April 3, 2014, Berlin


Thank you for coming.


At the Intersection of Man and Machine
International Conference on Mobile Technology and Journalism


It was William Gibson who famously said that the „future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed“. Using this insight as a guideline, we will be discussing present and future developments at the intersection of humans and machines in journalism with German and international journalists


Be there

iRights.Lab and the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications cordially invite you to the international conference „Groundbreaking Journalism – At the Intersection of Man and Machine“, taking place in Berlin on 3 April 2014.

The conference is free of charge and open to the public, registration is required.


Hessische Landesvertretung, In den Ministergärten 5, 10117 Berlin

Karte wird geladen - bitte warten...

Hessische Landesvertretung 52.512162, 13.378384


Accommodation offer

Book rooms at special rates at the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz. The offer is available until 19 March 2014 using the code „GBJ14“. Single room: EUR 99, double room: EUR 109, both incl. breakfast, excl. City Tax, all conditions of the hotel apply. Phone: +49 30 2389 4333, Fax: +49 30 2389 4305 or email:



8.45: Doors open, registration

9.30: Welcoming remarks

Morning Sessions

9.45: When worlds collide: Innovation and Journalism

10.30: Tea and Coffee

11.00: What kind of software does journalism need?

12.00: New Ideas for a Changing Media World

Breakout Lunch Sessions

12.45: New Ideas for a Changing Media World

01.15: Exposing the invisible – Unseen War

Afternoon Sessions

02.00: Automated Journalism

03.15: Tea and Coffee

03.45: Are drones a journalist’s best friend?

05.00: Farewell

The conference will be visually recorded by Julian Kücklich (@playability).

Speakers, Panelists, Hosts

Domenika Ahlrichs

Domenika AhlrichsDomenika Ahlrichs, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Zeit Online, has been a dedicated online journalist for 11 years. After having been trained to be a journalist at Evangelische Journalistenschule in Berlin, covering all four types of media: print, tv, radio and online, she decided to focus on the one combining the best of the three others. Germany’s first online-only daily paper Netzeitung was where she started and progressed with her career. When Netzeitung was shut off, she moved on to Zeit Online. Photo: Zeit Online.

Tamara Anthony

Tamara Anthony works as  TV correspondent in Berlin for First German Television’s main news “Tagesschau“ and “Tagesthemen“. Prior, she worked as reporter and editor for the investigative TV programme “ARD Panorama”. Tamara Anthony is co-founder of, which will be launched in May 2014. As a chairperson of the Otto Sprenger Foundation and of, she works to bring together young journalists from Germany and abroad.


Geraldine de Bastion


Geraldine de Bastion is an international consultant on information and communication technology and new media for development based in Berlin, Germany. She also works with activists and bloggers around the world. She has worked at Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), World Summit of Information Society (WSIS), newthinking communications and curated the re:publica conference. Photo: CC-BY-SA James Gardiner.

Ludovic Blecher


Ludovic Blecher is General Director of The Digital Innovation Press Fund established by Google and AIPG, the French press association. He has been a 2013 fellow at Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He participated in the creation of GIE E-Press Premium, a digital news-stand. Blecher was executive director and editor in chief of Libé He is also Associate Professor at the School of Journalism Grenoble (EJDG) and a member of the Conseil national du numérique (CNNum). Photo: Georges Seguin, CC BY-SA.

Georg Dahm

DahmGeorg Dahm is the Co-Founder of Substanz, a digital science magazine that raised 35.000 Euro via crowdfunding. Substanz will appear as a weekly paid app that combines longform journalism with interactive layouts. He has been Life Sciences Editor at the German edition of New Scientist, worked at Financial Times Deutschland, and was trained as a journalist with the tabloid Bild. He studied Physical Anthropology and was heading the publication department of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

Denis Dilba

DilbaDenis Dilba is the Co-Founder of Substanz, a digital science magazine that raised 35.000 Euro via crowdfunding. Substanz will appear as a weekly paid app that combines longform journalism with interactive layouts. Denis studied Mechatronics at TU Hamburg-Harburg and the National University of Singapore. He worked as an engineer at BMW before training at the Deutsche Journalistenschule München. Prior to co-founding Substanz Denis was Hard Sciences Editor at the German edition of New Scientist. Photo: Helen Fischer.

