PULSE #11🎒 Back to school

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Hello Outriders!
September is when many start a new school year. I used to love going to school and was always excited about what a new school year might bring. Over the years, I realised I was rather an exception – lucky enough to be embedded in a stimulating, progressive environment surrounded by great teachers and educators who lead my way.

This PULSE issue brings to your attention five interactive stories on schools & education. They focus on issues different countries over the world have with taking care of their students and making sure they grow up to be an important and engaged part of the society.
Is that easy? No one said it was…


Has Your School Been Investigated for Civil Rights Violations?, ProPublica

It is a nice example, if very US-specific, of what information you can get about your local school using well organised public records. Sexual harassment? Racial harassment, disability harassment, discipline? In Poland, many people wouldn’t agree on what these terms events mean, even though they are strictly legal. ProPublica made the statuses all the civil rights cases against schools from the last three years available and easily searchable. It is interactive, indeed.

In KP, Parents still prefer private over public schools, News Lens

This data-driven article talks about the growing preference for private over public schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. It is a story about spending, schools inability to attract and then teach their students as well as about bringing 2,6 million students eligible for enrolling into the schools. Check out the infographics!

We can draw school zones to make classrooms less segregated. This is how well your district does, Vox

A terrifying story of how American schools are being re-segregated and an appeal to the general public to act against that: “Gerrymandering school districts to include certain kinds of students and exclude others — can also be used to integrate a school, rather than segregate them”. The article walks you through how you can actually check how your local community is doing and what you can (implied: “should”) do about it – a nice piece of data-driven, political activism

Twelve years in South Africa’s schools, Passmarck

A beautifully told story about children who didn’t make it through elementary education in South Africa and why, based on the example of the generation that enrolled in education in the year 2005. IN SA you are obliged to stay at school until you are 15, after that a majority drops out. Since many of the kids repeat 1 or 2 classes, they rarely make it to the highest grade before dropping out. The story then shows you how many of those fail to get a state certificate and what percentage goes on to study, and then possibly, find a job. Education is one’s future and it reflects very many issues a society might have. Recommended.

For 31 kids, this is what it is like to go to resegregated schools, Tampa Bay Times

This story gives a voice to kids who study at five worst and most segregated schools in Florida. These are stories of bullying, worrying, failing. Brace yourself before you read on…

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Outriders Network

Education and learning are not just about schools, and in a way – they are never over. I think the School of Life folks would agree (have you heard about them? If not, check them out!).

At Outriders Network, we strive to provide many new media organisations with opportunities to learn from one another and share experiences. One of such occasions will be the upcoming Outriders Stage. Three more speakers have joined the line up: our advisory member Emma Lacey-Bordeaux (CNN, the US), Styli Charalambous (Daily Maverick, South Africa), and Isa Sonnenfeld (Google News Lab Lead DACH). We will be sharing a video teaser of what to expect during this November event early next week. Don’t have your tickets yet? You can still get them here.

Media Garage sessions last week gathered five news organisations from Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine in Warsaw. During the first day, we have talked about community engagement in the format of the newly developed CommunityLab. Other days saw other trainers, besides me, sharing their knowledge. One of them was Cristian Lupsa (Decât o Revistă) who shared his expertise on events’ organising, and Tomas Bella (Denník N) who spoke to membership models.

Another occasion to learn is during workshops. Our workathon last week resulted in us finalising four labs: CommunityLab, VerticalStoriesLab, VerificationLab, and MapsLab. We will be launching dedicated websites for each lab to gather resources corresponding with each topic. We will also be sending these labs around to conferences and events. A preliminary line-up is in the works, stay tuned!


This week multimedia journalist Inge Snip was working on the field in Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory in the Caucasus, following the story of a refugee Syrian family. Patricia Alonso, based in Istanbul, started to work on an interactive story about The Aftermath of China ban foreign garbage and the role of Turkey.

Besides, new faces are joining Outriders Brazilian Photojournalist Gabriel Uchida will start to work with Outriders on an interactive story about Behind the Fires in Amazonas this October. He will focus on the conflicts at Uru-eu-wau-wau indigenous territory, a dangerous and invaded indigenous territory in Brazil due to illegal loggers, miners and land grabbers. Gabriel will use photos, videos and audios to portray the people who try to protect this part of Amazonas.

Jakub, on the other hand, is currently at a start-up gathering in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is saying hi!

See you again in two weeks time and in the meantime – enjoy September!

/Cover photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash/