Google News Lab Fellowship Expands in Europe

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Last summer, 250 data journalism students from across the UK applied for the first Google News Lab Fellowship.

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Last summer, 250 data journalism students from across the UK applied for the first Google News Lab Fellowship. Eight students – from City University, University of London, Cardiff University, University of Leeds, and the University of Edinburgh – were successful, and gained a two-month placement with one of seven different news organisations. The Fellows were offered a unique chance to learn amongst journalists and contribute to a functioning newsroom.

We’re excited to announce the second year of the Google News Lab Fellowship UK, and the expansion of the program to offer placements for the first time in Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Across all six countries, we’ll be offering 28 placements with some of the most innovative and prestigious publishers and broadcasters in the region. If you’re a student interested in applying, click here.

Here are the publishers we’ll be working with in each of the countries:

UK

  • BBC News Labs
  • Financial Times
  • Full Fact
  • Haymarket Publishing
  • The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
  • The Guardian
  • The Telegraph
  • The Times & Sunday Times
  • Trinity Mirror

Ireland

  • Independent.ie
  • The Irish Times
  • Journal.ie
  • Newstalk
  • RTÉ

Sweden

  • Aller Media
  • Dagens Nyheter
  • Expressen
  • Metro
  • Sveriges Radio

Norway

  • Aftenposten
  • Nettavisen
  • Verdens Gang

Finland

  • Helsingin Sanomat
  • Kauppalehti
  • Mediahub
  • YLE

Denmark

  • Børsen
  • Ekstrabladet

As we get set to offer a new cohort of students the opportunity to be a Fellow, we asked two Fellows from last year to reflect on their 2016 experience.

We first spoke to Josh Robbins from ‘City, University of London’, who joined The Bureau of Investigative Journalism for his summer placement:

I applied for the Fellowship because it was a golden opportunity to get full-time work experience at a leading media organisation. It went well beyond the length of a typical internship and was also paid. In other words, it was a first step into professional journalism. The emphasis on data journalism also appealed to me because I believed strongly – and still do – that as a student journalist, your best chance of producing good stories is by using Freedom of Information requests, data analysis, and visualisation. It is difficult, near impossible, to get some officials and institutions to talk to you as a student journalist, but with data you are on a level playing field with the big players.

The placement was amazing: at ‘The Bureau’ as I was surrounded by a small team of exceptional journalists who were also very friendly. I received help to develop two of my own data stories into accessible and coherent news packages with case studies. One of them was picked up by BBC’s 5 Live Investigates, and I also got to make my TV debut on Russia Today! The Fellowship transformed me from a student journalist who was handy with data into a bona fide data journalist. It gave me a lot of confidence and I continue to improve my skills. I am now very competent at using programming languages to scrape and manipulate data – something I would not have dreamed of 12 months ago.

I have since been back to the Bureau for freelance work and was delighted to get a byline in The Guardian for a major animal welfare story. I am also freelancing as a data journalist for Ecostorm, an ethical investigations agency, thanks to a contact I made while doing the Fellowship. I left university just four months ago and I already have a string of quality bylines. This would not have been possible without the Google News Lab Fellowship.

I applied for the Fellowship because it was a golden opportunity to get full-time work experience at a leading media organisation.

Josh Robbins
City, University of London

We then spoke to Georgina Rannard from the ‘University of Edinburgh’ who joined the BBC News Lab in London for her summer placement:

I applied to the fellowship because I wanted to understand how newsrooms and platforms are grappling with changes and opportunities in digital media, technology and distributed news. My background is in research and freelance journalism, and this gave me the chance to see technology in the heart of the newsroom.

BBC News is a huge operation and working with Labs let me see lots of different parts. I wrote a report about the Trust Project – an ongoing academic project with a consortium of media about how to improve public trust in media — and prototyped a tool with developers and researchers at BBC. I also worked with the Audience Engagement team that use real-time data in the newsroom, which gave me the opportunity to pitch stories in morning editorial meetings. I also took part in a BBC World Service hack – and was even on the winning team! I continued working with BBC after my fellowship, and recently was on the winning team for the Trust Project hack in London.

The fellowship opened my eyes to the myriad opportunities and challenges of the technological revolution in media – is also enabling newsroom to connect and learn about audiences in ways not previously possible, to create new and exciting stories, and is challenging journalists pretty much everywhere to think and work differently.

A thank you to all the students who applied and participated in our program last year. We look forward to welcoming a new cohort of students this year to expand and broaden the impact of the Fellowship program.

The fellowship opened my eyes to the myriad opportunities and challenges of the technological revolution in media

Georgina Rannard
University of Edinburgh

A thank you to all the students who applied and participated in our program last year. We look forward to welcoming a new cohort of students this year to expand and broaden the impact of the Fellowship program.

If you’re a student interested in applying or learning more, click here.

The Fellowship program is a reflection of our values at the Google News Lab. For all the opportunities technology may enable, great journalists will always be at the heart of great journalism. We look forward to  strengthening the program and help developing the next generation of storytellers.