Latin Americans can earn travel grants for workshop in Brazil on journalism and internet policies

Journalists from Latin American countries have until Feb. 3 to apply to attend a two-week workshop in São Paulo, Brazil on journalism and internet policies. InternetLab, which organizes the crash course, offers travel grants to cover the cost of lodging for journalists selected for the program.

With the name “Telling the stories of the future: journalism and internet policies,” the course from InternetLab School will take place between April 2 and 14 with a full program. The objective is to train journalists interested in covering internet policies in order to encourage the production of content on technology and freedom of expression, privacy, surveillance and other topics.

According to one of the directors of InternetLab, Francisco Brito Cruz, specialized coverage usually focuses on innovations more than the political, social and economic conflicts that emerge from the new technologies. For Cruz, who is a doctoral student and researcher in the law field, there is a misperception that the subject is too technical for the average public.

“There are a lot of stories that do not appear in the news but are interesting for people to realize how internet policy issues touch their daily lives. Of course there is news about laws and court decisions, but the idea is to deepen this coverage and think about which narratives are not being told and what techniques can be used for this,” he told the Knight Center.

InternetLab School will bring ten journalists from Latin American countries and ten from Brazil to join the intensive program in São Paulo. Organizers are looking for journalists who have already graduated and who have an interest in or experience with technology coverage. You do not have to be an employee of a communications company. “People can work on blogs, newspapers, TV...We want to form a diverse group,” Cruz said.

The course includes theoretical training with members of InternetLab – a Brazilian interdisciplinary center for research, aimed at encouraging public debate about law and technology, especially internet policies.

The theoretical training will deal with issues of freedom of expression on the internet, such as content removal, lawsuits for compensation, identification and harassment of users. It will also address privacy issues such as state surveillance, cyber security and cyber warfare. The training will also discuss issues related to social rights and violence, such as the non-consensual dissemination of intimate images (revenge porn) and discrimination in an automated way by using algorithms.

The second part of the course will discuss creative ways to tell these stories and tools for journalists, in addition to showing how reporters can use databases, deal with leaks and carry out fact-checking. The organizers also invited international journalists to attend the course and they will present examples of investigative narratives.

“These reporters, who have already created some interesting material and have been deeply involved in the subject, are going to deconstruct the coverage and dissect their work to give ideas, bring references and inspire the participating journalists. Kim Zetter from Wired, who was awarded for a series on the electronic electoral system, has already been confirmed,” Cruz said. Other guests include Julia Angwin (ProPublica), Greg Barber (The Washington Post) and Andrei Soldatov (The Guardian).

Additionally, the program has technical workshops taught by engineers. “We will also have a data journalism workshop, focused on internet policy, with the staff of the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism,” Cruz said.

The course also will discuss how to work with big data, the consequences of the bubble effect on news dissemination, how to understand reader participation (likes, comments and shares) and the use of security tools for journalists (device encryption, secure databases, storage of collected data).

The call for applications is available in PortugueseEnglish and Spanish.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.