From The Center for Investigative Reporting, the News Lab at Google and TWG

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About CIR About News Lab at Google About TWG Agenda Registration

The Internet, mobile devices and social networks have created a culture of sharing that is profoundly restructuring our political, cultural and economic relationships with each other and the institutions in our lives. These converging forces are enabling new ways to develop empathy and understanding in our communities and across the divides of location, language and history. We also live in an era in which a simple mistake can sometimes lead to worldwide ridicule and shaming, at the hands of anonymous Twitter hordes and blogs frequently followed by the mainstream media.

On Friday, May 8, The Center for Investigative Reporting and The News Lab at Google are teaming up for TechRaking: Taming the News, where we will examine real-world examples of people who’ve built new networks and channels for empathy, as well as those who’ve had their lives turned upside down by bad decisions – a dumb Tweet, an angry outburst in public, an embarrassing accident caught on video. The punishment for these small actions is frequently permanent and all-encompassing; people lose their jobs, friends and family. But when applied productively, these same elements can lead to rapidly raising awareness and creative positive change for important issues.

Attendees will have a chance to examine how the media can channel the emerging and competing opportunities for empathy and shaming to bring a sense of proportionality to the news. How do we capitalize on the intelligence of online communities in our reporting? How do we know when someone is being unfairly mobbed? Is there a way to stop the mob or bring back a sense of fairness to our culture? Design and development support will be generously provided by TWG.

About CIR
The Center for Investigative Reporting empowers the public through groundbreaking storytelling that sparks action, improves lives and protects our democracy. Reveal – the website, public radio program, podcast and social media platform – is where CIR publishes its multiplatform reporting. Devoted to holding powerful interests accountable to the public trust, CIR creatively employs cutting-edge technology and innovative storytelling to reveal injustice, spark change at all levels of society and influence public dialogue on critical issues. It produces high-impact reporting across print, video, TV, radio and online platforms and is the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, winner of a 2013 Emmy Award and a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012 (for local reporting) and 2013 (for public service). Learn more at Find and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Google
Our mission at the News Lab at Google is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to build the future of media with Google. We’re excited to be working with CIR on this series of TechRaking events throughout 2015.

About TWG
We’re the team of digital product designers that helped bring WikiWash to life for TechRaking Toronto in 2014. Partnering with CIR for that event, we learned that we share a mission of supporting visionary teams to create remarkable products. We’re proud to be contributing design and development support for TechRaking events around the world in 2015. You can find out more about us at or by following us on Twitter: @twg.


Friday, May 8

Impact Hub: Friedrichstrasse 246 10969 Berlin

8-9 a.m.: Registration

9-9:45 a.m.: Welcome

9:45-10:30 a.m.: Panel One

Civil society depends on free expression and freedom of the press. In our hyperconnected communities, these two values often can conflict and challenge our assumptions about what it means to report and consume the news. As social networks become the curators of journalism, reporters, editors and citizens have more responsibility than ever over people’s lives. In many cases, shaming and ridicule have become the language of the Internet. This panel will explore the power of social media to push subjects to the extreme and what reporters can do to judge, address and ultimately navigate the power of the crowd and its impact on subjects and stories.

10:30-10:45 a.m.: Break

10:45-11 a.m.: Google News Labs

11-11:45 a.m.: Panel Two

This panel will explore the power of journalism to uncover critical issues in communities through deep investigative reporting, art and community engagement. Our panel will examine how art, data and theater can come together to drive change in the lives of the subjects of reporting and the community – by creating empathy for the people we’re covering. Journalism and social media have the ability to move the public in positive and enlightening ways, to come to the defense of someone who has been wronged or shamed, and to bring proportionality and rational thinking to major events. The panel will imagine future opportunities to advance the work of journalists as social practitioners, as well as cases in which artists can do unique reporting on unexpected issues.

11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Ideation

Attendees will have the chance to get their best ideas up on the board and pitch why theirs should be the one to move forward.

12:15-1:30 p.m.: Lunch + judges choose winning idea

Judging criteria:

• Originality + innovation

• Public engagement potential

• Promotes collaboration across a diverse set of partners

• Scalability + feasibility

• Impact potential

1:30-4:30 p.m.: Whole team sprint

4:30-5:30 p.m.: Next steps

5:30-7:00 p.m.: Happy hour

Registration and More Information
Interested in joining us for TechRaking Berlin? Contact CIR’s director of events, Kristin Belden