Towards #DigitalFluency in the Spanish speaking newsroom (Caty&Aleszu)

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We have designed a workshop to be put on in Spanish speaking newsrooms that will bring journalists and coders together to work on a multi-faceted storytelling project where the data visualization component complements the written or podcasted work.


We want to create a meeting point for Spanish speaking journalists seeking to improve the digital presentation of their stories but don’t know how with developers who want to establish a foothold in journalism.

With this workshop, journalists and coders will become more adept at using digital storytelling tools, have a chance to build something together that they both have a stake in, and see possibilities of what can be built.

The journalist will leave understanding which tools/techniques he/she can take back to the newsroom. Coders will leave with an expanded portfolio and a lesson in journalism.

Both journalists and coders will leave the workshop with a rolodex of contacts with whom to work on future projects.

Why in Spanish?

Because we think the Spanish speaking media still lacks the creation of a meeting point for journalists and developers. We think there are a lot of improvements to be made in digital fluency in these newsrooms, for media outlet websites to include digital storytelling tools. The major Spanish speaking media outlets have an antiquated web presence (e.g. New York’s El Diario, Peru’s El Comerio or Spain’s El Mundo).

We believe that the creation of a meeting point for developers and journalists will improve excellence in storytelling, spur media innovation and improve ways to reach a younger news consumer. Young Spanish speakers have increasing access to the Internet and journalists need to explore these digital avenues to attract news consumers of the future.

But we don’t only want to improve digital fluency in traditional media but also want to help the new wave of independent new media startups. There’s a surge of quality investigative journalists anxious to find new digital directions and meet developers to deploy those.

For whom?

(Five) Journalists hungry to complement their reporting with data visualization will each bring a story and a spreadsheet of their dataset that has been screened for ease-of-use by the organizing committee.

(Five) Coders with a keen interest in becoming a newsroom developer show their portfolio, bring ideas for what visualizations news outlets are missing and explain what kinds of projects they would like to work on.

Selection Criteria

The selection process is key. We are flying out, housing and feeding 5 journalists and 5 coders that are perfectly suited for a workshop where they’ll leave more fluent in digital storytelling tools.

For journalists: Minimum three years experience in journalism, three clips of previous work, a proposal for a visualization project, an organized dataset in spreadsheet form. Journalists working for mainstream media and new startups will have preference. A letter from an editor saying the visualization project will be considered for publication is a plus.

For coders: A portfolio of visualization work. A keen interest in working alongside journalists and possibly getting a job in a newsroom.


We are going to put into action our final project at a workshop we organized with Matt Carroll this Sunday at the MIT Media Lab. Please, join!

1 thought on “Towards #DigitalFluency in the Spanish speaking newsroom (Caty&Aleszu)

  1. Guys, I love that you’ve identified a very specific problem – data journalism within the Spanish-language media community – and that the intervention proposed builds on existing best practices in the space. I’d love a writeup of lessons learned based on the workshop you ran this past weekend, and I’d particularly appreciate it if you could address some of the questions you got about inclusion/exclusion of non-professional journalists from your set of participants. It’s a really interesting idea and I’d love to see it get some funding and be carried out in the real world.

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