The student newsroom at re:publica 18

The Journalism students from HMKW Berlin, who ran as „Shifted News“ the newsroom for Europe’s largest conference on digitalisation and society, are looking back at three wonderful, challenging and educational days.

Popular photo opportunity: the ball pit, image: Melina Harzer

Popular photo opportunity: the ball pit, image: Melina Harzer

Under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Ranty Islam they worked on site as a professional editorial team in order to be able to capture as many topics and lectures of re:publica as possible in various media formats.




„Shift/ed came out of nowhere. We, on the other hand, came from everywhere.“ –Lorenzo Cervantes, Shifted News


The organizers of the annual conference, which has been running since 2007, have provided the Shifted News team with their own office to produce video clips and texts for the official re:publica website as well as their own website.

The Shifted Newsroom team is as diverse and international as re:publica itself, with students from Belgium, Libya, Indonesia, Sudan, France, Germany and other countries.


Among their interview partners were blogger Theresa Lachner, Melissa Perales, co-founder of Torstraßen Festival in Berlin, and Markus Schwarzer, who created a music app. The students produced a number of videos and also captured voices from the audience, e.g. after the much-anticipated talk with Chelsea Manning on the main stage at the beginning of the conference.

A main highlight of the second day was the panel „Reconquista Internet“ dealing with hate speech online. Comedian Jan Böhmermann joined the chat via skype. Shifted News reported on the matter. On the third day, Shifted Newsroom shared their office with the Media Residents, a network and space for refugees who work in the field of media.

Overall, it was an exciting and unique opportunity for the students of M.A. Convergent Journalism to present their journalistic skills and personal perspectives to the public at this special event, and to proof themselves in a real newsroom setting. They were also supported by Luisa Barbero, M.A. Communication Design.


„Where people saw re:publica, I saw opportunity, equality, and freedom of choice.“ –Dalia Gazah, Shifted News


HMKW Berlin was also present with a booth on site in the partner area of re:publica.

On Saturday, Netzfest took place in the Park am Gleisdreieck for the first time. The re:publica opened its doors to a broader public with a kind of "digital funfair". Daniel Lehmann, research associate at HMKW Berlin, gave a talk on the subject of fake news and provided practical tips on how to do a fact check on information found online.