going into its 18th edition from April 17-21, featuring 600 speakers and 200 sessions. Topics range from AI in journalism and covering the climate crisis, to newsroom management and leadership. The European Journalism Centre has been a partner in the programming for years (since the 11th edition). This year, we look forward to exchanging ideas and being inspired by such an engaging group of journalists and media. 

Five members of the EJC team will be in Perugia, and we will be hosting two panels:  one on datajournalism and one on solutions journalism. We will also be moderating a panel about investigative journalism. Together with Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) and Bonn Institute we will also co-host a Solutions Aperitivo with our partners and friends, which you are welcome to join if you are interested in connecting with solutions and constructive journalism practitioners and enthusiasts. This collaboration is a reflection of our work and the topics we will discuss are directly connected to some of the programmes in our portfolio and their impact. 

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Aperitivo with Friends, International Journalism Festival, Perugia, 2023

IJF always has something for everyone. While in Perugia, our team is looking forward to attending sessions on climate reporting, solutions and constructive journalism, leadership and diversity, investigative and visual journalism, and of course, funding for local news and our industry at large. Are you interested in catching up on these topics — or with our colleagues? Here’s an overview of our sessions and where you can find us.

If you are attending the festival and are not listed as a speaker, consider joining this public list of attendees to make the most of your networking. Email Mattia Peretti, who had this great idea, at with your details: name, ⁠profile photo, affiliation, ⁠short bio (optional), ⁠links to social profiles and/or personal website (optional), ⁠3 things I’m interested in (optional).

Solutions & constructive journalism

There are three sessions dedicated to solutions and constructive journalism. The EJC will host one of them. We are convinced that solutions and constructive journalism can help rebalance the news industry toward sustainability. Among other benefits, solutions-oriented coverage engages audiences and helps counter news avoidance, opens new avenues for revenue, and empowers communities to take action that can drive collective and policy change. Join our session and learn how to get buy-in for solutions journalism with colleagues and leaders in your newsroom.

  • Sparking enthusiasm: igniting a passion for Solutions Journalism in your newsrooms

10:00 - 10:50 Friday, 19 April - Sala della Vaccara, Palazzo dei Priori

This panel discussion will shed light on reasons some newsrooms may hesitate to adopt solutions journalism and demystify what it truly entails. Additionally, the panel will also provide practical tips and advice on effectively conveying the significance of solutions journalism to your colleagues and peers. Engaging with staff journalists hailing from diverse European countries, the discussion will explore differences between newsrooms and countries of publication.

Facilitated by the European Journalism Centre and the Solutions Journalism Network, this panel discussion will delve into valuable lessons gleaned from grantees of the Solutions Journalism Accelerator programme, who will share the learnings and outcomes of this three-year initiative launched in 2022.  EJC’s Zlatina Siderova, who leads our Grants programmes, will be a speaker on this panel.

We also recommend the session Revisioning the journalism industry through a ‘solutions’ lens: delivering and measuring social, editorial, and business model impact.

Data Journalism, visualisation & AI

These past years, we have invested a lot of our resources into the future of data journalism, and more recently AI and its influence on journalism. Our data journalism programme includes a vibrant community of over 30,000 practitioners. This year we will again host one of the four data journalism sessions on the programme. 

  • Conversations with Data: what is the state of data journalism?

14:00 - 14:50 Friday, 19 April - Sala della Vaccara, Palazzo dei Priori

This panel will use the key outcomes of The State of Data Journalism Survey 2023 to start a conversation with our four panellists and the IJF audience. Education and self-learning, access to reliable data, and climate investigations will most likely be part of that conversation. The newly added sections on the use of AI and OSINT in the daily lives of data journalists will surely be a focal point.

This panel will be moderated by EJC’s director Lars Boering and Tara Kelly, data editor and host of EJC’s podcast Conversations with Data, will be among the speakers.

If data journalism is your cup of tea, check out the other data sessions organised by The Sigma Awards, which are bringing the winners to talk about some of the greatest data journalism stories of last year.

Visual journalism is more prominent with the rise of visual-driven platforms. A tip from our director Lars is to attend the panel Reframing visual journalism in the age of synthetic media, on how and why visual journalism needs to be elevated in contemporary discussions concerning trust in journalism. Speakers will discuss the danger synthetic visual media poses to the power of images to document events and issues, and why generative AI is likely to increase media organisations’ reliance on authenticated visual content.

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The 2021 state of data journalism survey, moderated by Lars Boering, with Tara Kelly (International Journalism Festival 2022)

Investigative Journalism

If you want to hear from a Nobel Peace Laureate while you are at the International Journalism  Festival, then book the following session on your calendar. 

  • How can we pursue the investigations of silenced journalists? 

14:00 - 14:50 Friday, 19 April - Sala dei Notari, Palazzo dei Priori

Often, when journalists are silenced, they work on topics related to severe human rights violations, environmental crimes, or corruption cases that affect us all. One way to face up to these global crimes is for journalists to team up in consortiums.

As with every innovative modus operandi, cross-border investigations imply a paradigm shift for journalism to break specific stories to the public that are complex, time-consuming and dangerous. Instead of adopting the spirit of a ‘lone wolf reporter’, collaboration implies sharing. This panel will show the benefits of collaborative journalism far outweigh its challenges. It’ll also send a strong message to the enemies of the press: killing the journalist won’t kill the story.

Familiar with the high cost of publishing factual news in times of war and repression, Russian newspaper editor and Nobel Peace Laureate Dmitry Muratov will open this conversation dedicated to the power of collaborative journalism. Organised by Forbidden Stories, and moderated by Vera Penêda, Director of Programmes & Impact at the EJC, this panel will show how collaborative journalism can often provide the protection, resources and impact needed to deter threats and crimes against journalists.  

Climate reporting

This year’s festival is packed again with great sessions around the best practices for covering the climate crisis. As the facilitator of a series of programmes dedicated to elevating the importance and practice of climate journalism, our team is keen on learning and discussing the role of journalism in the green transition and the impact of climate reporting in driving community action and policy change. We are planning to attend:

  1. Climate catalysts: a conversation with funders shaping journalism’s impact on understanding the climate crisis 
  2. How to effectively cover climate change and reach an avoidant audience
  3. The investigative agenda for climate change journalism: tracking the fossil fuel industry

Leadership & Diversity

In our opinion the Management and culture clinics for journalists and newsroom leaders is a very interesting format to learn more about leadership at the intersection of whatever urgent challenges your newsroom is facing. You will find a seasoned group of media professionals and leaders to help you navigate change and build a more diverse, healthier and resilient team or newsroom. 

Another tip is Young Women’s Magazines: a radical transformation. Our expectations are high and hopeful over this conversation at the intersection of women leadership and gender, featuring lighthouse examples for serving young female audiences.

Perugia is also about mixing work and pleasure for a few days. We are planning to make the most of this and besides welcoming you at our Aperitivo, our team will attend the side event organised by our partners at Project Oasis Europe with media entrepreneurs from across the region, and the gathering around mental health put together by our partners at The Self-Investigation.

Other panels we have our eyes on…

  1. Generative AI in the news: one year on
  2. Seven practical strategies to counter news avoidance
  3. The rise of news influencers: what journalists must learn

Reach out to our team if you’d like to meet up while in Perugia. 

Vera & Lars, Zlatina, Juliette, Tara, we are looking forward to seeing you there.


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