Correio of the Future Award
Media associated with this campaign
Overview of this campaign
The campaign had five main goals: Encourage the development of innovative journalistic products in our community; Attract technology talents for thinking about innovation in journalism; Combine expertises of journalism + technology + design efficiently; Tighten the relationship between Correio and the universities; Contribute to student education.
To reach these goals, the award was designed in five major moments.
1) The launch: To launch the award, we brought to Salvador, for an open and free seminar, three leaders of innovative and recognized Brazilian initiatives: Jota (elected by WAN-IFRA the best digital news startup of the world), Nexo (awarded by ONA as General Excellence in Online Journalism) and Operacao Serenata de Amor --an AI project for following federal deputies expenses.
2) Entry and Presentation: Entries were open for 1 month, during which we visited seven courses at five different universities, giving to students a presentation about innovation in journalism and inviting them to participate in the award.
3) Selection Process: We wanted the selection process to be also a learning experience for students. Thus, we divided it into three stages: after applications, we interviewed all the teams with good ideas; then, we passed the best through a design thinking workshop (semifinal) to help improve their projects; finally we selected five to pitch in the grand final.
4) The Final: The event was also open to the community, and we brought Florencia Coelho, a data journalist from La Nación (Argentina) and JSK fellow in 2020. She was member of our jury and give a talk about Artificial Intelligence in Journalism.
5) Product Development: The winning team had three months to develop the pitched product. During this period, they were mentored by Correio professionals and coached by journalist Pedro Burgos, an ICFJ Knight fellow, with extensive experience in technology and journalism.
Results for this campaign
The greatest result was to produce, in only three months, a totally innovative product in Brazil and perhaps worldwide. The award also helped us meet brilliant young students who can certainly add value in further projects. One of the young students, for example, whose team did not even reach the final, was hired by us at the end of the contest.
The innovative character of the award and its potential to be a learning opportunity was so strong that even a team from the Federal University of Pernambuco (500 miles away from Salvador) applied. They traveled twice to Salvador, a 12-hour trip, by bus, to participate. On the second trip, they even organized a crowdfunding to cover trip costs.
Results of each stage:
Seminar: over 150 participants
Presentations: over 400 students reached
Entries: 18 projects (we predicted 15 entries would be a success). Total of 38 students, from 18 courses in 7 universities.
Selection process: Interviewed 14 projects, approved 9 to the semifinal and, finally, selected 5 for the final.
Final: Three teams from an AI Lab in the Federal University of Bahia (with whom, also as a result, we are now arranging an agreement for further projects), one from the Federal University of Pernambuco and one from the State University of Bahia -- who winned.
We also got great results from the winner team, formed by students that already launched a startup. First, the product, that shall be launched in mid-February. It’s?? a chatbot that gathers stories from readers and categorizes in a dashboard. Then, journalists can directly contact the reader who made the suggestion.
Another important learning was that, being a tech startup, they use methods (like Agile) and tools (like effort/impact matrix) with huge potential to help us in other challenges and projects.