Frederik Fischer

FischerFrederik Fischer, co-founder and managing director of Tame, used to work as a freelance technology and culture correspondent for broadcasters and magazines such as Arte, ZDF, Zeit Online and Wired. While on research at Aarhus University, Amsterdam University and City University London, Frederik analysed the way US news startups influenced the distribution of news content. That inspired his own startup Tame, which he founded together with two colleagues in 2012.


Michael Kreil


Michael Kreil is a developer at OpenDataCity. He has worked on apps for the automotive industry, animations for weather reports, databases for satellite steering and prototypes for interactive TV broadcasts. At OpenDataCity, he has worked on a visualization of phone tracking that was based on German politician Malte Spitz’s movements, collected in accordance to data retention laws. Also, he worked on openPlanB, a public transport open data project based on not-yet-open data.


Ben Kreimer

KreimerBen Kreimer explores the frontiers of electronic journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Drone Journalism Lab. As a journalism technologist, he develops applications for unmanned aerial vehicles and crowdsourced microcomputer sensor platforms. During March of 2014, Ben will work with a quadcopter in Nairobi, Kenya, on the SkyCam drone journalism project. He is currently developing one of his sensor journalism concepts with collaborative support from Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

Julian Raul Kücklich

Julian Kücklich is a recovering academic and graphic facilitator. He is a visual thinker and media researcher with a sustained interest in old and new media, journalism, and visualization. His strengths are analytical and strategic thinking, unorthodox approaches, and constraint-based solutions. He takes pride in his ability to mediate across disciplines and professional cultures, and occasionally blogs at Bild: CC-BY-NC Julian Kücklich.


Solana Larsen


Solana Larsen is the managing editor of Global Voices, an award-winning international community of bloggers and translators who report on online citizen media worldwide in more than 30 languages. She is a journalist and a digital activist with an MA in international journalism from City University in London. Formerly she was an editor with the global politics website,


Annette Leßmöllmann

Annette Leßmöllmann is Professor of Science communication and Linguistics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. She has been Professor of Journalism/Science Journalism at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences from 2006-2013. She worked as editor at Gehirn & Geist, as freelance journalist at Die Zeit, Frankfurter Rundschau, and other media outlets. She also took teaching assignments at the Hamburg Northern Institute of Technology and other universities  Photo: Jens Steingässer.


Lorenz Matzat

MatzatLorenz Matzat works as a journalist and entrepreneur in Berlin. His main areas of interests are interactive and data journalism. Matzat was co-founder of the award-wining data journalism agency OpenDataCity; he’s currently working at his mapping company Lokaler and is author of the blog


Ramak Molavi

molaviRamak Molavi works as a lawyer in IT law, social media, mobiles and games. She is general counsel for a gaming company with offices in Berlin and San Fransisco and affiliated with iRights.Law. In her work she deals with complex questions of IT- and competitive law as well implementation of legal requirements in mobile commerce and data protection. Ramak has a particular interest in intellectual property –from the creation of original works to IP regulation on a national and international level.

Jonathan Stray

Jonathan Stray is a journalist and a computer scientist. He is a Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University where he teaches computational journalism. He leads the Overview Project, an open source visualization system to help investigative journalists make sense of very large document sets. He has worked as an editor at the Associated Press, as a freelance reporter in Hong Kong, and as algorithm designer at Adobe Systems.


Marek Tuszyński

TuszynskiMarek Tuszyński is a restless producer of various creative and social interventions that span across various media. He co-founded The Second Hand Bank, International Contemporary Art Network, Tactical Tech and recently Tactical Studios. He is currently focusing on producing interactive and static visualisations representing complex social and political issues. In some spare time he is producing a radio program titled Love & Chaos on Reboot FM.




