DJCamp2013 Istanbul

Istanbul Bilgi University’s Santral Campus will soon be playing host to the much-anticipated DJCAMP2013 – a two-day workshop designed to inspire and equip journalists with the skills they need to find and shape data into stories with impact.

Presented by internationally-recognised digital journalism thought leaders and experienced data journalism trainers, DJCamp2013 will run from 9am on Saturday, 26 January, to 5pm on Sunday, 27 January 2013.

Pioneered in 2011 by the Digital Editors Network, UK, this is the first DJCamp in Turkey and it is being sponsored, in part, by the University of Central Lancashire’s MADE (Media And Digital Enterprise) Project, winner of the International Press Institute inaugural News Innovation Contest funded by Google, and the Faculty of Communication at Istanbul Bilgi University.

 "There's a lot of talk about data journalism, which is great - but DJCamps are for those who actually want to make it happen," says François Nel, founding director of MADE and also co-founder of Digital Editors Network, UK. "This hands-on workshop will cover the key stages of doing data journalism, from spotting leads for data stories, to finding the data, interrogating it, and visualising it."

Over the weekend, aside from gaining practical advice, participants will have the chance to apply their learning through applied exercises with the help of Sarah Hartley, former Guardian Local editor and part of the team behind the Guardian News & Media’s startup, and Megan Knight, an experienced digital journalist and senior lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, home to the UK’s oldest school of journalism
 For more information and to reserve one  the 30 spaces available, see: DJCamp2013 

We caught up with Megan Knight, who also co-presented DJCamp2012 in the UK, to find out more about what’s in store:  

What can we expect at DJCamp2013?

"The workshop covers the basic 'whys and wherefores' of data journalism, from why it's an important part of journalism to finding information in data form by looking at sources of data. On the second day, we will be looking at interpretation and visualisation of data and actually working with data that has been found to develop publishable data journalism material in whatever form it may take. We’re going to be using publicly available tools and data sources, focusing on mapping, which is invaluable in terms of developing things like interactive features where you can gather data from your readers and then represent it. So the workshop moves from a kind of conceptual framework with discussions about what data journalism is and why it’s important, through to practical hands-on projects."

 What do aim for participants to achieve by the end of the workshops?

"We aim that participants will be able to find and present data by the end of the workshop, not just in an abstract sense of 'here’s a sample of what you would do', but in a concrete sense of actually finding something that’s relevant to what it is they're currently working on, and then working through the workshop with that data. So the real goal at the end is to have projects that people can return to newsrooms with to develop it further and actually publish. So the idea is to really make it very hands on, very practical."

So before you entered the world of academia, you were a data journalist?

 "I think I’ve been doing data journalism since before we called it that. One of my previous jobs was working on election coverage and census coverage in South Africa. We worked with scientists and programmers to showcase election results and look for correlations and changes between voting patterns, changes in the demographics, and development issues. We were working with these massive data sets of information to present stories about South Africa and stories about the country beyond the simple, 'Thabo Mbeki is going to be president' which was the case in 1999, to patterns in people’s voting, and fundamentally, stories about change. I looked at how we could correlate that what we knew about demographics, about income, about education, about language, facilities and services and so on with voting behaviour.
 “I’ve always straddled the journalistic and technology worlds – covering technology and working with newsrooms and journalists to develop tools and skills for new forms of journalism, but I’ve always thought o fmyself as a journalist, a writer and communicator of events and ideas, not just a technologist.

 "Data is really, to my mind, an important part of journalism because it gives you a way into stories that weren’t necessarily the stories people wanted us to tell. Data is to me, not about numbers, but about the hidden patterns that numbers can make visible. To me, that was really interesting and since then I’ve always been very interested in data and information. Now I'm also interested in social media, the kind of information that’s available on the internet and also in collaborative data (projects where people tell you, as a news organization what is going on in their environment and you then map that).

“I recently finished a book on the impact of social media in journalism (Social Media for Journalists by Megan Knight and Clare Cook, Sage, 2013) which incorporates a lot of information about data journalism, about crowdsourcing and things like that. So this workshop really fits in with my interests that I'm hoping to develop further and do more with."
For programme updates follow this blog, join the conversation on Twitter @uclanMADE and in the MADE Network  Facebook group. You can also contract us directly at MADEturkey @  

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