NMA Spotlight: Powered by data

Another subject, another Spotlight: In this week’s event we looked at the power of data in media environments. Those who missed the session can watch the recording.

“Data journalism frequently breaks away from the traditional narrative, offering many pathways to explain and explore the news.”

Nic Newman, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

NMA Spotlight: Powered by data

For media organizations, data is a huge opportunity – whether it’s their user’s data that needs to be understood and managed safely or if it’s the numbers to the complex issues that keep popping up in the news.

Dealing with a lot of data can be too much to handle. Gladly there have been a bunch of experts in the Spotlight crowd who are focussing on the chances and not the drawbacks of the data jam.

Data: A foothold to take the news to the world

Everyone agreed on this point: data helps to understand and undermine political decisions, developments in society, and even the dynamics of a worldwide pandemic. Proper data, clearly visualized and broken down for easy access, is able to build trust and can be entertaining if it’s nice to look at or even interactive.

Frederik Voss from VRM presents how his team used data to boost the coverage of the 2020 regional elections.

“Use data whenever you have it in your story – even if you’re a 60-year-old print journalist”

Frederik Voss, VRM

Working with external experts and innovative startups is a great opportunity for traditional newspapers to profit from data expertise without necessarily having data analysts on board.

Frederik Voss, journalist and content developer, gave an insight into his work with data at the German media house VRM. His team worked with the startup 23degrees (NMA batch 5) to cover the regional elections in two federal states in Germany. With the help of the data visualization experts, three people at VRM were able to create around 450 landing pages showcasing the election results even for the smallest villages in the region. Complex data, provided by official bodies, was attractively presented and made accessible through local news sites. A huge win for the users and a great success for VRM.

Screenshot: Scriptbakery Slice

“I would like to see a lot more publishing houses being open to AI.”

Patrick Kaiser, COO Scriptbakery

On top of that, three other startups from our portfolio showcased their approach to make data usable: For Scriptbakery (NMA batch 12) working with data doesn’t mean ignoring emotion. With the help of artificial intelligence, the startup is able to predict the emotional impact of content and innovate the user experience.

The team from Midesk (NMA batch 9) gave an insight into how they make market data accessible within their smart market intelligence platform. And Aiconix introduced their latest speech-to-text development and shared experiences from the last year in the midst of the Corona pandemic. Even if media companies hesitated to innovate, nearly every company nowadays is a content creator and therefore needs new technologies, said Eugen L. Gross, CEO of Aiconix.

The conclusion of the expert’s round: established media companies are creating a lot of content and have access to a lot of data. At the same time, agile and innovative startups are capable of lifting that treasure. It’s time to work together!


Spotlight is an event series hosted by the next media accelerator. Each edition shines a light on a relevant topic for the media industry. If you want to join the upcoming editions of this exclusive event for media managers and startup founders, get in touch.
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