Chips&Salsa 2019 – Digital, Interactive, Mediterranean

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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.

Other sponsors: Microsoft, Fondazione Ansaldo.

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.


Originally designed by effecinque, a coop of innovative journalists, Chips&Salsa 2019 will also include as co-organizer Formicablu, a science communication agency.  

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 Context

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.

Our Speakers

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.

Why Chips&Salsa

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.

A change in our program

Unfortunately, Amr Eleraqi, our Egyptian colleague from InfoTimes, won’t be able to be with us at Chips&Salsa: he was not granted a visa to travel to Genova in this occasion.

We are really sorry about that, since Amr’s work to innovate both formats and methodology in journalism in the Middle East region is really relevant and his contribution would have been very significant for us all. Here you can see some of his projects.

Conference Program

9:00-9:30 Registration

9:30-11:00 Part I: DATA

Welcome Speech
Raffaele Mastrolonardo (effecinque), Elisabetta Tola (formicablu)

Tax evasion does not go to heaven: behind the scenes of the Panama Papers
Alessia Cerantola (Report)

ConfiscatiBene: fighting the mafia with data (and citizens)
Gianluca De Martino (Journalist, onData association)

Numbers, bits, atoms: when information becomes physical
Alice Corona (Batjo)

Chronicle of an announced hole: data enter in local media
Isaia Invernizzi (L’Eco di Bergamo)

Dataverses, immersive information just a click away
Óscar Marín Miró (The Outliers Collective)

11.00-11.30 Coffee Break

11.30-13.15 Part II: VIZ

Genoa Road to Tragedy: the steps of an interactive investigation
Jeremy White (The New York Times)
Introduction: Anna Masera (la Stampa)

Ponte Morandi, from the (journalistic) investigation to the (judicial) inquiry
Jeremy White (The New York Times), Marco Grasso (Il Secolo XIX)

Exploring the dehesa: a 360° Mediterranean forest
Pablo Leon Sanchez (El País)

A journey through Italy: telling the Belpaese one map at a time
Filippo Mastroianni (Freelance Journalist)

A year of VisualLab: visions on changing journalism
Marianna Bruschi (VisualLab – GEDI Group)

13.15-14.25 Lunch Break

14.30-17.30 Part III: TOOLS

Flourish, how to make data flourish with Google
Clara Attene (Google News Lab)

Travel notes: suggestions for aspiring freelance correspondents
Eleonora Vio (Nawart Press)

Risciò, how to design and produce a journalistic podcast
Simone Pieranni (il manifesto)

Digital disinformation, 5 verification tools you can’t do without
Nicola Bruno (effecinque)

The newsletter: old medium new information. The case of Guerre di rete (Internet wars)
Carola Frediani (Journalist)

PowerBI from business intelligence to intelligent journalism
Mattia De Rosa (Microsoft)

Ask Me Anything: questions and answers with the speakers
Moderator: Guido Romeo (FACTA)

Closing Speech

17.30 Networking coffee

Our speakers: 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, Eleonora Vio, Jeremy White.

Google News Initiative is the main sponsor of Chips&Salsa 2019.

Other sponsors: Microsoft, Fondazione Ansaldo.

Partner of this edition are: Costa Edutainment, C-Way, GenovaFA, Saloni delle feste – Palazzo Imperiale, AIWC Genoa Onlus, US Consular Agency in Genoa, SISSA.

Chips&Salsa has also received sponsorship from: Comune di Genova, Ordine dei Giornalisti, CNR, FERPI, Regione Liguria, Università di Genova.

Chips&Salsa: Giornalismi, digitali, interattivi mediterranei is organized by effecinque and formicablu, two independent journalistic agencies. The network of organizers includes also Game Happens and Facta.

Media partners: Babboleo, Il Secolo XIX, il manifesto, Dire, TeleNord.

During the demonstrations against the G8 in Genoa, in July 2001, thousands of protesters talked over and took pictures with their mobile phones. They were defined communications “one-to-one” but try to imagine what a shocking communicative effect would have come from a public area of voices, sounds, images and words produced and collected by those thousands of people with their portable devices and spread among them and all over the world. These are the scenarios we must begin to imagine.

–Franco Carlini, 2002