Numerous wildfires have been raging in the past few months, taking many lives, injuring hundreds. Prototypes were built during a hackathon to help journalists report on those disasters.

More than 110 people have lost their lives this year alone in Portugal because of forest fires, hundred were injured, and dozens of villages were destroyed by flames. Earlier this month, ‘some 6,000 firefighters were deployed to battle the flames, and a state of emergency was declared over almost half of Portugal’s landmass’ according to a BBC report from 18 October 2017. 523 wildfires were registered during one single day that same week, while the month of September was the driest in 87 years.

The causes for the abundance of such deadly fires are numerous and well-documented. Climate change effects

The role that social media plays in the process of gathering, and sharing the news of a terrorist attack, is bigger than it looks. How useful is social media for journalists covering terrorism?

On Tuesday 19 September, L’Obervatoire de la déontologie de l’information (ODI) organised a roundtable on the topic of media coverage of the 14 July attacks in Nice, France. Media representatives, from local newspapers to international media, recounted their experiences during the terrorist attacks and the day after.

The ‘Use of social media during terrorist attacks’ roundtable: Denis Carreaux, editorial director, Nice-Matin; Anne Kerloc’h, editor-in-chief, 20 Minutes; Grégoire Lemarchand, social media director, AFP; Nicolas Vanderbiest, Louvain Catholic University; Sylvain Desjardins, correspondant, Radio Canada.

Denis Carreaux, editorial director of Nice-Matin, a local newspaper, kicked things off, giving some insights on how to work unprepared in such a situation.

“We were not prepared for the Nice attacks. In 15 days, we had 150 pages produced on this, without counting the web content. This was unprecedented,” Carreaux said.


Innovative ideas and prototypes on how to change the way newsrooms deal with the definition and improvement of their “audience engagement,” developed during the Mic Editors Lab.

How can we better understand and expand communities? The goal was set for the hackathon teams to prototype tools to better listen, understand and connect with specific audiences. Perhaps by seeking to engage with those left out of mainstream coverage; maybe by finding a way to break through the filter bubble and engaging audiences across ideological lines?

Let’s find out what the twelve New York teams (CUNY Journalism School/NYU, Fast Company, The Guardian, Montclair State University, National Geographic, NBC News, The New Yorker, ProPublica, Vocativ, The Washington Post, and two teams from our host Mic) worked on during this journalism…

We spent some time in Mumbai to conduct a hackathon to build new tools to better evaluate and analyse gender inequalities, and to create more awareness on this issue.

The Global Editors Network & The Indian Express organised a hackathon in Mumbai 17–18 March 2017. The Mumbai Editors Lab was presented in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hacks/Hackers India and the International Center for Journalists with the support of the New Venture Fund for Communications.

On the stage, Ritvvij Parrikh, from the data visualisation company Pykih

This hackathon was part of our Editors Lab programme, now in its fifth season; each team is composed of a journalist, a developer, and a designer. Teams have two days to work on a journalism prototype aimed at solving some aspects of a problem, related to the theme of the hackathon. Teams…

Please tell me this cannot happen.

Person A meets Person B on a dating app. They talk, they have fun, they decide to get a drink one day. They exchange phone numbers, as you do, stay on a first name basis, and meet in a crowded bar, in the city center.

The first date is weird. Person B is a bit strange in the eyes of Person A. Person B seems unhinged, impatient, and Person A knows this kind of person all too well. The days after the short and awkward date, Person B keeps texting and calling, Person A leaves the messages and the calls…

In Romania, the years 2017 and 2018 saw hundreds of thousand of people in the street, asking for their government to withdraw an ordinance intended for the decriminalisation of corruption. In this context, and in order to improve accountability for public powers, tools and services were created at our Bucharest Editors Lab hackathon.

‘Romania emerges from its year of discontent polarised and mistrusting,’ said Ioana Avădani, the executive director of the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) in Bucharest, our host for this event which took place on 23–24 March 2018. She added:

‘There are no claims for money or benefits, these are claims for respect and consistent European integration. The government’s response was weak and we thought we can help the media provide a stronger voice to these claims.’

‘The saying goes that every people has the government it deserves. We strongly believe that we deserve the best government possible, and we hope…

A list of simple tips and mistakes to avoid, to help you when shooting a video in 360 degrees for the first time.

In November 2017, the European Forest Institute (EFI) and the Global Editors Network (GEN) announced Lookout360°, a six-month climate change immersive story accelerator, as the pilot project of the Lookout Station. This new initiative by EFI offers a space to connect journalism and science communities for climate change digital storytelling. After receiving 280 applications from 88 countries, twelve journalists were selected early January 2018 to participate.

The participants of the Lookout360° first class are now deep in the production of their 360-video stories. A few weeks ago, the twelve journalists attended a two-day bootcamp in the north of Finland, as…

Along with the twelve talented journalists selected for Lookout360°, Rina Tsubaki and I are on our way to Lapland. The group will produce 360-video stories on the impacts of climate change on the indigenous community.

The pilot project of the European Forest Institute’s Lookout Station, Lookout360°, focuses on 360° videos and climate change. This Climate Change Immersive Story Accelerator organised by the Global Editors Network (GEN) and the European Forest Institute (EFI), is being built for journalists who are eager to get started with immersive stories on climate change.

The Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos, in Inari, Finland, where the first day of the Lookout360 training will take place

GEN has already had some experience with climate change and immersive storytelling. Over the past few years, it has implemented a number of related projects: the Climate Publishers Network, VR Study Tours, and more recently:

Slack chat on environmental data

GEN gathered seven experts last October on our Data Journalism Awards…

During the rush hour of breaking news, many journalism standards can become difficult to maintain such as meticulous fact-checking, story contextualisation, and thorough reporting. Prototypes were developed during our Madrid hackathon to improve the breaking news experience for readers behind their screens — and the journalists in newsrooms or in the field.

Extracted from Trying Not to Drown in a Flood of Major Breaking News, by Liam Stack on The New York Times (May 2017)

For readers, breaking news can be problematic: sometimes there is a lack of context to the story, and sometimes it is hard to distinguish facts from rumors and misinformation. Push notifications can be overwhelming (the average number of alerts received is 3.2 per news outlet, according to a recent study), or simply annoying (alerts are no longer restricted to breaking news events).

In newsrooms, the resources employed to produce the best and most accurate content, or simply the levers pulled to filter through the noise of information, are not always available during a breaking news event. …

Nicolas Magand

Episodic blogger at

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