ICFJ Knight Roundup: Free digital tools showcased at U.S. conference

by Sara Olstad
Oct 30, 2018 in Digital Journalism

As part of the Knight International Media Innovators blog, the ICFJ Knight team will round up stories focused on how their fellows are making an impact in the field. Find out more about the fellows' projects by clicking here.

Fellows share tools and insights at ONA, Media Party comes to South Africa and more from the ICFJ Knight Fellows in this week’s Roundup.

Digital tools and projects that any newsroom can use

Nine ICFJ Knight Fellows attended the Online News Association Conference in Denver September 15 to 17 to showcase their latest innovations, spark new cross-border collaborations and offer U.S. newsrooms new digital solutions. From collaborating with African newsrooms on international investigations like the Panama Papers to generating new revenue sources for journalism, their tools and projects can help journalists strengthen their storytelling, expand news delivery and better engage citizens. The Fellows have also created guides explaining a digital-first newsroom workflow and how to get started with 360° news video.

Check out these tweets with highlights from the ICFJ Knight Fellows’ sessions at the conference: 


Media Party comes to Africa

Meet and learn from some of the world’s most innovative digital journalists and technologists at Media Party Africa, October 21 to 23 in Cape Town, South Africa. Presentations will focus on drone and sensor journalism, VR storytelling, investigative tech, chat apps and other ground-breaking media topics. Speakers include ProPublica’s Mike Tigas, Buzzfeed Labs’ Ben Kreimer and Vox’s Kainaz Amaria as well as ICFJ Knight Fellows Adi Eyal, Nasr ul Hadi, Catherine Gicheru and Omar Mohammed. ICFJ Knight Fellow Chris Roper is organizing Media Party Africa. The event is based on Media Party Buenos Aires, which has taken place annually for the last five years and is led by former ICFJ Knight Fellow Mariano Blejman. Media Party Africa registration is free but seats are limited. Sign up now!

360° video project takes viewers inside one of South Asia’s largest slums

Express Tribune Labs partnered with ICFJ Knight Fellow Shaheryar Popalzai to take viewers inside of Machar Colony, the largest slum in Karachi, Pakistan. An estimated one million residents live in the slum, which lacks most basic amenities. Made up of 12 separate stories, the project is the largest 360° video piece produced in Pakistan to date.

Geo News also recently worked with Popalzai on a 360° video project about Karachi’s “crocodile shrine.”

How to set up a digital-first newsroom that maximizes collaboration

If you’re setting up a newsroom or restructuring an old one, check out SPADE. Instead of dividing the newsroom into desks based on the type or topic of stories, such as “national,” “technology” or “features,” SPADE breaks the newsroom down into four “hubs” — one for finding and reporting stories, the second for producing the content, a third for packaging content for different platforms and a fourth for distributing content, engaging with audiences and selling ads. ICFJ Knight Fellow Nasr ul Hadi created this newsroom workflow model to optimize content creation and distribution, ensuring that each step of the process is carried out using the latest digital tools and technologies. SPADE is a modular design, meaning newsrooms can adopt all or parts of it, based on what resources they have available.

Hadi recently published an interactive diagram illustrating how SPADE works. The work-in-progress graphic will soon be updated to be usable on media organizations’ online career pages to help with hiring and recruiting.

Learn how to access Moroccan government data at upcoming d|bootcamp

ICFJ and Code for Africa are planning a free three-day data bootcamp in Casablanca, Morocco from October 25 to 27. The event will include a hackathon as well as sessions on why reporters should use data, PDF scraping and data visualization tools. ICFJ Knight Fellows Justin Arenstein and Jacopo Ottaviani will lead some of the sessions. Click here to register.

Photo courtesy of Steven Strasser.