While working on the upcoming series of Outriders Meetups which will happen all across Europe in next nine months we realised that although each one has a different topic the whole season, all our Network activities occur in the same spirit.
We couldn’t find the right word or phrase for it until today. So here is what we think.
Many bad things are happening to journalists all around the world. They are threatened, shamed, killed. Media people were named Time Person of the Year. And we as journalists always tackle important issues. We use this powerful language ourselves — how many times have you read an article beginning with “will this save journalism?” That’s a sentence which this industry has heard for over a decade. It is not easy to work in such conditions. There has to be a room for other, positive emotions. For excitement. Difficulties often call for being together. Not just to cooperate, do projects. That’s nice, and it happens. However, we need a feeling of community.
Whatever we do, it gets more comfortable with this kind of support. Maybe even… that’s something hard to write after the above paragraph, but I will try. I do believe those are the most exciting/crucial times for journalists — as the shift of models, day to day work is happening and we get to be right in the centre of it. Isn’t that every reporter’s dream?
When I look at various organisations, we meet and invite to join the Outriders Network I see many different angles from which problems are being tackled. Some are fun, some crazy, some super serious. I like this panorama a lot. What we need — is to mix those colours. In Europe, we finally have to break the division between Western and Eastern journalists. That is blocking the entire media ecosystem from moving forward.
However, we all are in it for one thing — for the common good. To serve the public. And that is done best if we work together. Whether it’s cross-border or not. Between organisations. Between freelance reporters. With and for our audiences.
So, to sum it all up — our theme for 2019 is — Let’s get together!
Yes, there is always something. A good one. This theme applies not only to the Summit which is going to take place on November 21st and 22nd- it is also valid for everything we want to accomplish this year through Outriders Network activities. Getting together has already started offline (at the 2018 Summit) and online, and it continues with every meetup we organise.
When preparing every single event, we reach out to media on the ground in the country we are in and ask them how we can help? Together with them, we seek journalists who want to learn how to make their stories better. It is a process which always leads us to discover new intriguing approaches, competent, inspiring people. But because it’s done for the first time, it feels like building a team for scratch.
Outriders Meetup Roadmap Feb-Jul 2019
- Sofia, March 14, Cross-border stories
- Budapest, March 21, Navigating through disinformation
- Minsk, April 11, The power of context in foreign reporting
- Zagreb, May 14, stories and elections monitoring
- Sarajevo, May 17, Elections coverage
- Lviv, May 31, Interactive Stories
- Tallinn, June 6, Stories for/with the community
- Banska Bystrica, July 14–17, Visual Stories Panorama
Join us or let people in these locations know that we are coming. Let’s get together!
We are still working out the final look and feel of how the meetups should be. We know that the overall experience is significant in the learning process… For example, in the case of our last meetup in Slovakia, we initially wanted to organise it in Bratislava, but then we looked at the map and said — let’s test a different approach. It is July after all. So if you are up for a three-day trek in the mountains — this one is for you. While walking through the beautiful Lower Tatra, we will learn about visual and interactive stories.
All of the Meetups are now live, and you can register for them on Eventbrite.
We do have some meetups in the pipeline for after the Summer — but let’s first see how this first season plays out 🙂
Save the date!
Outriders Summit 2019 will take place in Warsaw on November 21st and 22nd. This year we will have two full days.