Download the conference and workshops report (in German, PDF).

Recordings of the conference: Groundbreaking Journalism

In case you have missed the film screening of „Unseen War“, you can watch it online at

Workshop reports.

Preceding the Groundbreaking Journalism conference, iRights.Lab and the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications held a series of workshops on current issues in journalism.

Read our workshop reports:

Drone journalism – set for take-off (English/German).

The internationalisation of research, and how it can be funded (English/German) .

Digital Protection of Sources (English/German)


In the media

Articles and other media coverage on the Groundbreaking Journalism conference, workshops and its topics.


iRights.Lab: Neue Publikation über “Groundbreaking Journalism”, Kilian Vieth, 14. August 2014

Das iRights-Lab hat gemeinsam mit dem Vodafone Institut eine Publikation zur Veranstaltung “Groundbreaking Journalism” herausgegeben (hier direkt zum PDF-Download oder im Issuu-Reader). Darin geht es um die Digitalisierung des Journalismus. Auf 76 Seiten besprechen zahlreiche Autoren welche Chancen und Möglichkeiten das Internet für modernen Journalismus bietet.



Groundbreaking Journalism

Schockwellenreiter, Jörg Kantel, 13. August 2014

In Workshops und einer internationalen Konferenz wurden Roboter- und Sensorjournalismus vorgestellt, über Algorithmen als Hilfsmittel im Journalismus diskutiert und es flogen Drohnen. Die 76-seitige Abschlußpublikation ist nun als PDF erhältlich (PDF, 1,7 MB). Im Gegensatz zum Titel sind die Beiträge freundlicherweise deutschsprachig. Mehr Informationen, Materialien und Videos gibt es auf der Webseite der Konferenz.



Was war. Was wird.

Heise Online, Hal Faber, 27. Juli 2014

So erklärt das Handbuch Groundbreaking Journalism von Vodafone und irights das Ende des klassischen Journalismus und den Übergang zum Kochrezept, 30 Jahre nach dem Sachertorte-Algorithmus, dem ultimativen Buch gegen die Computer-Angst. Ja, heiter ist aller Anfang und am Ende schreibt der Roboter die Tora. Übrigens ist nicht nur der Journalismus bedroht, auch die Tage des System-Administrators sind gezählt. Und die Wikipedia wird auch kein Menschenwerk mehr sein.



Einsatz von Drohnen in den Medien: Neue Perspektiven im Journalismus

WDR5 Töne Texte Bilder, Daniel Bouhs, 25. April 2014

Drohnen müssen nicht immer ferngesteuerte Waffen in Kriegsgebieten sein. Es gibt auch ganz friedliche Einsatzmöglichkeiten: Im Journalismus halten die Flugroboter momentan Einzug. Dem Fernsehen bieten sie ganz neue Möglichkeiten – auch wenn nicht alles erlaubt ist.



Portraits d’intervenants présents à la conférence „Groundbreaking Journalism“

(Portraits of conference speakers, English with French subtitles)

Antoine Cauty – Horizons Médiatiques, Édition Europe, 11. April 2013

Jeudi 3 avril, la conférence Groundbreaking Journalism proposait une journée de débats à Berlin autour de l’interaction entre le journaliste et la machine. Plusieurs thèmes et innovations ont été présentés, comme le robot-journalisme ou la question des softwares. Nous dressons le portrait de six intervenants.



Groundbreaking Journalism: portraits d’intervenants

(Interview with Matthias Spielkamp, iRights.Lab, English with French subtitles)

Antoine Cauty – Horizons Médiatiques, Édition Europe, 11. April 2013

En complément de ces portraits, nous avons rencontré Matthias Spielkamp, un des organisateurs de la conférence Groundbreaking Journalism.Fondateur du groupe de réflexion iRights.Lab., il conseille ONGs et entreprises sur le journalisme en ligne, les stratégies de communication et la protection des données.



