Journalism Breakthroughs

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, the Center for Media, Data and Society (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. The Journalism Breakthroughs Podcast Series will bring you, through conversations with journalists, media experts, and researchers the most interesting findings of our project. 

Original music for the series was composed by András Simongáti-Farquhar.

E1 Media Innovation During a Pandemic

The inaugural episode of the Journalism Breakthroughs podcast discusses how the media coped with the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 virus. Innovation in journalism allowed media outlets to survive the pandemic. We talked to Robert Nemeth, who works as Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Media, Data and Society, walked us through a series of innovative ways of responding to the Covid crisis he collected in a series of four articles published on the CMDS website.  Then, we discussed with John Masuku, a journalist from Zimbabwe, a CMDS fellow and an old friend of our Center, about the situation of journalists in his country and how much they have the energy and resources to deal with the effects of a pandemic. Finally, we approached some of the structural issues that made journalism even more vulnerable during the pandemic, with Kate Coyer a Research Affiliate with CMDS and an Affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Read John's article on how a media NGO in Zimbabwe changed the narrative on COVID-19 here. Photo credit: Kovid Bhushan Pathak.

E2 A Path to Sustainability for Digital Newsrooms in Latin America

The second episode of the Journalism Breakthroughs podcast discusses how Velocidad, a media accelerator in Latin America, not only injects money but also explores the different dimensions and challenges of financial health in the news ecosystem. The host, Patricio Contreras, a Chilean journalist and university professor talks to Janine Warner, Co-Founder and Executive Director of SembraMedia, one of the organizations responsible for Velocidad. Janine has experience leading teams at The Miami Herald and CNET Latin America. In addition, she has written twenty books, is a teacher and has a broad knowledge of entrepreneurial journalism in Latin America. Then, our host talks with Vanina Berghella, Director of Velocidad. Vanina is an Argentinian journalist with experience as a teacher and consultant. She was Head of Digital Projects at Grupo Clarín and was also the Director of the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA). Finally, our host speaks with Jazmín Acuña, Co-Founder and Editor of El Surtidor, a Paraguayan digital outlet that was selected to participate in the final stage of the accelerator. Jasmín holds a BA in International Relations from Connecticut College and describes herself as a journalist covering "what it is like to be a woman in the most Catholic country in the region."

E3 Three Ways How Academics and Journalists Can Work Together

There are plenty of people who will be quick to tell you that journalism is broken. But we’re not here to wallow in negatives. As part of the Journalism Breakthrough series from the Centre for Media Data and Society at the Central European University, instead, in this episode we take a look at three different innovations that bridge academia and journalism: how students can become journalists, how journalists can build on academics’ research, and how scholars and journalists can work together. Further reading - What Happens When Academia and Media Work TogetherPhotography by Jon S.