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Chips&Salsa is the Italian event where interactive and immersive journalism takes the stage and shows off. This second edition – the first was in December 2017 – will be held in Genoa on June 14.
Participating will be some of the best Italian and international journalists innovating with the help of digital technologies.
The common thread unifying all the contributions to this edition will be the Mediterranean region, to be considered as the place of origin of the invited speakers and selected projects; a socio-cultural context for developing new digital and interactive practices; and a subject of journalistic inquiry. For millennia, the Mediterranean Sea has been a route for trading goods and information, and for cultural hybridization in fields ranging from arts to cuisine, from architecture to journalism.
In this part of the world, journalists experiment with new practices and adopt new formats and technologies to better serve their audiences’ ever-changing needs. This innovation is happening in a context very different from the English-speaking and Northern European countries, with a journalistic culture that is not so digitally driven and has far scarcer financial resources.
Chips&Salsa 2019 will take place at an iconic location: the Aquarium of Genoa, the largest in Europe and the one hosting the greatest biodiversity. Located right in the middle of Genoa’s old harbor area, the aquarium is one of the city’s most renowned and popular places, equipped with technology that will allow a high-impact visual event.
Sponsors & Partners
Google News Initiative is this year’s main sponsor.
Costa Edutainment, the company that manages the aquarium, is hosting it free.
Also supporting the event are the local government, the Comune di Genova; Italy’s National Research Council (CNR), GenovaFA, an event organizer; Saloni delle Feste – Palazzo Imperiale, one of Genova’s most prestigious location, and the University of Genoa along with its schools of Communication and Journalism.
Two more entities are giving their support to the event: Facta, a center for scientific journalism focusing on the Mediterranean region, and Game Happens, a non profit focusing on events about independent video games and digital culture.
The struggling media industry has been facing a deep crisis for many years. New business models granting long-term survival to both traditional and new digital media are not yet easy to find. If this is true where revenues and markets are stronger, it is even worse in countries where media face smaller markets, for both linguistic and cultural reasons.
Chips&Salsa focuses on innovation and experimentation. Even if there is no golden solution at hand, we as organizers are convinced that any solution to the crisis will necessarily have to go through new conversations with audiences. Journalists will have to develop new abilities to understand information needs, new formats, and new digital and interactive products, many of which they cannot even yet imagine.
That is the main reason we issue a call to action to those who like to experiment, and ask them to showcase what they are working on. Mixing Anglo-Americans’ experiences with those of Mediterranean natives, we and our fellow journalists make an effort to be creative even with few resources. We also wish putting together journalists who work in well-established media with others who may be freelancers or have their own startup projects or small independent companies like their own.
Italy, Spain, Egypt, United States. Chips&Salsa’s geography extends to the entire Mediterranean and even crosses the Atlantic Ocean to bring to Genoa an example of fantastic experimentation: Jeremy White, one of the authors of The New York Times’s phenomenal visual and long-form investigation of the Genoa bridge collapse.
Other speakers are Marianna Bruschi, Alessia Cerantola, Alice Corona, Gianluca De Martino, Amr Eleraqi, Carola Frediani, Marco Grasso, Isaia Invernizzi, Óscar Marín Miró, Anna Masera, Filippo Mastroianni, Simone Pieranni, Guido Romeo, Pablo Leon Sanchez and Eleonora Vio.
Chips&Salsa is a 1995 book by one of the smartest and most intuitive journalists we have had the honor to know: Franco Carlini (1944-2007), who was born and died in Genoa. It is also the name of the column Franco wrote for many years in the Italian communist daily Il Manifesto, as well as his blog, still online.
Franco Carlini was one of the first Italian journalists to live on the Internet, study it and find ways to tell about it from the beginning. He was one of the first who understood it and caught the degree of revolutionary force the internet was bringing to everything, including the media and the information environment.
Many of his writings were devoted to journalists’ role in the emerging digital ecosystem, to changes democratic societies were undergoing. And he managed to do it without prejudice, with curiosity and a critical eye. Franco Carlini’s words are still valid and relevant today.
A New Look
Chips&Salsa’s black-and-white logo and graphic identity retain the charm of the printed paper, still very popular today, and in particular the style and color of the paper where Franco Carlini was writing.
The logo is designed to resemble both a pencil, an old yet still useful reporting tool, and a chip, the basic component of any digital device and the main asset of contemporary digital journalism. Old and new work together, in a perfectly functional fusion.