Konferenz zur Zukunft des digitalen Journalismus (PDF)

Berliner Informationsdienst zur Netzpolitik, 7. April 2014

Auf einer gemeinsamen Konferenz des Think Tanks iRightsLab und des Vodafone Instituts für Gesellschaft und Kommunikation am Donnerstag, den 3. April, wurden die digitalen Möglichkeiten des Journalismus diskutiert sowie neue Trends und innovative Tools der Medienwelt vorgestellt. Unter dem Motto „Groundbreaking Journalism. At the Intersection of Man and Machine“ fanden sich internationale Experten in der Hessischen Landesvertretung in Berlin zusammen, um über die digitale Zukunft des Journalismus zu debattieren und sich auszutauschen.



Groundbreaking Journalism: An der Schnittstelle von Mensch und Maschine (MP3)

B5 Aktuell, Medienmagazin, Günther Herkel, 6. April 2014

Wie beeinflussen Algorithmen unsere Aufmerksamkeit? Welche Software braucht der Journalismus? Und sind Drohnen das Aufnahmegerät der Zukunft? Diese und andere Fragen wurden mit deutschen und internationalen Journalisten, Entwicklern und Medienmanagern diskutiert, auf der Konferenz „Groundbreaking Journalism – At the Intersection of Man and Machine“, die das iRights.Lab zusammen mit dem Vodafone Institut für Gesellschaft und Kommunikation am 3. April in Berlin veranstaltet hat.



Interview Matthias Spielkamp, iRights.Lab (MP3)

B5 Aktuell, Medienmagazin, Günther Herkel, 6. April 2014

Der Journalismus verändert sich nicht nur inhaltlich, sondern auch technisch: Datenjournalismus, Roboterjournalismus, Einsatz von Drohnen. Die Tagung „groundbreaking journalism“ in Berlin hat sich mit der Schnittstelle von Mensch und Maschine beschäftigt.



Warum sich Journalisten jetzt um Kopter kümmern sollten

Volle Drohnung, Max Ruppert, 5. April 2014

In den USA gibt es schon seit einigen Jahren “Drone Journalism Labs” an Universitäten, und zwar am TOW Center der Columbia University in New York und an der University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Vor ein paar Tagen konnte ich Ben Kreimer vom Lab aus Nebraska am Rande der Tagung “Groundbreaking Journalism” in Berlin treffen und mit ihm ein längeres Interview führen.



Drohnen, Bots und der Journalismus von morgen

Heise Online, Herbert Braun, 4. April 2014

Akten lesende Software, schreibende Bots und Video-Drohnen: Die Konferenz „Groundbreaking Journalism“ analysierte die Rolle neuer Techniken im Journalismus.




Zukunft des Journalismus in der digitalen Welt (MP3, 5’47)

Deutschlandradio Kultur, Fazit, 3. April 2014

  • Interview with Lorenz Matzat on the topics of automation and use cases for drones in journalism.



Drohne im Journalismus: Ben Kreimer und die DJI Phantom mit Gopro

Webvideoblog, Martin Heller, 3. April 2014

Ben Kreimer forscht am Drone Journalism Lab der University of Nebraska-Lincoln, er nennt sich “Journalism Technologist” und macht in der ganzen Welt – mit die besten – Drohnenvideos. Zudem arbeitet er an Möglichkeiten des Sensorjournalismus mit Hilfe von UAVs.



#gbj14: Groundbreaking Journalism

Tobias Schwarz, Netzpiloten, 3. April 2014

Die Netzpiloten sind live Ort dabei, twittern unter dem Hashtag #gbj14 mit und werden hier etwas dazu verbloggen



Ready for take-off

Max Ruppert, EMS-Blog, 12. März 2014

Spätestens seit der Ankündigung von Amazon und DHL, in Zukunft Pakete auch per Quadrocopter auszuliefern, werden die unbemannten Flugsysteme von einer breiteren Öffentlichkeit ernst genommen. Was bis jetzt oft als Hobby der Modellflieger-Szene und Tick von Technikenthusiasten abgetan wurde, rückt immer mehr als ernstzunehmende Zukunftstechnologie ins Bewusstsein, die inzwischen auch als journalistisches Werkzeug eingesetzt werden kann.


