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TRUE LIES. a tools & skills workshop for bloggers

True Lies#shshmob16 #truelies
SHIFT. SHAPE. MOBILIZE. a network for online activism
July 31 – August 7, 2016 | Odessa (Ukraine)

Are you an active blogger, or an online activist who wants to shift mindsets, shape social change, mobilize people? Are you interested in gaining new skills for storytelling with visuals, text or data? This call might be just for you! Shift. Shape. Mobilize. is a network for bloggers and online activists from Europe. In 2016 the workshop is throwing light on TRUE LIES.

About the project

The German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) together with Sourcefabric and n-ost, welcome you to take part in a 6-day workshop in Odessa, Ukraine, from July 31 – August 7, 2016.

All over Europe societies are becoming polarized. People seeking clear answers face masses of information that may or may not be reliable. Where does truth end and populism or propaganda begin? Is it a lie to leave out details or rip a quote out of its context? In times of systematic misinformation these are more than philosophical questions. It is nothing new to notice that a single statistical dataset can be used for contrary interpretations and arguments. But propaganda, which was easier to disregard when it came only via state media, now attacks from all angles. Debunking a troll takes skills in identifying biased presentation, tendentious phrasing, and other manipulations hidden under a reputable or harmless surface.

Credibility is a quality strongly contested by players online today, and bloggers are right in the middle. It is an art in itself to express a subjective opinion using tools and methods of a fact-based “search for truth”. The project aims to raise awareness, empowering and supporting the role of bloggers in Europe as an alternative source of information in society.

Training elements
The workshop will open with an introductory day on “True Lies” and the role of alternative sources of information in polarized societies. The opening day will be followed by three parallel tracks where you will improve your skills in storytelling either using DATA, VISUALS or WORDS.

In your application you will have to opt for one out of three tracks. Here is a short description of what you can expect in each of them:

A) DATA
In a world where information is more and more available data has become an essential source of stories for journalists. But datasets can be interpreted in many ways and can tell very different stories. In this track we will explore how to find data to support stories and how to find story ideas with data analysis. We will learn how to make simple analysis of datasets and finally produce stories with engaging data visualization tools.

B) VISUALS
Compared to text, images are more easily considered as evident proof of happenings in the world, and immediately determine how we perceive an event. This is why counterfeiting images always has been attractive. Manipulation nowadays extends through the whole production process, making it practically invisible and hard to debunk even by media experts. In Odessa we will discuss how visuals are made, distributed, and selected. Going out to the streets, we will also experiment with various ways of visual storytelling ourselves.

C) (MORE THAN) WORDS
Reading between the lines is a basic skill of critical media consumption. In order to debunk the real motives of an (often anonymous or fake) author knowledge about the connotation of words is needed. Demagogues take advantage of subtle emotional effects on their readers to manipulate. In this track we will discuss the power of language and question our own habits in dealing with words.

Additionally, there will be an intensive training on DATA SECURITY offered to all participants. During four hands-on sessions we will discuss why encryption matters, how to use PGP on your devices and which software and apps to use for a better security of your communication and data. Furthermore, we will work with different open source blogging and publishing tools to support your work, such as Sourcefabric’s Storyteller and Booktype.

Who can apply?
Bloggers and online activists from different European countries. Applicantions from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the Russian Federation are especially welcome. Selection will be made in line with gender and geographical balance.

You are:

 actively blogging or regularly posting in social media on sociopolitical topics, either by directly addressing social, political, economic or environmental issues in your country or in Europe, or by addressing them in an artistic way, such as photography, comics, music, artistic actions and campaigns, etc.

 proficient in English (the workshop will be conducted in English)

 available to attend the workshop in full, from July 31 (arrival) to August 7 (departure) in Odessa, Ukraine. Please note that you can’t apply before attaining legal age.

What about the costs?
All costs will be covered by the organizers of the event, including travel to / from Odessa, visa,
accommodation, meals and all materials to be used during the workshop.

Note: Selected participants will be asked to bring their own laptop, camera and microphone.

How to apply?
Interested candidates are invited to apply by filling the application form in English. Within your
application you’ll be asked to opt for one out of three tracks.

Deadline for receiving applications is: May 22, 2016.

More info: www.n-ost.org/blogger_workshop

Questions? Contact Annika: shshmob16@n-ost.bpb.de

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