Through our work, we generate a wealth of data, observations, case studies and best practices related to innovation in journalism. However, we rarely had the opportunity to gather all this knowledge in one place and share it more widely than we do it now, through a variety of formats and channels, with those who need information on innovations in journalism, primarily journalists and media entrepreneurs, but also researchers, policymakers and other interested parties.
To respond to this problem, CMDS has launched Journalism Breakthroughs, a project aimed at more methodically collecting data and information about innovation in journalism and improving the ways (formats, channels and frequency) in which it packages and disseminates this content for much broader consumption than we generate now.
Phase 1 of the project ran from September 1, 2019 to Sept 1, 2020 saw the publication of over 40 pieces of content, in a variety of formats - articles, podcasts, videos and animation - covering a wide range of topics from business models to community radio, the impact of Covid-19 on innovations and collaborative journalism, just to name a few. Geographically, it included case studies and reporting from regions rarely covered when we discuss innovation in journalism such as Zimbabwe, Nepal, Mexico, Romania, Syria, Peru and Kazakhstan.
Phase 2 of the project will run from October 1, 2020 until 31 October, 2021 and will build on the experience from the project’s first phase and will bring forward theree complementing activities:
- Audience research. In order to better tailor the content, the format and the channels to the needs and preferences of our target audience (journalists and media practitioners primarily, but also researchers and policymakers, especially in countries underserved by research and information on innovation), we are proposing to conduct a mapping of needs of our target group.
- Innovation Lab / Clinic. We will develop the concept of an innovation lab or clinic, including a testing phase to see how the concept works. The main purpose of such a project is to give an opportunity for media organizations in need to consult with our wide network of experts on innovation, broadly understood (including business models, audience engagement, organizational structures etc.), which would serve the immediate needs of newsrooms facing various problems in their daily work.
- Content production. We will continue the production of content related to innovation in journalism,with the same commitment to diversity in topics, formats and geography. The audience research and the development of the innovation lab/clinic concept will provide rich material for publications.
Phase 3 of the project will run from January 1st to December 31st 2022 and will focus our work to collaboration in journalism. Building on the work we started in the Journalism Breakthroughs Phase 1 and 2, we will expand our inquiry into innovation, specifically looking at new ways in which media organizations from around the world organize in networks of support to fight for their rights, to fund their operations, and to create healthy media ecosystems. The focus of this new phase is to look at how solidarities can be developed within the media field (between media organizations), but also between the media field and other professional fields such as civil activism, human rights defense, research and academia, labor organizing and others.
This project is strategically important for CMDS as knowledge sharing is one of the center’s three main lines of work (research and policy analysis being the other two). By knowledge sharing we mean a complex set of activities all aimed at making knowledge generated by research available to interested parties as well as the general public.
Journalism Breakthroughs will be part of our larger knowledge sharing line of work whose two main goals in the next three years are the following:
- Increase the quantity and quality of CMDS’ journalistic content output using the findings generated through our research activities (i.e. Media Influence Matrix, or outcomes of CMDS’ annual summer school on topics related to journalism innovation such as funding models and trust in journalism, etc.). These activities are already practice-oriented and have a strong focus on under-researched and under-served regions (the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Latin America, MENA, Southeast Asia etc.). By focusing on innovation in journalism, this project aims to collect examples, best practices and lessons from a more diverse set of contexts to enrich the knowledge about innovation in journalism.
- Increase the outreach of this content, particularly in regions where information on these issues is scarce (in line with the center’s strategic focus on countries in less developed countries, mostly outside Western Europe and US), and explore and circulate internationally related ideas and experiences generated in these regions.
We focus on three main categories within journalism, in which innovation plays a huge role:
CMDS team members involved in the project:
Researchers for Phase 1:
Aleksandra Skripnik is a research intern at CMDS. She has three years of experience in the profit and nonprofit sectors mostly in Russia and Spain. Originally from Moscow, she finished Law school in Moscow with a focus on the protection of Civil rights. This year she started the LLM Human Rights course at ELTE University, Budapest. In 2016-2017 she was chosen for the project Young for Young (Erasmus+) and completed an almost one-year voluntary service in Valencia, Spain, where she worked with children and refugees and engaged with the local government to improve programs for youth. Prior to this project, she attended the Leadership Summit in Jerusalem, Israel, and served for 4 months as media and fundraising manager at Aviv Initiative. She also volunteered in the Press Center during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Rumi Akter is pursuing her MA in Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at Central European University. Originally from Bangladesh, she has pursued Graduation and Post-Graduation in International Relations from the University of Dhaka. She also did a Post-Graduation Diploma in Genocide Studies from the Centre for Genocide Studies (CGS) at the University of Dhaka. Prior to joining CEU, Rumi worked as a Research Assistant at the Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs (BILIA) where her main tasks were to develop academic papers and present papers on seminars and conferences. She also gained editorial competency by editing articles for the Journal of International Affairs and working on book projects. She often writes for the English dailies of Bangladesh. She also has work experience as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) at the BRAC University and interned with the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) as well. Her research interests include human rights, Rohingya refugees, geopolitics, Bangladesh and China Studies.
