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Credit: By tristam sparks on Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.
Five teams of young journalists have been reporting live on the "generation separation" in 15 European countries this week.

The 18 reporters, journalism students at Axel Springer Academy in Berlin, are using social media to document their interviews.

"If we want to do something like this, it has to be live, we have to do live reporting which is not so complicated any more," said Kristin Schulze, head of cross-media at the Academy.

"You have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, so you can basically report live 24 hours."

The five teams are exploring different problems in Europe that "we need to take a closer look at".

Travelling across borders, they are looking at discrimination, movements for independence, populism, the impact of the financial crisis, and conflict born out of the continent's ethnic diversity.

The teams report live from interviews and meetings in their assigned countries, using their own social media accounts, as well as producing videos to upload on YouTube.


Their reports are then collected by another team based in Berlin and posted on the Generation Separation website.

'Team Berlin' also produces a daily video show rounding up what reporters on the ground have found.

"Social media for us is the best way first of all to be live and to get in contact with people," said Schulze.

"We as journalists sometimes think social media is good for us to bring our stories to people but it's just half of [it].

"The other side is even more fun because you get reactions, and you need to react on these reactions again," she added.

Just talked to Maria and Ellie from start-up @taxibeat They say: " #crisis brought innovation to #greece " #greece #gensep

A photo posted by Generation Separation (@generationseparation) on Nov 11, 2014 at 12:21pm PST



The young journalists have also been using social media as part of their research, which Schulze said is encouraged by the Academy as it's "the easiest way today".

As an exercise in live reporting, the project is meant to teach the student reporters how to deal with any issues they come across while producing stories on location.

Sources contacted in advance have not always come through, said Schulze, and the technical equipment could also let the journalists down at any time.

The Generation Separation project will move on to a second stage next week, when the student journalists have returned to Berlin and are ready to write their conclusions.

Schulze explained: "We will take all the reactions we have and then remake further stories out of this."

Five multimedia features on the site will present the key takeaways from the students' cross-border reporting.

"You can't really be a journalist today if you say 'you know what, I just like to write text and this is all I do'. That's not enough today," said Schulze.

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