JFF News
March 7, 2017
Summing up Workshop Entitled “Data and Explanatory Journalism in Digital Publishing Industry”
Summing up Workshop Entitled “Data and Explanatory Journalism in Digital Publishing Industry”

On March 4-5, overall 15 representatives from Armenian media outlets attended a workshop entitled “Data and Explanatory Journalism in Digital Publishing Industry”.

The workshop, organized by Journalists For the Future NGO and supported by the U.S. Embassy in Armenia, was aimed at presenting participants the new trends of the media industry as well as supporting them to use a more productive format of delivering information in the digital environment.

263 The participants got introduced with the basics of explanatory journalism and data visualization in the digital environment and, by using open resources during practical assignments, tried to create infographics on topics of their interest. They studied how to effectively use the databases of the National Statistical Service of Armenia and the World Bank.

At the beginning of the event a welcome speech was given by Jacqueline Deley, Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Armenia. In her speech she, particularly, applauded participants desire to develop and expand their skill sets in the area of explanatory journalism and data visualization.

262

“We all know that free access to information is an essential element in the development of civil society, but at the same time, information can be complex, and the purpose of explanatory journalism is to make our complicated world easier to understand.”

Given the importance of explanatory journalism and the role it plays in a democratic society, Deley says, that participants as journalists and specialists in economics are in a unique position to exploit 21st century information technologies and the power of data journalism to report on specialized social-economic topics in a way that is easily understandable by all. “And I will look forward to hearing about stories that will result from the collaboration between the journalists and graphic designer at today’s workshop,” she says.

264 The workshop attendees were journalists from Hetq.am, Panorama.am, Civilnet.am, Iravaban.net, ArmTimes.com, AraratNews.am, Public Radio, Public and Shoghakat TV channels, as well as economists and designers. The workshop was held within the framework of JFF’s “Ampop Media” initiative which already has involved more than 50 people, among them journalists, analysts, economists and designers, in its trainings.

“With this initiative we try to establish robust roots for explanatory journalism and data visualization in the media of Armenia by providing representatives of the media and other fields with theoretical knowledge on the topic and sharing with them the experience we have obtained while creating and publishing stories on Ampop.am data-driven news website,” says JFF president Suren Deheryan and adds, “In the digital age, the issue of increasing the effectiveness of the media is actual also in the most developed countries. And active use of explanatory journalism and data visualization enables the media to be more competitive in the digital environment and more attractive among the Internet society.”

265 According to the workshop participant Mkrtich Karapetyan, journalist from Civilnet.am, it was an exceptionally useful workshop. “Data analysis  and visualization is playing an increasingly big role in journalism, and it is very important to acquire knowledge in this field. With this respect, the workshop had a huge theoretical and practical benefit. We studied tools of great significance in visualizing data as well as learnt about new databases,” he says. Mkrtich hopes that this kind of trainings will have continuation with the involvement of more people, and that there will be a progress regarding data visualization in the media field of Armenia.

Another workshop participant from Public Radio, journalist Kushane Chobanyan says, “After the course, I came home and started testing infographics, and this is the best proof of the fact that a journalist who is constantly in search of something, now is indulged in.”

266 "It was hard to imagine that it is possible to get such a large amount of useful information in two days, however this workshop really exceeded my expectations. Skills in explanatory journalism and new tools of data visualization will allow to effectively use them in the future," says Hakob Safaryan, journalist from Panorama.am.

Based on the topics identified during the workshop the participants are expected to prepare stories that will be posted on Ampop.am interactive, multimedia website created by JFF.

The workshop photos can be accessed here. More news regarding “Ampop Media” initiative can be accessed on JFF and Ampop Media facebook pages. 

The workshop photos can be accessed here

Photos by Lilit Yolchyan

Source: JFF


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