dokuz8NEWS Rights-Focused Regional Media Project
dokuz8NEWS aims to improve local media representation of Syrians and generate positive public opinion on them.
What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)
In Turkey, the host of the highest number of Syrian refugees in the world, reactions to impact of refuge to the society in cultural, social, economical and security terms are publicly expressed and heavily discussed by almost every member of the society. Recent studies indicate that people are discontent with refugees. Spread of disinformation and misinformation, especially through the social media is so high that it takes a lot of effort to reverse its harmful effects. Adding on all of these, discourse analyses of media representation of Syrians depict a pessimistic picture, news are full of hate speech. Local media, on the other hand, is a rather understudied part of the media, and it is still the main source of information for many people in Turkey.
This project will work on local journalists, aims to make their work suitable for rights-focused journalism standards via three training sessions, direct communication with their Syrian colleagues and CSOs that work with Syrian refugees in Turkey in the field in a workshop. We believe, contacting Syrian journalists and having first hand information about Syrians via CSOs will decrease local journalists’ level of prejudice, as the studies on psychology and sociology foresee. Once the hate speech, misinformation/disinformation is removed from the news of local journalists, then their readers will also be subject to lesser levels of negativity. Moreover, since we will be expecting local journalists to write and share human stories about Syrians in Turkey, which will be published in Turkish and Arabic, this will help readers of the stories to evaluate Syrians as fellow human beings instead of strangers and the relationship between the readers and Syrians will get better. The impact will not be limited to only readers, the community they belong to also make use of unifying language of media and people surrounding them. The communication campaign, will also help to spread of positive perception of Syrians in Turkey.
Geography of focus (500 characters)
This study will focus on Turkey’s Gaziantep, Ankara, Adana cities, two cities where high number of local media agencies as well as Syrian refugees are located for local journalism training and the capital city of Turkey. However, since communication campaign will be targeting the whole country, the project will be focusing on Turkey as a country.
Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)
This study builds a bridge of empathy between Syrians in Turkey and locals. A bridge will be built through means of local media, making it less hostile and more impartial. Once people began to each other with impartially instead of using the lenses of prejudice, as fellow humans, then they can imagine a common future in which they have Syrian friends, neighbours, colleagues or even relatives.
What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)
This project aims to contribute to the efforts for healthy communication between Syrians in Turkey and locals and Syrian’s integration to the society in Turkey. Misbeliefs and degradation about Syrians in Turkey creates a huge barrier between locals and Syrians. Media representation and spread of misinformation plays an important role in shaping perceptions about Syrians. We believe once the virtual barrier between Syrians and locals are removed, then it would be easier for Syrians to live as a part of Turkish society instead of only survival in a foreign country on a daily basis.
What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)
We will be making content analysis on local newspapers that are published in Gaziantep and Adana both before and after implementation of the project. A 20% decrease in content that contains hate speech, negative representation and misinformation would be evaluated as a success for our project. Moreover, 25% increase in publishing of human stories about Syrians in these newspapers will also be an indicator of success. Any future collaboration between local journalists who participate in this project and civil society organizations working with Syrians will be considered as a success. Moreover, 6 months after the implementation of the project, if we can detect 10% decrease in expressions of negative opinion in public opinion surveys especially in Gaziantep and Adana, this indicates the project was successful. Finally, impressions, clicks and shares of the communication campaign material would indicate that the campaign contributed generation of positive opinion about Syrians.
What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)
Almost on a daily basis, we can read a news about a form of conflict that may or may not contain violence between locals in Turkey and Syrians. The relationship between locals and almost 4 million Syrian refugees in the country is very tense that requires urgent action. Though state, national and international NGOs and CSOs do a lot of work about improvement of conditions in the country, the need exceeds the efforts. It is an undeniable fact that media, both conventional and new, has a crucial role in mediation between the communities, in Turkey we observe an opposite impact. The idea is important, because dissemination of negative opinion and misinformation through media in general, and local media in particular curtails Syrians to be integrated to the society.
Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)
The civil war in Syria led displacement of almost 6 million Syrians since 2011, according to UNHCR Syrians in Turkey constitute % 64.8 of them. In Turkey, Syrains are under temporary protection, not refugees. Regardless of the length of their stay in the country, they are not residents and their opportunities to be relocated to a third country is very limited. Most of them live in cities instead of refugee camps, in very poor conditions. Local people tend to express negative opinions about them because of economic, cultural or social fears. Recently, there are many conflicts between the two communities and a public discussion about their refoulement. In this environment of uncertainty and restlessness, healthy communication between locals and Syrians become even more important than usual. Local journalism, which is the main source of information for a considerable number of people in Turkey, is an essential intermediary between the two groups who do not speak the same language.
How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)
We aim to offer trainings to local journalists, who are influential on local people living in the provinces populated with Syrian refugees. As a rights-based citizen journalism organization we have good relations with local media and local governments. dokuz8NEWS has a very experienced team of 52 instructors. So far, over 1200 participants have attended dokuz8NEWS' 46 training sessions across Turkey, including journalists from local and national media, members of CSOs, unions, representatives of local governments. We have a local office in Adana, and we are collaborating with local media in Gaziantep and Ankara as well as many other cities. We founded regional media coordination with 35 local media organizations from 20 cities. The coordination aims to sustain existence of local media and equip local journalists with networks and trainings for right based and free journalism. Hence, dokuz8NEWS is a good candidate to act upon the integration of Syrians to society in Turkey via media.
What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)
We are currently in cooperation with Uluslararası Gazetecilik ve Hak Odaklı Medya Derneği (International Journalism and Rights-Based Media Association) which operates in Gaziantep to work on this project. We are also hoping to work with Eşit Haklar İzleme Derneği (Equal Rights Monitoring Association) and Adana Büyükşehir Belediyesi (Adana Metropolitan Municipality).
What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing
Being on the move, crossing borders, and/or temporarily settled
Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing
Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries
Idea Proposal Stage
Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.
Group or Organization Name
Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)
dokuz8NEWS proposes quality journalism, accurate, verified and reliable news as well as fast reporting in both Turkish and English at a time when journalism and citizens' right to information is under acute threat in Turkey. Starting from March 2014, dokuz8NEWS has been publishing news on a daily basis, with approximately 180 Tweets, 25 Facebook posts, 10 news-articles on its website and more than 4 million impressions on Twitter on average per day and over 110 million monthly. As founder of Regional Media Coordination, we have direct access to local journalists, CSOs and Syrian journalists operating in Turkey and capacity to execute a strong communication campaign.Through this project, dokuz8NEWS will actively make use of its founding principles of curating news and empowering under-represented groups for raising their issues in public for contributing to the process of inclusion for migrants and refugees in Turkey.
Type of submitter
We are a registered Non-Profit Organization
Organization Headquarters: Country
Organization Headquarters: City / State