Matzat: Drohnen werden im Journalismus zunehmend eingesetzt

epd medien Nr. 9 vom 28. Februar 2014

Journalisten in Krisengebieten können sich mit sogenannten Drohnen einen schnellen Überblick über die Lage verschaffen. Der Journalist Lorenz Matzat sagte am 25. Februar in Berlin, vor allem in unübersichtlichen Situationen, etwa nach Naturkatastrophen, seien mit Kameras ausgestattete Drohnen sehr hilfreich.



„Investigative Drohnen“: Guerilla-Taktik soll drohnengestützten Journalismus beflügeln

Stefan Krempl, Heise Online, 26. Februar 2014

Wer mit einem „Kopter“ kommerzielle Bilder machen will, braucht dafür eine Genehmigung und muss einige Regeln beachten. Experten rechnen daher damit, dass Medien vielfach auf illegal produziertes Material mit „Gottesblick“ setzen.



Fernsehen machen mit dem Flugroboter: Drohnen lohnen (noch) nicht

Jens Twiehaus, kress, 26.02.2014

Die Proteste in Kiew von oben oder ein Foto vom Traumstrand aus der Vogelperspektive: Mit Kamera-Drohnen lassen sich spektakuläre Bilder drehen und Fotos schießen. Klassische Medienhäuser sind noch zurückhaltend, was den Einsatz kleiner Flugroboter angeht.



Der Schatzsucher

Daniel Bouhs, taz, 4. Oktober 2013

Ein australischer Journalist erklärt, wie eine internationale Recherchegruppe Steuerbetrügern auf die Spur kam. Sieht so die Zukunft des Journalismus aus?



Von Cablegate über Offshore-Leaks zur NSA-Affäre: Medien und Big Data

Stefan Krempl, Heise Online, 2. Oktober 2013

Damit die von Whistleblowern in jüngster Zeit zusammengetragenen Datenschätze ausgewertet werden können, sollten Medienorgane intensiv kooperieren, meint Gerard Ryle, Direktor des Internationalen Konsortiums für investigative Journalisten (ICIJ).



Medienradio 068: Offshore-Leaks

Philip Banse, 13. September 2013

Sebastian Mondial spricht über Offshore Leaks: Wie wurden Journalisten und Medien ausgewählt? Warum tauchen in den Daten so wenig Promis und internationale Konzerne auf? Sebastian Mondial erläutert, wie er die Kommunikation der über 80 Journalisten aus 46 Ländern in einem Web-Forum organisierte und am zweiten Tag mit der Festplatte aufwachte – und das Passwort zur Entschlüsselung vergessen hatte. Im letzten Drittel erklärt Sebastian Mondial, wie die Snowden-Enthüllungen die Arbeit von Journalisten verändern und was sie für den Informantenschutz bedeuten.




Hanka Holzapfel

Media relations

HolzapfelHanka Holzapfel is in charge of media relations, marketing and public relations at iRights.Lab. She studied journalism, communication studies and economics at Freie Universität Berlin. She has been working in public relations and public affairs, business communication and marketing for more than ten years, e.g. for the Einstein Year (2005) and the Year of Information Technology (2006), Fleishman-Hillard International Communications, Bosch and Siemens.

Susanne Janetzki

Event management

janetzkiSusanne Janetzki is a lawyer and event manager. She has been working for the office of corporate counsel of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Thuringian Agency for the Creative Industries and, a website for live music booking. Project coordinator of the conference “Kreativgipfel” (Creative Summit) in Erfurt.


Jana Maire

Project manager

maireProject and event coordination and project monitoring at iRights.Lab. Tutor for media education for children and youths. IT specialist by training. Worked on various projects in the IT business as management consultant, project manager and team coordinator. Most recently: conference coordinator for “Shaping Access! – More Responsibility for Cultural Heritage”.


