School of Data now counts among its ranks a local group in Turkey led by Pınar Dağ, an experience Data Journalist and Journalism professor based in Istanbul. As part of their activities, they have been running numerous datajournalism trainings, attracting an important proportion of non-journalists, eager to learn about data. The article below presents a data-driven overview of these workshops.
According to the participation research of data journalism workshops carried out with all 110 participants hosted by Pınar Dağ and Sadettin Demirel, 36.4% of all participants stated that they have studied data literacy courses before the workshops, while the remaining 70 people make up the 63% that have never before studied data literacy or data analysis.
If we analyse the data obtained in the context of gender and age, there are 21 men and 17 women that expressed they have training experience regarding data analysis. However, the interesting figure comes from the younger generation. 65% of participants are between 18 and 25 ages, and they have no experience or previous training in data literacy.
The good news is that the number of participants in the 18 – 25 age range that learn data journalism terms thanks to the workshops, is more than twice of those who knew the terminologies previously. As a result, these statistics underline that workshops facilitate the understanding of terminology.
90 percent of participants like the data journalism workshops
99 people (90 %) of participants expressed that they liked the data journalism training. Seven people stayed indecisive and four of them said they didn’t like it. The participants appreciated not only workshops but also the instructors and contents of training and the other guests.
On the other hand, there was a negative perception about the infrastructure and internet network among the participants. 54.1 percentage of participants pointed out that they didn’t appreciate the internet network that was provided for data journalism activities.
Moreover, most of the participants were fine with accommodation (65.4%), transportation (74.1%) and catering services (66.3%) that were supplied during the workshops.
More than half of the participants heard about workshops via social media
The question was ‘how did you find out about workshops and where do you get workshop news and announcements?’ The participants stated that they find out and get in touch with workshops predominantly via social media (54%), instructors at universities (26.3%), e-mail (30%), website (35.4%), and friends (17.7%)
It seems especially digital communication channels which are social media and e- mail played an important role to get in touch with participants and get them informed.
All we need is longer workshops
The last two question of the research are about participants suggest what to improve data journalism workshops and increase and spread data literacy.
87% of the participants, a total of 86 people, suggested that they need long-dated workshops that are based on generation of data journalism projects. This is the most supported advice among the other options. Other options were cooperation with journalism association, inviting international data journalists for workshops and arranging MOOC programs to increase efficiency and get in touch with more people.
The university curriculums need data literacy courses
Last but not least, we asked all the participants, ‘If you had the chance, would you want to attend more workshops?’ 103 of 110 participants said yes, they would.
Quantitative method is used along with survey data gathering techniques for this research. Participants are reached via e-mail and Google form is used as a tool of the questionnaire. The population of this research is the participants of the last 10 data journalism workshops. Because of the fact that a number of participants have changed between 10 and 20 for per workshop, the exact number of participants has taken 15 for per workshops. So the research universe is 150 people. The sample size of research is calculated with 95% confidence level and a 5 % margin of error. The sample size is accepted as 109 participants.
Tableau, Infogr.am and Google Charts used for data visualisations
Research datasets: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bxz1Zy_R9wbONEMxWWJucHAwVlE
Research questionnaire : https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bxz1Zy_R9wbOek14Y09QQUk2NjA