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Course date
June 14–21, 2021
Application deadline
Application for this course is closed
ECTS Credits
Media studies
Data journalism
SUN Packages
Tuition Waiver

Free media is essential to hold the less-than transparent governments of Central and Eastern Europe to account. Key political and business actors are increasingly obfuscating their actions and limiting data access to escape public scrutiny. Effective investigative journalism requires a set of skills for obtaining and working with large datasets, and interpreting the patterns emerging from such data. 

This course will bring together junior journalists and researchers from the CEE regions with global experts of data journalism with the aim of teaching the necessary tools and methods, as well as to build professional networks. 

Pedagogical Concept - Project Approach

Classes will be hands-on, where learners use their own computer to access the tools and technologies taught and discuss problems in small groups. A key component of several modules is “live demo,” where instructors and learners work on their problems together. This practice enables effective learning with frequent interaction and feedback from instructors and peers. 

The program will be based on project-approach. Participants will be working in small groups on journalistic projects chosen from 3-4 options offered by the organizers. They will be able to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during the plenary sessions on their own projects, and consult with instructors and experts on a daily basis. The projects are

  • to be interesting for global audience
  • may foster cross-border collaboration 
  • will have been vetted by the organizers for technical/legal risks.

Weekly schedule

The course will cover the following topics in the life cycle of a data journalism project. The schedule is very tight, so we are mostly aiming for an introduction that is, however, directly useful to journalist students.

Day (CET) Topic Instructor Description
Monday Scrape Theresa Demonstrate how to get and read data from the web (what tool?).
Tuesday Clean Miklós Mention most frequent data quality issues and demonstrate how to solve them with OpenRefine.
Wednesday Enrich Eric Demonstrate Aleph as a tool to enrich scraped data by linking firms, individuals.
Thursday Interpret Éva+András What is the story? Jounalistic and ethical concerns.
Friday Visualize Alberto Present data in a truthful and impactful way (what tool?).
Weekend Project All One-on-one consultations if available.
Next Monday Project All Student groups present their projects, faculty provide on-the-fly feedback.

In the course of the summer school legal concerns, ethical dilemmas of working with large datasets and data security will be touched upon, but not covered fully.  

Daily schedule

Each day would consist of four types of activities. Times are approximate.

Time Activity
9:00-11:00 Individual work on preassigned material. (Reading, video, installing tools.)
11:00-13:00 Live session in Zoom. (Frontal instruction, live demo of tool, discussion of morning assignment.)
13:00-16:00 Group assignment on project. (Applying the skill learnt on own project.)
16:00-17:00 Live session. (Debrief on assignment, present and discuss problems and solutions.)


Zoom + Slack


Target Group 

This course is intended for junior journalists working in small to medium newsrooms or journalism projects. Students pursuing a career in journalism can also join. We also invite applications from advanced undergraduate students who have adequate prior study or engagement experience on the subject and make a compelling case in their application/statement of interest. 


Good English and access to a personal laptop required. No specific computer experience assumed. 

Language requirements 

The language of instruction is English; thus all applicants have to demonstrate a strong command of spoken and written English to be able to participate actively in discussions at seminars and workshops. Some of the shortlisted applicants may be contacted for a telephone interview. 

Please read the following directions carefully. 
Below is the list of the documents you need to prepare or arrange for submission:

  1. Completed online SUN Application Form (see notes below)
  2. Full curriculum vitae or resume, including a list of publications, if any
    Please upload your Curriculum Vitae or resume, including a list of publications, if any.
  3. Statement of purpose (max. 1 page) 
    In the Statement of Purpose, please describe how the course is relevant to your teaching, research, or professional work, and in what way you expect to benefit from it. Please list relevant courses in the field you have taken previously during your studies.
    Please provide a name, contact email, and phone number of a person (a faculty member, job supervisor, etc.) who can be contacted by the course directors to attest to your abilities, qualifications, and academic/professional performance.

Optional attachments:

You can upload further optional documents on the Qualifications page such as academic documents that you think may be relevant to support your application in the 'Other Supporting Documents' section. All documents should be merged into a single PDF file not exceeding the size 2 MB. No passwords and encryption are allowed.

Completed CEU Summer University Application Form

We strongly advise the use of Google Chrome to enable the full functionality of the form.


  • You may apply to a maximum of two summer courses. In case of being admitted, you can only attend both if the two courses do not overlap in time. Financial aid, if available, is only granted to attend one course.
  • If you applied to CEU before, please use your existing login and password to start a new application. If you do not remember your password from last year click on Forgotten Password. With technical problems, bugs, or errors related to the online application forms please contact the CEU IT Help Desk.
  • Right after login, please select ”Summer University” radiobutton from the "Type of course" list, and leave all other fields empty.
  • All application materials must be submitted with the online application form(s). Materials sent by postal mail, electronic mail, or fax are not considered.
  • The maximum allowable file size for upload is 2MB per file and the acceptable file formats are PDF, JPG, and JPEG. Ensure all security features (e.g. passwords and encryption) are removed from the documents before uploading them.
  • Applications cannot be edited after submission. Please submit your application only when it is 100% final and complete.
  • Further user instructions for the online application are included in the form itself. Should you have questions regarding the application form, check the relevant Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


If you need help or more information during the application process, please feel free to contact the SUN staff via email.


The SUN Office will notify applicants about the selection results in April. Please check the 'Dates and deadlines' section on the relevant course websites for notification deadlines planned earlier or later. The final decision is not open to appeal.