Media Lab

During a series of workshops organised by Symbiosis in Athens and Thessaloniki, with the support of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Greece, we embarked on a Mobile Phone Journalism journey. On this MOJO journey we – refugees and locals – learnt the essentials of storytelling and how to craft and deliver relevant and memorable stories that communicate a message and make an impact. On this journey we learnt how reporting should be accurate, independent and respectful and how it can be used to facilitate responsible reporting on forced displacement issues, with a focus on social inclusion.

The Media Lab core trainer, Eleni Panayiotou, together with guest speakers: Ljubisa Vrencev, Country Director, ASB Greece, Katerina Oikonomakou, journalist from InsideStory, in Athens, Alexia Kalaitzi, journalist with ERT3, and Vassilis Kommatas, Associated Press Video Reporter worked with the participants on video making and discussed investigative journalism. UNHCR members, including Maria Clara Martin, UNHCR Representative in Greece, joined the Media Lab workshops, and encouraged participants to raise their voices for social inclusion.

Little Red Riding Hood

At first, we didn’t know what “news” was. But soon we discovered what made a story “news” and we dived into Story Telling and Journalism. We read the story of the “Little Red Riding Hood”, yet also current news such as the Covid-19 pandemic and worked them into news; in doing this we found out that the WE, WHO, WHAT, WHERE, HOW play a huge role into making a news story and that upside down pyramids are a big thing!

Responsible reporting

We looked into responsible reporting and what the role of fake news has been in migration, integration, and inclusion. We analyzed how to fight fake news and discovered the concept of Trust Chains. We put our knowledge into action and looked at how a true news article can become fake news!

Smartphone: truly smart

We discovered that our smartphone was truly smart, and we created videos using video editing applications to promote on social media. In the process, we revealed technical skills we didn’t know we had!

Vox Populi

We thought it was easy to talk to other people, but we never quite realized how difficult it was to conduct an interview. We interviewed each other and learned some Latin along the way by making a Vox Pop! We discussed how the Voice of the People (Vox Populi) can be reflected in accurate and inclusive journalism that can be used to promote stories of integration.

We then tried to read the news loud for an audience. Some of us were very good and others were much better! We definitely learned that hitting “record” and doing a sound test were very important!

Mobile Phone Journey

And as our Mobile Phone Journey progressed, we discussed how to effectively use different social media from TikTok to Instagram and from Facebook to LinkedIn and how stories would look like in each and every one of these. We talked about audience and age, the role social media might play in forced displacement and how it helps in integration. We created some short videos and discovered application tools and effects in the process!

We learnt that editing was easy on our mobile phones and started telling stories, our stories, others’ stories, fun stories, sad stories, all types of stories.

And as the workshop came to an end, we realised that we had all become MOJOS and were now ready to Raise our Voices for Social Inclusion through our own stories.


Eleni Panayiotou: Story Telling and Journalism

The essentials of storytelling, how to craft and deliver relevant and memorable stories that communicate a message. Workshop participants are supported to learn about basic ethical principles applied in journalism, how to recognise fake news and discover the facts, how to apply the correct judgement for every story, how to ensure one’s reporting is accurate, independent and respectful.

Eleni Panayiotou: Mobile Journalism (MOJO)

What is MOJO? Why have people, journalists, media co-operations turned to MOJO? What are the benefits? Why is it important and what should we look out for? We explore examples of Mobile Journalism in photography, television and radio by learning about:

Eleni Panayiotou & Katerina Oikonomakou: An introduction to Investigative journalism

What is investigative journalism? Investigative journalism is finding, reporting and presenting news which other people try to hide. It is very similar to standard news reporting, except that the people at the centre of the story will usually not help you and may even try to stop you doing your job. The job of journalists is to let people know what is going on in the community, the society and the world around them.

Eleni Panayiotou: Effective use of social media

Social media platforms continue to emerge as essential newsgathering tools. These mediums offer exciting opportunities for reporters to collect information and for news organizations to expand the reach of their content, but they also carry challenges and risks.
• Which are platforms do we use?
• Why do we use them?
• Who uses which platform?
• Does it make a difference which social media platform you should use and for what?