PULSE #3 Europa, Europa

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Starting yesterday the European Union parliament elections kicked off. People have already cast their votes in the UK and the Netherlands with the majority of the EU countries voting this Sunday. With the populists on the rise across the continent, the potential risk of the far-right uniting to try and sabotage the European project from the inside is real. That is why I have decided to focus on a selection of interactive stories that concern Europe in this newsletter. 


The majority of the far-right rhetoric in Europe and elsewhere, even in countries that do not really suffer from the constant influx of migrants (such as, e.g. Poland) focuses on the topic of migration and the so-called “others”. The rest of the stories tend to analyse European political climate from the meta-perspective expressing implicit worries for the so-called “European project” (not inclusive of the entire continent which is important to note).

Europe slams its gates

This story by Foreign Policy carefully depicts five stories of different countries dealing with emigration and migration – it starts in Mali, Niger, Libya, and Senegal to eventually finish in Germany where European leaders make decisions and navigate the political consequences of demographic changes.

Migrant body count

This Guardian’s article is telling a story of those who died trying to migrate to Europe. It compares the count of different deaths – those at sea and on land, in detention centres, prisons, and camps – and places them on an interactive map. It is a data-driven story, but it doesn’t try to be an exhaustive one, but rather a tribute to the 34,361 deaths recorded by a Dutch NGO called United for Intercultural Action. The story was published on a World Refugee Day.

The migrant trail through the Instagrams of refugees

This story comes from the New Yorker, and it features Instagram pictures uploaded by the refugees along their migrant trail – from Turkey, through Greece up to the Jungle Camp in France. The Belgian photographer Tomas van Houtryve juxtaposes these “digital crumbs” with the short videos he recorded in each of the depicted places. He says that he “discovered that many refugees emphasized not the suffering of their journey but moments that were joyous, triumphant, and even amusing.” I only wonder if that is not the Instagram framework – for what moments do you share with your friends if not the ones that make you feel better, wherever you are.

How far is Europe swinging to the right

Another story from across the pond, this time the New York Times focuses on the changes in the European political landscape: “Amid a migrant crisis, economic inequality, growing disillusionment with the European Union and a sense of lost national identity, right-wing parties in a growing number of European countries have made electoral gains. The right-wing parties included below range across a wide policy spectrum, from populist and nationalist to far-right neofascist.” What is there to add? Maybe that the story is firm on its narrative part and was last updated in October of 2017.

Europe’s shift right

The last story by Reuters presents a different way of portraying the shifts on the political spectrum – it is a very data-driven and highly interactive approach. If you are an analysis nerd, this is something for you.

If you have recently read or simply remember a great interactive story concerning the topic of the European continent, European Union or else – please share it with us

Outriders Network

We have just come back from Croatia and Bosnia where we hosted the first Outriders Labs, which focused on interactive storytelling. You can read more about it in our short Medium post.

We have also organised an Outriders Meetup at the POINT conference on political accountability and new technologies. Our session focused on elections and mentioned countries which have been neglected by the “European stories” quoted above but are equally important for the full picture of what is happening in this part of the world. Verda Uyar from Dogruluk Payi talked about the role of fact-checking in the election process in Turkey, and Nastya Stanko from Hromadske told us about how and why Ukraine has elected a comedian to be their next president. You can read a write-up on the sessions and watch video coverage of it here.

We have a new team member! Kasia Białach, our Events Producer and Community Manager have been working on many art-related projects before, loves to travel and, what we found out during our latest trip – speaks SBCM (Serbian-Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrian)! Here comes a link to the post in our group where I have introduced her. You will hear more from her very soon.

Tassos Morfis from Athens Live is organising a data-driven fact-checking workshop in Athens this July. The trainers – Eva Constantaras and Mauricio ReyesCardozo –- will help participants fact-check politicians statements and claims with data ahead of Greek national elections. If you are or can travel to Athens this July, do sign up!

Sonja Peter is inviting you to submit applications for an OpenCrime Conference “Uncovering the role of women in crime” in Berlin which is taking place on June 24th. The deadline for submissions is May 27th.

Augustine Zenakos is looking for long-form journalism readers to take part in a volunteer test group “The Manifold Files”. Participate in providing insights which will help them create a new digital platform to edit, present and read investigative long-form journalism online.

Kirsten Han, a Singaporean journalist and activist, an Editor in Chief of New Narrative and our board member has won a Human Rights Press Award in the category of the Best Commentary Writing in English! You can read the awarded piece here. Congratulations!


Our reporters – Marcin and Rafał just came back from London where they were gathering insights for the Zones of Fear story for which we are fact-checking a statement made by politicians and spokespeople about Muslim communities in European cities. They still have Brussels, Duisburg, and Marseille to visit before they wrap it up. If you have any tips regarding these places and the topic, give us a shout.

Lola Garcia Ajoforin – our Newsroom manager based in Sri Lanka is working on two new interactive stories, one of them focused on fake news and the topic of vaccinations. All of our nine newsroom members have been pitching new ideas for different stories, and we are in the process of figuring out what technology could best support their respective topics.

Our Media Garage project is going really well. We have received 31 applications from different new media start-ups based in Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. We are now about to select the finalists and invite them to a meeting in Warsaw at the beginning of June. In the nine-month-long pilot programme, the selected participants will have an opportunity to take part in intensive consultations led by the professional media experts and practitioners, as well as receive training during workshops and seminars tailored specifically to their needs.

On a #jobs side of things: we are looking for a Senior Designer. We offer a full-time contract for a year with a growing, international journalism organisation (us!) and the support of a creative and dynamic team. We are based in Warsaw — and if you are here — that’s great. However, it’s not a must. Apply or pass it on.

Thank you for reading, we will be in touch again in two weeks,

P.S. I have borrowed today’s newsletter subject Europa, Europa from Agnieszka Holland’s film by the same title produced collaboration by Poland, France, and Germany in 1990. It did win the Golden Globe award that very same year. If you’d like to watch yet another movie about the II World War, I highly recommend it!