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News Impact Summit Milan

Covering Human Stories: Formats, Newsgathering and Storytelling


  1. After having visited already nine European cities in 2015, including Vienna, Brussels, Hamburg, London, Paris, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Dublin, the News Impact Summit series came back in 2016 with a new series of nine summits. On Friday 4 March 2016, our first summit was held in Milan, a home of many print media outlets in Italy (#NISMIL). Co-organised by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the Google News Lab, it was not only the first summit of the year but also the very first time that the NIS set foot in a southern European country. In this special occasion the summit centred on the theme Covering Human Stories: Formats,News gathering and Storytelling.
  2. More than 20 Italian and international journalists, discussed on stage the role of the newest digital tools and social media platforms to report on sensitive and complex stories. Some of the discussion points were the ethical implications that journalists have to take into account when using Twitter as a source or Snapchat as a way to engage with the audience. The different panels and presentations were always accompanied by great examples and followed by discussion and Q&A.
  3. Speakers:
  4. - Kat Downs Mulder, Director of Post Graphics, Washington Post
    - Mohammed Haddad, Senior Interactive Producer, Al Jazeera
    - Ravin Sampat, Senior Audience Engagement Producer, BBC Digital Current Affairs
    - Charlie Beckett, Director, Polis at London School of Economics (LSE)
    - Samuel Laurent, Manager of Les Décodeurs, Le Monde
    - Paul Ronzheimer, Chief Reporter, BILD-Zeitung - (via Skype)
    - Marc Ellison, Author of
    Graphic Memories, Journalism Grants
    - Massimo Russo, Co-Editor-in-Chief, La Stampa
    - Luca Gaballo, Editor-in-Chief, Analytical Programmes, RaiNews24
    Simona Panseri, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs,Google Italy
    Elisabetta Tola, Media Trainer, Google News Lab
    - Valerio Bassan, Senior Editor, VICE News Italy
    - Davide Casati, Junior Editor, Corriere della Sera- Serena Danna, Staff Writer at La Lettura, Corriere della Sera
    - Andrea Marinelli, DataBlog Project Manager, Corriere della Sera
    - Federica Seneghini, Staff Writer, Corriere della Sera
    - Marina Petrillo, East Coast Producer,
    - Giulio Rubino, Investigative Reporter, Correct!v & IRPI
    - Emanuela Zuccalà, Author of
    UNCUT, Journalism Grants
    - Nicola Bruno, Co-Founder of Effecinque / former Journalism Fellow at Reuters
    - Guido Romeo, Founder & Executive Director, Diritto di Sapere
    - Barbara Sgarzi, ONA Italia
    - Wilfried Ruetten, Director, European Journalism Centre
    - Rina Tsubaki, Project Manager, European Journalism Centre
    - Mattia Peretti, Project Coordinator, European Journalism Centre
  5. Milan was a great host and the summit another success. Not only thanks to the Italian hospitality and the brilliant speakers, we wouldn't have had such an intense and worthwhile #NISMIL without our partners:
  6. Sessions
  7. The venue was packed since the first minute until the last session of the day. 210+ participants (we sold out in less than 48 hours!) attended the summit: journalists, academics and a great nod of journalism students.

  9. The summit was opened by the Director of the EJC, Wilfried Ruetten, who welcomed the participants and introduced the EJC activities to the audience in the room, followed by Simona Panseri, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs of Google Italia, who took the floor to present the services Google offers to journalists in Italy and all over the world.
  10. Simona Panseri also emphasised the ambition of Google of working to have a more secure Internet for everyone. Panseri presented Project Shield, a Google initiative that was launched to protect freedom of speech on the internet on topics related to human rights advocacy, election monitoring and independent political news. Project Shield is a free tool that helps big and small websites to avoid DDoS attacks (denial-of-service attack) and thus stands against censorship in the online world.
  11. Project Shield – Protecting news from digital attacks

  13. The first panel offered a clear picture of the potential and variety of digital formats. Choosing the right format and the right voice to use for your story might become a challenge because of the number of options available for journalists today. To explore this abundance of possibilities in the digital era we had on stage Valerio Bassan (@valeriobassan), Senior Editor of VICE News Italy; Marc Ellison (@marceellison), freelance photojournalist and Journalism Grants grantee; Luca Gaballo, Editor-in-Chief of Analytical Programmes at RaiNews24 and the journalist Emanuela Zuccalà (@ezuccala), also Journalism Grants grantee. Paul Ronzheimer (@ronzheimer), Chief Reporter of BILD-Zeitung, was able to join the conversation only via Skype call from Idomeni, Greece, as he was on the ground covering the refugee crisis. The moderator of the session was Nicola Bruno (@nicolabruno), Co-Founder of Effecinque and former fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
  14. Luca Gaballo was the first one to break the ground. A very well experienced journalist, he currently works as Editor-in-Chief of the feature desk of the Rai News website, with the mission of finding new ways to use the content they produce for TV and present stories in different formats. As he said, they try to give a second life to material that otherwise would have only been used on TV, in a rather traditional set-up.
  15. Gaballo showcased several webdocs produced by Rai News where complex issues like the migrant crisis, the climate change and the fluctuations of oil prices are displayed in more interactive and engaging ways, something that cannot be done on a TV screen.
  16. Valerio Bassan presented the work of VICE News Italia, which was launched only five months ago as the 7th and latest outpost of the worldwide spread VICE Media. The young Italian team is small but growing. Bassan emphasised their work on investigative journalism and a wide network of correspondents all over the globe, even in the most remote and unexpected places.