On the fourth year of its activities, dokuz8NEWS has expanded into a new area of operations by starting Development of Data Journalism in Turkey Project, with MATRA funding from the Netherlands.The project started for development of data journalism in Turkey will cover three training sessions for disemployed journalists and citizen journalists on the topic of data journalism. Through the skills-sets participants will obtain by the end of these training sessions, 120 special coverage news will have been commissioned throughout 2018. There will be four main themes as part of the project ranging from social gender & children; labour & social policies; press, expression and internet freedom; and rights violations & human rights, and half of the produced content will be translated into English and published for notice of the international community.
ADVISORY BOARD HAS HAD ITS FIRST MEETING IN ISTANBUL
After setting the project task-force, dokuz8NEWS has held an advisory board meeting with representatives of the institutions that operate in relevant fields, activists and journalists interested in the thematic topics. One of the core missions of the advisory board is to connect the many layers and parts of data journalism field in Turkey as a bridge between the news center and civil society organisations, unions, platforms, activists and journalists.
First meeting of the dokuz8NEWS Advisory Board has been held in Istanbul on January 20, Saturday with the agenda of communicating the goals of the project, its scope, details and targets.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS STATED THE CONDITIONS OF DATA IN THEIR FIELDS
The advisory board meeting has started with a summary of dokuz8NEWS’ activities in the last four years, and upcoming activities plan, and a discussion was started on the condition of data journalism and perception of data in Turkey. During this discussion, topics on data journalism, data-mining, storage of data, sharing & publication have been brought on the table.
REPRESENTATION OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE ADVISORY BOARD
On the first meeting of Advisory Board, Equal Rights Monitoring Association EŞHİD representative Nejat Taştan, United for Democracy DİB spokesperson İrem Afşin, Human Rights Association IHD Istanbul Branch Chair Lawyer Gülseren Yoleri, Social Policies Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association SPoD Board Member, Müge Akbasan, Contemporary Journalists Association ÇGD Ankara Branch Chair Çınar Livane Özer and journalists Elif Ilgaz and Filiz Gazi have discussed data curation, collection and publication in their fields, and named the physical situation, problems and needs of the fields.
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CAPACITY BUILDING IN THE FIELD OF DATA JOURNALISM
EŞHİD, a platform that has dedicated its energy for equality of rights & liberties through production of monitoring & reporting activities has been preparing reports on irregularities and rights violations during elections in the past years, states Nejat Taştan. While İrem Afşin has shared information on the working capacity of DİB that it is not based on a hierarchical structure but collaboration of councils, IHD representative Gülseren Yoleri has shared examples from the reports they have been compiling through rights violations. Yoleri also reiterated that this project is an opportunity for IHD to curate data, visualize and publish them through this project.
ÇGD’S MEDIA MONITORING REPORTS EXPERIENCE
SPoD’s Müge Akbasan also spoke during the advisory board meeting on the collection of data in the field of social gender matters and how there is a need for direction in order to support the psycho-social projects of the assocaition. Journalist Filiz Gazi mentioned the details of her work related to news pieces she has been covering on the medical faculties, while journalist Elif Ilgaz mentioned the temporariness of the “Journalists Outside Bars” that does not collect data while there is a need for such an initiative.
Çınar Özer who has responded to the need, stated that ÇGD publishes a quarterly Media Monitoring Report that reveals the data collected regarding the conditions for journalism in Turkey.
ADVISORY BOARD DECISIONS & TRAINING PROGRAM
The significance of giving training to NGOs, civil initiatives, unions, platforms, collectives for data mining & visualisation as well as publication has been reiterated during the advisory board meeting. Institutions represented at the advisory board will be given opportunity to join the data journalism training that will take place in the first week of March, and meetings will be set up with these institutions for one-on-one discussion on the specific needs and plans in the field of data journalism.
REGARDING MATRA PROJECT FUNDS
dokuz8NEWS Data Journalism Project is funded by the government of the Netherlands through MATRA fund which is distributed to projects that support positive social change in countries that have candidacy, potential candidacy or are listed in neighbourhood policy with the European Union.