EMCC: Discovering European Data Journalism

Written by Bettina Schuller from the EMCC Aarhus Team

Having the opportunity to travel and work with international students on a great project? Who’d say no to that, right? Five of our students travelled all the way to Aarhus, Denmark, to participate in the European Media Cloud Campus (EMCC).

But what is the European Media Cloud Campus? The EMCC is „a joint effort of five partnering universities in establishing a cloudbased campus environment for media, journalism and communication studies.” Those five universities offer workshops where students of the partnering universities can work together on different projects. The main topic for our week at the Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) at Aarhus was ‘Data Journalism and Social Media’.

But before the actual work started on Monday it was time to meet all the other students and lecturers from the other universities. The HdM students were joined by other students from Amsterdam, Oslo and Istanbul. To get to know each other all the students got together in a group of two people. We talked to each other and asked questions. To finish this little introduction game everybody introduced his or her partner to the group.

I discovered how much fun it is to work together with people from all over the world. To find out what they like, how they work, what we have in common and in which way we were are different. I think it was a great experience in the sense of getting to understand other people and myself better.Marie Goossens, Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Day two started with a lecture about tools of data-journalism by professor Kresten Johansen.

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The lunch break was followed by another lecture called ‘Using data in journalistic work’.

These lectures made sure that we all were put into the right mind-set. Because now the real work began. The first step was to sit together with your group and have a first little brainstorming. All the groups were put together with students from different countries.

Our lead topic was health. In my group we found a topic we all agreed on very quickly. We wanted to focus on data and a journalistic story about mental health. The following 2 days it was all about research, research and yet again: research.

Wednesday and Thursday every group was busy working on their stories. The key was not to get lost in the huge amount of raw data! After finding fitting data the next step was to find correlations. Out of that huge amount of data you had to find your journalistic story. Everyone was very focused on developing a great story. Following that everyone started searching for influencers in social media. It was a creative environment and at the end of the week every group was able to present a data based story.

It has been a pleasure to learn more about data and social media analysis. The lectures have been very interesting and did help me a lot. Isabelle Jentner, Hochschule der Medien.

But of course we did more than just working. All together we discovered the different sites of Aarhus. Visits to the Street Food Market, an Aros Art museum and a dinner together on the final evening we’re also a big part of that week.

To sum this week up: It was a great experience and a good learning experience. Working with internationals, talking in a foreign language, dealing with different approaches to work. You get an authentically idea of working in an international environment. Additionally, you get the chance to meet new people and to see and experience another culture. But it was also an exhausting week. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t want to miss this experience. If you have the opportunity to take part at this great workshop: Take it!

Bettina Schuller is a second year student in the PR programme. She has a passion for sports.

About Swaran Sandhu

Swaran Sandhu ist Professor für Unternehmenskommunikation und Public Relations an der Hochschule der Medien.