By Gabriela Sanseverino
Our researchers try to answer the hardest question that plagues a researcher : why their work matters. And mostly, why you should care about it. Today we look at work of Elina Makri.
Elina Makri joined the JOLT project in the last year, in December 2020, to research Data Journalism in the work package of new news practices at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. But far beyond the usual take on the subject, she thinks of it in a far more general and creative way: “what are some of the weird stuff the human brain makes and we can not fully control? What are some of the conscious and unconscious mental processes of the wonderfully complex landscape of the human brain?”.
Before joining JOLT, Elina was working as a journalist, and walked back into research knowing she was asked to explore the field of data journalism, which has been sort of hype in the last years. But how to bring a new angle to the subject? Well, going further than data and storytelling, Elina decided to think about how “the internal processes, perception and states of the mind play their role” in finding meaning in these stories. On a very interesting news story for RTE “What makes people act irrationally?” she tackles some of this questions.
“I am interested in the big picture and in the same time, in the black boxes of journalism. When dealing with data and technology, journalists and some educators believe that is a lot about learning to code and learn to do (fancy) visualizations. But humans are not just visual animals. I also understood that not all stories can be told through data”.
Needless to say, while Elina may be have been one of the last researchers to join the JOLT team, she is bringing new insights to data journalism with an unusual, but incredibly interesting perspective. The project has already gained much with her contributions, and we can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.