dokuz8NEWS that brings together citizen journalism’s dynamism and professional journalism’s experience in a multi-format perspective has celebrated its fifth anniversary with a reception at the Dutch Palace in Istanbul, hosted by Consulate General of the Netherlands in Istanbul. The event started with a forum discussion under the title “Story of Turkey: Five years of dokuz8NEWS and media in Turkey”. There have been over 150 guests at the reception including consul generals, politicians, journalists, business sector, professional chambers, civil initiative representatives and unions.
At a time when exercise of “right to access information” is getting ever-harder in Turkey, dokuz8NEWS has been founded in March 2014 to present the people with accurate, reliable and verified news from its source and increase media literacy in society. In its 5.5 years of activities the news platform has expanded its activities to include new projects.
FIVE YEARS OF DOKUZ8NEWS AND TURKEY
Over 150 guests have participated the event held at the Dutch Palace in Istanbul, hosted by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Istanbul. Multiple consul generals as well as local and international journalists, civil society organizations, confederation and union representatives, mayors, politicians, businesspeople have attended the meeting.
The opening of the forum has been carried out by dokuz8NEWS’ Corporate Communications Consultant Sevda Yüzbaşıoğlu and led by dokuz8NEWS’ founding Chief Executive Editor Gökhan Biçici. The forum started with a presentation on Turkey’s recent history as well as digital transformation of media. Following the presentation, participants have engaged in the discussion with their comments on need for creative design in media as well as sustainable financial structure development in media sector.
DUTCH CONSUL GENERAL BART VON BOLHUIS WELCOMED GUESTS
Consul General of the Netherlands in Istanbul, Bart von Bolhuis has welcomed guests at the reception, “we are happy to have you here, congratulations on your five years of activities. And thank you so much for all the services we make use of everyday.”
CHP Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer who was unable to participate the event, has sent a telegram message to celebrate the fifth year of dokuz8NEWS and wish best of luck ahead of upcoming period.
After the message was shared, Biçici has assumed the stage to give a speech on the 5.5 years of dokuz8NEWS and present a video that summarizes the achievements of the news platform. Biçici said, “we were founded on March 30, 2014 and were to celebrate our anniversary on March 30, 2019 but the municipal elections took place on March 31 which made it quite impossible to organize a celebration. Due to many reasons, including June 23 repeat Istanbul Elections, we have decided to hold a belated birthday party where we can also announce our plans for the upcoming period.”
“WE EXPERIENCED THINGS IN FIVE YEARS THAT SOME MODERN NATIONS HAVE NOT SEEN IN A CENTURY”
During his speech, Biçici summarized some of the developments experienced in the recent years in Turkey and compared them to the developments of the past century for a number of countries, “however I have a bit of bad news for everyone; the things we have seen in recent years were just the trailer of what is coming ahead. The next three years will be a period of deeply rooted transformation before 2023, the centennial of the Republic of Turkey. We will see what kind of a country we will be living in and what kind of journalists will be operating. There is a dire need for journalism and media to have constitutional provisions in Turkey and we have a side in this issue.”
DOKUZ8NEWS: BORN OUT OF SOCIAL DEMAND
Biçici also mentioned that dokuz8NEWS was born out of social demand “the most significant need of the citizens today is to receive objective news from its source. With your support this process will continue; we will be working even harder in coming years.”
Biçici continued, “we have opened our regional offices in the city of Adana and throughout 2020 we will realize even bigger projects such as Young Workers of the World Meeting and Global Free Expression & Independent Media Conference.”
CELEBRATION OF FIVE YEARS WITH A CAKE
As tradition for any birthday, dokuz8NEWS has cut a cake to celebrate its fifth anniversary with its current employees and active supporters. Throughout the evening politicians, mayors, union representatives, journalists and communications experts have shared their views regarding dokuz8NEWS in short interviews. The evening ended with a family photo of Team dokuz8.
DOKUZ8NEWS 2020 PLANS
- dokuz8 Media Academy to increase capacity and frequency of training sessions offered by dokuz8NEWS so far 51 times welcoming 1400 participants from 72 provinces in 8 cities.
- Citizens’ Media Centers that will be established in cooperation with local municipalities and city councils that will increase media literacy and strenghten regional media.
- News Podcast that will be initiated in cooperation with regional media to present a new news network on podcast platforms
- dokuz8TV which has been in preparation for some time but will develop final video news formats to present special cases and news documentaries.
- Regional Representatives & Offices, after opening of the Çukurova Offices in Adana, new regional offices are to be opened in Samsun, İzmir, Diyarbakır and Ankara.
- National operating news agency to be established after initial groundwork being laid out during coverage of 2018 and 2019 elections that welcomed civil networks as well as regional media.
- Global Free Expression & Independent Media Conference to be held in Autumn 2020 in Izmir.
- Young Workers of the World Meeting in Izmir in June 2020.
- Initiating crowdsourcing mechanism to increase dokuz8NEWS’ independent resources and develop community-based model.
- The City Magazine to be published in collaboration with Yereliz Association, in order to develop print & digital content for sustainable urban management policies.
Having started its regular publications on March 30, 2014 dokuz8NEWS brings together the dynamism of citizen journalism and experience of professional journalism in a new media perspective based on social first principle. The network aims to target people’s right to access information as well as to assume responsibilities of citizen journalism to be part of news-curation. dokuz8NEWS has 500 voluntary correspondents across Turkey that have participated its media & journalism trainings in the last five years. So far there have been conducted 51 training sessions in 8 cities welcoming more than 1400 participants from 72 provinces, with the aim of developing capacity for media usage as well as to increase media literacy and to give prevalance to civil initiatives to increase their voices for rights-struggles.
There has been conducted two field research studies as part of dokuz8NEWS’ activities which have been published with the titles, “Alternative Media & Citizen Journalism Platforms’ Active Followers Perception” (2016) “Professional Journalists’ Perception of Citizen Journalism” (2018).