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Infographics MOOC students attend newspaper congress in São Paulo and visit Google Brasil


Alberto Cairo

The ability to cope with a disruptive environment and an awareness of new technological resources are key skills for the 21st century journalist. This was the lesson highlighted by a group of eight students who participated in a recent Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, through the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.  The students won scholarships to attend the 10th Brazilian Congress of Newspapers (CBJ by its initials in Portuguese) and visit the facilities of Google Brasil.

With support from Google, the Brazilian National Newspaper Association (Associação Nacional de Jornais or ANJ) and the Knight Center collaborated to offer eight scholarships to participants with the best performances in the MOOC, "Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization", taught by Alberto Cairo.  Cairo, an internationally-recognized expert in the field, developed a unique curriculum for the specially-formatted course, which attracted more than 3,000 participants and ended on May 26.

The eight students awarded scholarships to travel to São Paulo (four journalists, two teachers and two student journalists) received special certificates during a lunch at the Brazilian Congress of Newspapers.  The certificates were presented by the president of ANJ, Carlos Fernando Lindenberg Neto, the president of Google Brasil, Fábio Coelho, and the director of the Knight Center, Rosental Calmon Alves. Below is an album of photos from the lunch.​

Rogério Moreira Jr. of the newspaper Noticias do Dia of Santa Catarina won a scholarship with a data visualization project on the circulation of printed newspapers in the world. He said, "It was interesting to follow [in the congress] how some changes adopted in the newspapers end up connecting the work of technology and the art departments in the newsrooms."

During the visit to Google Brasil headquarters, Leandro Luiz dos Santos, scholarship recipient and journalist of Gazeta do Povo, said that the best experience was being able to observe 'in situ' the relaxed atmosphere of the company and view the presentation about Google tools that facilitate the production of material using data and geolocation.

Alberto Cairo

"Participation in the CBJ allowed us to learn about the resources used by the media in the country in an attempt to be ever closer to the reader. During times of crisis in the circulation of printed newspapers, knowing about colleagues'' experiences may have contributed to new ideas for keeping readers and may even have expanded the audience of the newspaper ", added Santos.

About a hundred participants applied for the MOOC prize. In addition to Moreira and Santos, scholarship recipients include two other journalists chosen for their scholarship work in newspapers, two professors of journalism and two journalism students. See the list below of the eight participants and their work:

  • Marilice Amábile Pedrolo Daronco (Diário de Santa Maria/Rio Grande do Sul): “Onde o crime faz morada” - Data on crime in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul

  • Maria Carolina Maia Monteiro (Diario de Pernambuco): “Greve da PM” - Map of incidents recorded during the strike of police and firefighters of Pernambuco in May 2014

  • Leandro Luiz dos Santos (Gazeta do Povo/PR): “Circulação de jornais no mundo” - Ranking the circulation of printed newspapers in developed countries, in developing countries, and specifically, in Brazil

  • Julia Rabetti Giannella (Journalism student/Universidade de São Paulo): “As viagens de Cabral e Pezão” - Infographic about the number and costs of trips flown on aircraft of the government of Rio de Janeiro

  • Amaro Xavier Braga Junior (Journalism professor/Universidade Federal de Alagoas): “A máscara do preconceito” - Infographic about the presence of black characters in comics from Marvel Comics

  • Ângela Prestes (Journalism student/Universidade de Passo Fundo): “A energia que vem dos ventos” - Infographic ranking investment in wind energy in different countries of the world​

The four-week MOOC sought to help participants work with graphics to communicate and analyze data. Even those who had no previous experience in the area were able to acquire enough skills to start producing simple and compelling infographics. Scholarship recipients completed all course requirements and showed that the MOOC helped to develop their infographics and contributed to the originality, quality of execution and presentation of data of the work.

This was the second online training program offered in partnership between ANJ and the Knight Center at the University of Texas. The first was a regular online course on data journalism, taught by Professor José Roberto de Toledo and his team of Estadão Dados. This was the second MOOC offered by the Knight Center with support from Google - the first was a course on "Journalistic Projects for the Web" that was conducted in Spanish last year.

The Knight Center at the University of Texas at Austin has offered twelve MOOCs since its program launched in 2012; the flagship program is unique in the world and specializes in journalism and massive open online courses. The initiative has benefited more than 50,000 people in about 160 countries. Currently, the Center offers a course in Spanish titled "Using data journalism tools."

ANJ brings together the leading dailies of Brazil. The organization was created in 1979 to defend freedom of expression, thought and propaganda, the functioning of the press without restriction, observing the principles of accountability, and fight for human rights, the values ​​of representative democracy and free enterprise.

Google is a leading global technology company dedicated to improving the ways in which people connect with information. Google's innovations in Internet search and advertising have made its website a leading Internet product and its brand one of the most recognized in the world.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created by Professor Rosental Calmon Alves, Knight Chair holder in Journalism and UNESCO Chair in Communication at the School of Journalism of the University of Texas at Austin in 2002. In the past, the Center received contributions from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation and other donors such as the Open Society Foundations. Currently, the Center operates with the support of the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin and donations from the general public.




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