torstai 24. maaliskuuta 2022

My three years as a data journalist with the EBU

It was back in March 2019 when I started to work as a data journalist at the European Broadcasting Union in Geneva. Now in March 2022 this chapter closes and it is time to look back and move on.

I remember that when I started I had a very clear vision in my head on what I was going to do and how I was going to improve the overall level of data journalism within the EBU and the PSM family as a whole. These three years have shown and taught me that the reality of cross-border and cross-organisation cooperation is always more difficult than you think in advance.

But still I was able to do and accomplish a lot. I covered many important topics ranging from climate change via Covid-19 to F1. In total I created almost 70 data projects for the members to use which is more than 20 a year. This is huge amount as I also had other responsibilities other than just providing content for the members. I managed the data journalism community and organised trainings for the members and helped them with various projects. Organising events and preparing materials takes a lot of time. So I would say the time was very successful, maybe just not in a way I thought it would be. 

The time with the EBU has been rewarding but just different from what I expected. 

And I have to say to work as a data journalist for a member organisation like EBU where the members are completely different from each other during a pandemic has also been challenging to say the least. In a way working remotely helped the communications with members as everyone became more familiar with online tools but it made the integration with EBU Newsroom more tricky.

In hindsight I think I should have integrated more with the people in the Newsroom. Now I my role was a bit too isolated from the day to day operations. Overall I think I failed to advertise the work that I did. Not enough people were aware of my of what I was doing and offering. This was partly due to the fact that I wasn't connected enough with the rest of the Newsroom.

From the organisation's point of view the constant crisis because of the pandemic mode also prevented EBU to give the data journalism project the required focus. I think whenever you are starting something new you should make it a priority at the highest level – especially in the beginning. 

I want to thank EBU for this time and especially all the great colleagues and many friends I received <3