Philipp Otto

Partner at iRights.Lab

ottoPhilipp Otto is a partner at iRightsLab, managing editor at and project manager of iRights Cloud. He was a visiting researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and research assistant to Members of Parliament at the German Bundestag. At the Internet and Society Collaboratory, he worked as project manager and head of a working group on copyright and digital goods. In 2012, he was a member of the SPD parliamentary group’s Creative-Pact Expert Group, a member of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s Expert Committee on innovation-friendly copyright in the 21st century and a delegation member of the Chinese-German Rule of Law Dialogue.

David Pachali

Conception, documentation

team-pachaliDavid Pachali works as journalist on net politics, copyright and digital publics. He is editor at As a freelance journalist, he published at taz, ZDF Hyperland, Jüdische Allgemeine, Meedia, and, among others. David edited books and publications such as „Überwachte Gesellschaft“ (iRights.Media, 2013), “Öffentlichkeit im Wandel“ (Heinrich Böll Foundation, 2012).


Julia Schrader

Management assistant

schraderJulia is in charge of management assistance and office management at iRights.Lab, project assistance, conference coordination, and organization for iRights projects. Media designer for digital and print media. She studied American studies and political science at Freie Universität Berlin.


Matthias Spielkamp

Partner at iRights.Lab

team-spielkampMatthias Spielkamp is a founding partner of the iRights.Lab think tank. He advises public institutions, NGOs and private companies on online journalism, communication strategies and information security and is project lead and curator of the Groundbreaking Journalism series. Matthias serves as managing editor at and held teaching assignments at different universities. He co-authored three books on journalism and copyright, serves on the board of the German chapter of Reporters without Borders (pro bono) and is a member of the American Council on Germany as a former McCloy Fellow.


Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications

Dr. David Deißner

Head of Strategy and Programs, Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications

bild_deissner_swDavid Deißner is Head of Strategy and Programs of the Vodafone Institute. He is responsible for the strategic development of the institute’s programs as well as heading up research and policy work in our various areas of work. He is particularly interested in digital learning and M-government. Before he joined the Vodafone Institute he was Head of the Vodafone Foundation’s Think Tank in Germany. David studied philosophy, political science and literature and holds a PhD from Oxford University. After his graduation he worked as a political editor for German newspapers as DIE WELT.

Jost Neumann

Intern for Strategy and Programs, Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications

NeumannJost Neumann is studying Future Studies (M.A.) at Free University of Berlin. His fields of interest are potentials of digital transformation, government foresight and open source intelligence. Jost was student assistant to the Institute for Philosophy, Literature and History of Science and Technology at the Technical University Berlin. At the same time, he was employed at the Steinbeis-Hochschule Berlin. Recently, he did an internship at the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications.

Christian Rapp

Head of Communications at the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications

bild_rapp_swChristian Rapp is Head of Communications at the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications. Beyond that he is responsible for our projects on socio-political participation. He is particularly interested in the effects of digital media on political participation and the organisation of civil society. Prior to his work at the Institute, he was Head of Communications at The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Further to his work at the Institute, Christian is Chief Social Media Officer at Vodafone Germany. He studied political science and communications in Leipzig.

Dr. Mark Speich

CEO Vodafone Foundation Germany, Executive Director Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications


Mark Speich has been CEO of Vodafone Stiftung Deutschland gGmbH (Vodafone Foundation Germany) since May 2008. He also serves as an Executive Director of the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications since August 2011. Prior to this, he was Director of the Policy Planning Staff of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Party in the German Bundestag. He started his career in the CDU Secretary General’s Policy Advisory Staff in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus in Bonn. He was educated at Collegium Josephinum Bonn, studied history, political science and constitutional law at the universities of Cambridge (MPhil) and Bonn (Ph.D.). Mark Speich is married with five children.

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Kreutzer – Otto – Spielkamp Partnerschaftsgesellschaft von Rechtswissenschaftlern und Journalisten
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Project Manager

Jana Maire
Fon +49 30 81032436

Susanne Janetzki
Fon +49 30 89371960