April 16, 2014
From the left, Deniz Ergürel, secretary general of the Media Association of Turkey, Howard Finberg, Poynter’s director of business development, Salih Memecan, chairman of the Media Association, Vicki Krueger, Poynter’s director of interactive learning, and Craig Dicker, cultural affairs officer, U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, announce Poynter’s new program for Turkish journalists at a press conference on Wednesday.

One of Poynter’s most ambitious international projects has launched in Turkey today, with four e-learning modules from Poynter NewsU transformed for Turkish journalists. The project also includes the opportunity for 20 Turkish journalists to attend a workshop at Poynter in late October.

The project was developed in partnership with the Media Association of Turkey, a nonprofit journalism organization with a mission to improve Turkish journalism. The initial funding came from a U.S. State Department grant through its “innovation fund.”

Four e-learning courses, from the more than 400 modules on Poynter NewsU, were localized with examples relevant to journalists in Turkey before they were translated in Turkish. The Poynter NewsU localization process includes an English-language version to ensure that Poynter’s teaching is consistent across multiple languages.

The modules for Poynter NewsU Turkiye are:

  • Social Media: Strategies and Tools for News
  • Getting it Right: Accuracy and Verification in the Digital Age
  • Introduction to Investigative Reporting
  • Developing a Successful Journalistic Blog

Journalists also can also earn a Poynter NewsU “Improving Your Journalism” certificate by taking an assessment for each of the courses. The assessments, which are based on course material, require a passing score of 80 percent. Participants are allowed to take each assessment three times.

The certificate is part of the application process for the Poynter Turkiye Journalism Fellowship program, which will bring up to 20 Turkish journalists to The Poynter Institute campus in St. Petersburg, Fla., for several days of training in October. Full and partial scholarships are available for journalists who wish to apply for the fellowship.

The combination of e-learning modules, the certificate program and the onsite training makes this “one of the most ambitious international programs Poynter has launched,” said Howard Finberg, director of business development and international programs coordinator. Finberg and Vicki Krueger, director of interactive learning and NewsU, presented the program to Turkish journalists at a news conference in Istanbul today.

“This program combines the very best of Poynter – onsite and online teaching,” said Krueger.

Poynter’s newly named president, Tim Franklin, has made Poynter international programs an important aspect of his strategic review of the Institute. In June, Poynter will convene the first Global Fact-Checking Summit in London. Last month, Poynter led a series of workshops for journalists in India. Poynter also has a strong working relationship with the European Journalism Centre, including a project for Indonesian journalists.

“In an age where Internet and mobile technologies are heavily disrupting the traditional journalism models, this program will be a unique opportunity for everyone who wants to improve their journalistic skills,” said Deniz Ergürel, secretary general of the Turkish Media Association in a news release about the program. “The Poynter Institute is one of the few distinguished journalism institutions in the world, and their expertise will be a valuable source for Turkish journalists.”

NewsU Turkiye is the latest addition to NewsU International, the Poynter e-learning site serving journalists around the world. The multilingual site also includes Russian, with eight modules; Arabic, one module; Persian, with four modules; and Spanish with two modules.  All have been funded in partnership with other journalism associations or groups.

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