What's new at Media Party 2018?

by Jacqueline Strzemp
Oct 30, 2018 in Digital Journalism

Media Party has been running since 2012 in Buenos Aires. The event, organized by Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires, brings together journalists from around the world for workshops, keynotes and sessions on the latest trends in journalism.

In previous years, conversations revolved around YouTube, fake news, virtual reality and financial sustainability. This year, when more than 1,400 journalists gathered on Aug. 22-24, they discussed everything from robots and artificial intelligence to the soon-to-be-released maté emoji.

Here are some of the key takeaways from Media Party 2018:

Tools for visualizing data

The Panama Papers are a reminder of the power of data to reveal corruption that has the power to  unseat politicians and change a country’s perception on the world stage. In the latest example of the power of data, reporters in Argentina received a set of notebooks listing bribes given by Cristina Kirchner during her time as President. They turned the massive amount of information in the notebooks into a cohesive story for their audiences, and even contributed to a wave of arrests related to the corruption.

As data continues to play a critical role in reporting and investigations, speakers at Media Party highlighted some tools that make visualizing data more accessible to journalists:

  • Google Flourish: Move away from simple charts and line graphs with this software that can create animated visual representations of large chunks of data.

  • Data Studio: This cloud-based data visualization software (currently in beta) rivals the more-expensive Tableau. It connects directly to Google’s other platforms, making it a great fit for journalists already using Google software.

  • Kepler.gl: This is Uber’s answer to geospatial mapping that borrows layering from Photoshop and has the ability to animate movement over time.  

Community engagement is the new norm

It’s no longer sufficient for journalists to publish a single article and walk away hoping that their audience reads what they’ve written. Instead, they must constantly be thinking about and engaging with their audience, creating a unique and entertaining user experience.

This new model is visible through Mexico's Verificado, which provides real-time fact-checking during presidential elections in its WhatsApp group, or through Quartz’s use of chatbots to help its users bake bread. Media is becoming all about the user experience.

The presentation of information is changing with younger generations

New formats might seem like an eyesore to older generations who prefer more traditional media, but new media outlets like LatFem and TKM target millennials with media that is accessible and interesting to younger audiences. They use GIFs, short videos, memes and personal stories to present information, without sacrificing the content’s quality.    

Stay up to date with the latest news from Media Party by following their blog.

Main image is taken from the Media Party 2018 website homepage.