International Journalism Festival 2015

The annual International Journalism Festival happened in Perugia, Italy last month. An information-packed five day affair, it’s impossible to go to every one of the hundreds of sessions, but News Labs’ own Jacqui Maher and Iain Collins were on hand to check out as many as possible.


Highlights included “Why Structure is the Future of Journalism,” with Bill Adair, Laura Amico, Chris Amico and Alexios Mantzarlis: an exploration of what’s possible if your data points go beyond the headline and text fields of traditional reporting. Several sessions featuring African journalists, such as “Africa as represented in the Western media,” underscored the importance of hearing from local voices to avoid the current distorted view of the continent. “Social Media verification tools” by Fergus Bell emphasised verifying both the content and source in reports found via Twitter, Facebook and the like. Kellie Riordan’s “Editorial Standards for a digital age” built on the work she did researching and writing a paper on “Accuracy, Independence and Partiality” while at Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Thank you Kellie for the shout-out to an early BBC effort debunking myths in UGC, too!

Jacqui spoke on several panels at the festival. She was delighted to be the token unicorn on “The unicorns of the newsroom” discussion with her former editor, Aron Pilhofer (now executive editor for digital at The Guardian), John Crowley of The Wall Street Journal and Garrett Goodman of Wochit moderating. She also participated in a couple panels debating the role of platforms like Facebook and Google in news distribution.