Outputs Phase 1 - Innovation in Operations, Tools and Content
- Which Audience Engagement Methods Work? (Robert Nemeth)
- Radio Gains in Diversity in Most of Africa (John Masuku)
- How Data Visualization Changes Storytelling (Robert Nemeth)
- Turning The Mirror on the Next Generation (Marius Dragomir, Teresa Geidel)
- Big Grants and Microloans: Fighting the Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the Media (Robert Nemeth)
- Reaching the Audience in the Time of COVID-19 (Robert Nemeth)
- Robots and Quizzes: Engaging the Audience During a Pandemic (Robert Nemeth)
- Finding Reliable Sources and Spotting Misinformation in the Time of COVID-19 (Robert Nemeth)
- How a Media NGO Changed the COVID-19 Narrative in Zimbabwe (John Masuku)
- Nepali Television Show Switches to Home Production (Binod Bhattarai)
- How an Online Publication Did the Unthinkable: Selling Subscriptions to Kazakh Readers (Adil Nussipov)
- Digital Solutions Expand Radio’s Impact in South Africa (John Masuku)
- What Happens When Academia and Media Work Together (Marius Dragomir, Robert Nemeth)
- Cómo Salud con Lupa está elevando el estándar de la investigación de temas sanitarios en Latinoamérica (Patricio Contreras)
- How Salud con Lupa Has Raised the Standard of Health Reporting in Latin America (Patricio Contreras)
- How Journalists in Syria Track COVID-19 in a Sea of Misinformation (Lidija Sabados)
- African Radio Stations Forced to Navigate Domestic Politics to Remain Sustainable (John Masuku)
- Corona Capsule: A Nepali Radio’s Quest to Fight Covid-19 (Binod Bhattarai)
- Coronavirus Radio Ideas: How a Facebook Group Inspires Innovation (John Masuku)
- Cómo el streaming salva la televisión mexicana en los tiempos de pandemia (Luis Miguel Carriedo)
- How Streaming Saves Mexican Television in Times of Pandemic (Luis Miguel Carriedo)
- Quick and Catchy: How a Lebanese Media Outlet Captures Audience With Explainer Journalism (Lidija Sabados)
- Audience Engagement 1. – Lindsay Green-Barber
- Audience Engagement 2. – Ros Taylor
- Audience Engagement 3. – Lindsay Green-Barber
- Audience Engagement 4. – Marius Dragomir
- Audience Engagement 5. – Davor Marko
- Data Visualization: How It Helps Journalists – Attila Batorfy
- Data Visualization: How Much Does It Cost? – Attila Batorfy
- Turning ‘The Mirror’
- Journalism Innovations Prompted by Covid-19
- Gavin Meiring on Radio in Africa
- What Happens When Academia and Media Work Together 1.
- What Happens When Academia and Media Work Together 2.
- The Journalism Crisis and How To Fix It
- Innovation in Romanian Journalism
- Media Innovation During a Pandemic
- A Path to Sustainability for Digital Newsrooms in Latin America
- Three Ways How Academics and Journalists Can Work Together
Outputs Phase 2 - Innovation in Collaboration
- Unexpected Collaboration: 'Follow The Money' Initiative and Magamba Network Keep COVID-19 Funds on Close Check in Africa (John Masuku)
- People-Powered Investigations: How the Bureau Local is Trying to Spark Change through Collaboration (Jelena Prtoric)
- How to Bridge Divides in Small Local Communities? Some Lessons We Learned at Átlátszó Erdély (Zoltán Sipos)
- Join the Club: How Radio Ambulante Podcast Listens to Its Community (Jelena Prtoric)
- Crowdfund Data like Correctiv. How to Involve Readers in Investigations (Jelena Prtoric)
- The Power Of Popular Communication in Argentina (The Power Of Popular Communication in Argentina (Andrea A. Gálvez)
- When the Medium is the Message: The Cuban “El Paquete” System (Jelena Prtoric)
- Fact Checkers and Women’s Rights Activists Team Up to Fight Covid-19 Misinformation in Zimbabwe’s Marginalized Rural Communities (John Masuku)
- What do we Mean by Innovation? And why is Implementing it so Darned Hard for News Organizations? (Damian Radcliffe)
- 12 Ways to Overcome Common Innovation Roadblocks (Damian Racliffe)
- Innovation in Practice: These Five Ideas can be Seen in Action at Successful Media Companies around the World (Damian Radcliffe)
- Down, but Not Out Episode 1: Political Interference and Reader Solidarity. The Story of Index and Telex in Hungary
- Down, but Not Out Episode 2: Synthesizing Journalism and Art in Belarus and Jordan
- Down, but Not Out Episode 3: Journalism Cooperatives and Subscription Newsletters. Power in the Hands of Journalists
- Down, but not Out Episode 4: On How to Launch a Paywall in 2002 and Live to Tell the Story
- Down, but Not Out Episode 5: When Journalists Organize and Take Back the Newsroom. The Story of Tiempo Argentino
- Down, but Not Out Episode 6: Hybrid Journalism
- Sharing Knowledge. Changing Journalism. (Dumitrita Holdis).
- Understanding and Implementing Innovation in News Media and Journalism (Damian Radcliffe)
Outputs Phase 3 - Innovation in Media Organizing
- Building Bridges with the Global Media: Lessons from a Syrian Information Center (Matt Broomfield).
- Building Local Networks: Lessons from a Syrian Information Center (Matt Broomfield)