Young Journalists Learn Cutting Edge Investigative Techniques

16 Apr 2013

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Nine young journalism graduates are attending a data driven journalism training that will last for five days, as a part of a comprehensive training program designed for them within the scope of the Youth Sleuth project.

Students are already placed as interns in three Belgrade based non-governmental organizations. During the next six months, their task will be to write investigative stories which will be published through social media. The training on data driven journalism is considered to be a sine qua non in contemporary investigative journalism.

The five-day workshop in Belgrade is conducted by Nicolas Kayser-Bril and Pierre Romera, from the Journalism++, a company specialized in coaching media organizations to write investigative and data driven articles.

Nicolas Kayser-Bril is satisfied with the training’s progress: „The participants are very enthusiastic to learn new tools and very willing to learn in general. This work of theirs will certainly produce new stories. It shows that they have a background in humanities, which is normal for journalists, and that journalism school did not prepare them for these skill, but that is why we are learning here“.

The training will familiarize students with the latest tools for data processing and visualizations, including mapping. Spreadsheet, Google Fusiontables, Google Refine, Gephi, and a visualization tool datawrapper.de will be practiced throughout the training. Students will also renew the basic knowledge of mathematics, much needed for a sound data analysis. Coached by trainers, students will analyse data that will be featured in their investigative stories.

Earlier this year, the another group of nine journalists also attended a number of trainings within the Youth Sleuth project: the training organized by the Anti-corruption Agency; the first module of three-part investigative journalism training, with Branko Cecen of CINS Serbia and Sasa Lekovic, of CINS Croatia; as well as training on the use of social media and digital publishing tools and techniques, in cooperation with UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre.

Group members have already published first investigative stories about local official asset declaration and alleged misuse of public funds, as well as several blogs.