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Google News Fellowship for Niko Kommenda

8 April 2016

Cardiff student Niko Kommenda and The Guardian’s editor-in-chief Katherine Viner
Niko Kommenda and Guardian editor-in-chief Katherine Viner

A Cardiff University student has been selected for the prestigious Google News Fellowship at The Guardian this summer.

Niko Kommenda, who is studying on the MSc Computational and Data Journalism course, will be joining the London-based news organisation for eight weeks. His success was officially announced by the Google News UK team this week.

The scheme offers students the chance to research and write stories, contribute to open source data programmes, and create timely data to accurately frame public debates about issues in the UK and the world.

Niko is currently in his second semester of Cardiff University’s pioneering joint honours course which blends the skills of the world-renowned School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and the School of Computer Science & Informatics. He was also a member of the Cardiff University student team that scooped second place during the Build the News event at The Times.

He recently had the opportunity to discuss his Fellowship with The Guardian’s editor-in-chief Katherine Viner during her visit to the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

Niko said: “I'm delighted I was chosen by such a well-respected paper as The Guardian.

“The lecturers on the course helped me not only by teaching me the right skills, they constantly motivate us to chase opportunities they spot, they send us links to interesting open source projects and are willing to help us prepare for hack days, job interviews and work placements.

“I’m also really happy the flexible curriculum allows me to do the Fellowship at a time when The Guardian is working on some of the most interesting projects of the year.”

Course co-director Dr Martin Chorley, of the School of Computer Science & Informatics, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Niko was offered the Fellowship at The Guardian. His experience in coding and journalism gives him the skills to fit right in at the cutting edge of the changes taking place in the media industry."

Exciting new changes

The news of Niko’s success comes as the course team build on industry advice on how to develop the programme to allow it to continue in line with industry requirements. The changes have also been added in response to developments in the industry such as the Panama Papers.

A new core module in Data Journalism has been added and the name of the course itself has been updated to MSc Computational and Data Journalism to reflect that.

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