Students from online courses in Portuguese participate in an exclusive workshop with instructors at Google São Paulo

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  • October 3, 2018

Eighteen journalists who completed massive online Portuguese courses with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas were at Google São Paulo on Oct. 1 to attend exclusive workshops on electoral coverage and fact-checking.

The group was formed by students selected from the courses "How to cover elections without error: data and polls to understand voters" and "How to debunk 'fake news' and never call it by that name again," both offered with the National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) and with the support of the Google News Initiative to prepare journalists for covering upcoming elections.


Participants learned about building election results maps with Daniel Bramatti, editor of Estadão Dados; received tips on fact-checking tools from Barbara Libório, editor of Aos Fatos; and studied good practices for using Google Trends for elections with Keila Guimarães, data editor at Google News Lab Brazil.

Journalist Marilice Daronco had her final project from the election coverage course chosen among the best and came from Santa Maria (RS), thanks to the scholarship offered to participants from outside São Paulo to be able to participate in the activities. "I am a veteran of Knight Center courses, it is one of the best ways to continue training and learning, even being far from major centers." "Now I'm doing a doctorate and I'm staying away from the newsrooms. But I can still be up to date on the tools that are being used."

In addition, 12 other students from different parts of the country applied the skills learned in the MOOC to create an original report on the 2018 elections and had their projects selected. Tiago Rogero, who works for the column of Ancelmo Gois in the newspaper O Globo, used the opportunity at Google to improve the knowledge that he already acquired online.

"The course helped me a lot to understand more about electoral polls, to organize data better in Excel, and to know about new polling tools. In the workshops we had here today I learned more new things, like using TweetDeck to follow different topics. In addition to the various story ideas that have appeared throughout the day,” Rogero said.

Five other journalists were drawn among the contenders for the MOOC on combatting disinformation. Rosa Symanski, one of the lucky ones, said she was thrilled to receive the news that she would attend the face-to-face workshops.

"Once I heard it, I told everyone! [laughs] New concepts about the ecosystem of misinformation were very valuable. I work on this topic and being aware of studies from specialists at Harvard University was a key complement to my work," she said." The modules of the verification tools were challenging, but I did the exercises and got excited about my findings.”


For four weeks more than 2,200 students were able to learn how to read and interpret voting intent surveys, use Google Trends to understand voter interest in key topics, collect candidate data from sources on the Internet, and analyze and present data from elections in the MOOC "How to cover elections without making a mistake."

The course brought together great specialists in the subject: José Roberto de Toledo, editor of Piauí magazine; Keila Guimarães, Google News Lab data editor; Cláudio Weber Abramo, co-founder of Data.org and former executive director of Transparência Brasil; and Daniel Bramatti, president of Abraji and editor of Estadão Dados.

In the course "How to debunk ‘fake news’ and never call it by that name again” had the participation of 1,600 people interested in understanding the steps of fact-checking and verification to unmask fabricated news, misleading memes and manipulated videos that appear on social networks.

Instructors were Ângela Pimenta, president of the Institute for the Development of Journalism (Projor) and coordinator of the Trust Project; Pedro Burgos, founder of the project Impacto.Jor; Barbara Libório, journalist for Aos Fatos and Canal Meio; and Fábio Gusmão, online editor of Extra newspaper, in Rio de Janeiro.

"We were very happy at the Knight Center to see the success of the two Portuguese courses we conducted with ANJ thanks to Google's support. This workshop at Google's São Paulo headquarters only confirms the impact these programs have had on a few thousand journalists across the country interested in verifying online content and in covering campaigns," said Professor Rosental Calmon Alves, founder and director of the Knight Center.

Below, see the lists of students chosen from the two courses:

"How to cover elections without error" (the final project of each participant is linked below)

Delcimar Bessa Ferreira

Érika Souza de Camargo
João Pedro de Faria Valentim
João Villa Real do Amaral
Lucas Thaynan Gomes dos Santos
Luiz Fernando Toledo
Marilice Amábile Pedrolo Daronco
Matheus Antonio Fontes Dantas
Maxmiliano Augusto Gomes da Silva
Rafael da Silva Pereira
Rosangela Lotfi
Tiago Rogero de Miranda Dias
Waldiney Ferreira da Silva

"How to debunk fake news" 

Bruno de Carvalho Lucas Pereira
Ellyka Gomes
Joyce Melo Matos
Raisa Toledo
Rosa Symanski