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Brazilian wins journalism prize for project inspired by Knight Center course

Paola Carvalho decided to take several hours away from her daily work in the newsroom at Diários Associados to participate in the online course “Journalism 2.0," offered by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. The result of this “break” to study was a report that won a Sebrae Journalism Prize, one of Brazil's most prestigious awards for economic reporting.

“The courses I took with the Knight Center, Databases and Journalism 2.0, complemented my day-to-day work very well. They opened my mind to the new role of journalism in the digital era and gave me tools to transform theory into practice,” the journalist said, in an interview with the Knight Center.

At the end of 2009, inspired by a course taught by online journalism professor Carlos Castilho, Carvalho founded the Estado de Minas newspaper. In the paper’s online edition, she joined with journalists Zulmira Furbino, Tetê Monteiro, and Alexandre Vaz for the report “Na real” or “In the real” (The real is also Brazil’s currency). The project was a series of reports that used both the print and digital mediums to show readers how macroeconomic issues affected their daily lives.

“On the site em.com.br, we created a blog to follow stories that influenced the routines of the ten people we chose for the project. And, at the end of the month, we published how the economy affected the lives of each. We received interesting feedback from our readers, who came to understand the economy by following these people’s situations.”

The prize has brought new professional opportunities for Carvalho, who now works at Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. “Winning the Sebrae prize was recognition for the dedication of the entire team, which embraced the project and dared to conquer new readers in the journalism 2.0 era,” she said.