Looking back in 2023

An overview of iMEdD’s activities and highlights

From AI-assisted analysis of political discourse to the International Journalism Forum, and from the SNF Nostos Conference 2023 to the Crisis Reporting Resource, 2023 was a year of many interesting projects.

Part one:

Calls, trainings and events

The International Journalism Forum, iMEdD’s initiative for the annual gathering of the journalism community in Athens, unfolded at the Athens Epidaurus Festival on 260 Pireos Street from September 28 to 30.

Over 140 speakers from 35 countries shared their expertise with more than 1450 participants in 59 sessions during the course of three days. The Forum had it all; from investigations and case studies on climate crisis, migration, corruption, and war, to advancements in artificial intelligence and discussions on press freedom and media sustainability.

The Forum featured innovative formats like the Live Journalism sessions and a collective hearing event, documentary screenings, photography exhibitions and a physical data installation.

Also, the European Press Prize Community Event 2023 took place within the Forum, as well as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Dialogues, entitled “TV viewers or Citizens?” The debate was the precursor to iMEdD’s International Forum on Journalism. In an age where crises are recorded repeatedly and news overwhelms us from every possible medium, information can disarm rather than energize us, and the individual ends up becoming a mere “spectator” rather than a potential active shareholder in things.

iMEdD supported 20 journalists from Albania, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Comoros, Greece, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malaysia, Montenegro, Nigeria, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey, to attend the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2023 (GIJC23) held in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 19-22 September.

In the context of the iMEdD incubator, which centered on climate inequality this year, three projects were developed:

  • Alexia Kalaitzi, Alexandros Avramidis and Giorgos Christides traced the paths of plastic. Their research was published in the non-profit organization Solomon.
  • Award-winning journalist Sadhika Tiwari visited three climate hotspots in India to investigate the social inequalities arising from climate change.
  • Enri Canaj, Dimitris Bormpoudakis and Evangelia Drakou traveled to Evia, Naxos, Astypalaia and Crete to document the impacts of the green energy transition and the associated injustices faced by local communities and nature.

Twenty-five journalists from various media across Greece had the chance to engage with four experts from international organizations in a hands-on series of workshops focused on counter-surveillance and digital security. During the training, participants learned best practices to shield their devices, use the most secure communication channels possible with their sources, ensure the integrity of their research and protect their privacy.

Workshop: Introduction to data journalism

What is (open) data, how do we search for it, and how can we use it in the context of investigative journalism? As part of its initiative for the regional press in Greece and in collaboration with the Department of Journalism and Media at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), iMEdD held a two-day workshop for professional journalists from local and regional media titled “Introduction to Data Journalism.”

Workshops on data journalism 

As part of iMEdD’s collaboration with Panteion University, the iMEdD Lab held a series of workshops on data journalism. The two-month workshop cycle, addressed to fourth-year students of the Department of Communication, Media & Culture, aimed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand, use and present data in the context of a journalistic story. 

Moreover, lectures on similar topics were held within the postgraduate program “Journalism and New Media” at the Department of Communication & Media Studies (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), along with sessions at the Department of Statistics of the Athens University of Economics and Business.

Workshops on podcast production

As part of iMEdD’s collaboration with Panteion University, Kelly Kiki, a Journalist and Project Manager at the iMEdD Lab and Panagiotis Menegos, a Journalist and Podcast Content and Production Manager at iMEdD, conducted a workshop on podcast creation. The workshop targeted third-year students of the Department of Communication, Media & Culture, aiming to equip them with the knowledge and tools for successfully launching their inaugural podcast.

With the goal of providing an interactive and dynamic experience for all visitors of the SNF Nostos 2023 on mental health, iMEdD assisted the SNF Nostos 2023 team in crafting, editing, and overseeing the content for the SNF Nostos Conference and its concurrent activities.

In addition, the iMEdD Media Area, a specially designed space where journalists and media professionals had the opportunity to work, attend sessions and engage in conversations with international speakers, was established during the conference. 

Polarization and its relation to mental health were the focus of the discussion of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Dialogues that marked the beginning of the SNF Nostos Conference 2023. The discussion entitled “Mental Health: Reconnecting in the fragmented political landscape” is available here.

How can investigative journalism contribute powerful and vivid ideas and material to documentaries while also enabling the documentary format to incorporate complex narrative techniques for significant investigations? As part of its multi-layered collaboration with the Thessaloniki Film Festival, iMEdD participated in the 25th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival’s Agora, with a discussion on the intersection of journalistic investigation and documentary filmmaking. Micael Pereira, a senior reporter for the Portuguese newspaper Expresso and a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and Dimitris Bounias, project manager at iMEdD and journalist, participated in the conversation.

For the second consecutive year, iMEdD and the Thessaloniki Film Festival welcome submissions from podcast creators for original journalistic ideas for audio documentaries. Proposals in either Greek or English will be accepted until January 31, 2024.

In the Aegean Sea, an initiative is underway to nurture young students’ creativity and journalistic skills while uniting seven islands in a distinctive project. “Desks in the Aegean” stands as the inaugural trans-island school newspaper, implemented within the “Sports Paths” (Athlitika Monopatia) program by the non-profit Regeneration & Progress. The iMEdD team provides journalistic guidance and support for this pioneering endeavor.
“Desks in the Aegean” kicked off during the previous school year, unveiling a pilot issue themed “Summer,” and just before Christmas, they released their second issue (available only in Greek).

Find here the 2nd part of iMEdD’s year in review here