This session highlights remarkable accomplishments and inspirational journeys of individuals who are engaging in cutting-edge research, obtaining outstanding accomplishments, and influencing the direction of education. Discover narratives that pique interest, provide motivation, and open doors to academic success. 

News & Announcements

January 9, 2024

Presenting My AI and Investigative Journalism Paper In Sweden Was A Huge Accomplishment

It all started with a late-night find on Twitter. I was scrolling my social media channels during the summer evening of March 26, 2023, when I saw the call for abstracts from the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN). Surprisingly, the deadline for submitting an abstract was the following day. Fortunately, I had colleagues from other Universities, so we worked well together to quickly write it on a chosen theme, and submit it before the timeline.
Funding the Trip
My department, the Greenlee Graduate School of Journalism and Mass Communication, was essential to paying for the conference attendance. As you may be aware, the university, specifically my department, funds graduate students for such intellectual pursuits. However, a considerable amount of paperwork and formalities were involved.
Regarding how I went about the funding request, I contacted my professor as soon as GIJN approved my work to convey the good news and express my desire to attend the conference. Her passion was contagious, and she immediately gave me the grant application form. This was followed by a review from the graduate committee of my department, and it led to the award of $1,000. Notably, because the conference was international, the committee doubled the grant amount from the original $500 I was supposed to get.
It is important to note that before this conference, my other abstract "Investigating Gender Representation in Radio Breakfast Show Hosts in Ghana," was accepted to be presented in Seattle, the University of Washington.  Unfortunately, time and money restrictions prevented me from physically attending that event because I did not know that there was departmental funding for master's students. I was adamant about giving a presentation in Sweden, however, it was a turning point in my academic career because it was my first trip to Europe and my first time giving a presentation at a major international conference.
Traveling to Sweden
It took careful attention to every detail to obtain the Sweden visa. I started by accurately entering all the necessary information into the online Schengen visit visa form. I went to the Chicago location of the nearest application center after making an appointment on the VFS Global website. I was required to present particular documents as a conference participant, such as an invitation letter, proof of money, proof of lodging arrangements, proof of insurance for the duration of my stay, and information on round-trip flights and I received my visa in less than two weeks after providing all documents.
Presenting at the Conference
The conference lasted five days and was organized on various themes. On Wednesday, September 20, 2023, I presented on the topic "Investigative Journalism In The New Age: Examining the Use of AI Tools in Investigative Journalism Practices In Ghana," co-authored with Albert Junior Nyarko from Washington State University (USA) and Michael Sataaviel Yerb Jr from Liverpool John Moores University (U.K.), and Redeemer Buatsi from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (USA). Some other themes presented include, “What Does A.I. Have to Do with Investigative Journalism? Everything!, A.I.: Perils and Promise, Developing Collaboration: New Trends, New Skills, New Opportunities, Plenary: Watchdog Journalism in the Age of Digital Subversion (keynote) (interpretation available), Plenary: Watchdog Journalism in the Age of Digital Subversion (panel) (interpretation available), The New Organized Crime (interpretation available)Crime & Corruption, Research on Challenges for Investigative Journalism in AsiaAcademic, Introduction to Scraping Websites Using Data Miner Data, Rewriting History: Investigations that Change Our Understanding of the Past” etc
Feelings and Anything Memorable to Share
I must acknowledge that this was a global conference and as well as my first time presenting an academic paper to over 30 audiences, so it was a bit scary but refreshing. I also got the opportunity to co-present with Nausheen Husain, a Syracuse University (USA) professor, who presented her paper on "Beyond Datawrapper: What Nontraditional Data Visualizations in Award-winning Journalism Tell Us About Data Education" But beyond that stage, I had the opportunity to network and build contact with a few other professionals, professors, and students. However, one thing that stands tall for me outside the conference is the Transportation system in Sweden. Oooh, my goodness, it was such an efficient and robust system that Trains, trams (the shortest train that runs in the city), and buses virtually use the same route but no major road accidents. They are reliable, and you do not need to own a car to navigate town. As a visitor, all you need is to get the bus access card, or you can pay with your credit card, and then you are good to go. But it was such a memorable experience.
The 2023 GIJN Conference
The amazing meeting was put together by the GIJN, which serves as the parent network for the International Journalism Education Consortium, which is situated in Sweden. The gathering of thousands of people from 18 distinct nations produced a melting pot of thoughts, experiences, and insights.

By:Richard Mensah Adonu