May 19 – 20 marked the completion of the Baku Data Journalism Course launched in December 2017. During the final session, 26 journalists participating in the Course joined a tutorial led by Prof. Jeff South from Virginia Commonwealth University. Following the tutorial, the participants tested the skills they learned during the entire Course by working on their Capstone projects. Divided into teams, the journalists developed seven original articles covering a range of topics including road safety, import and export of Azerbaijan, inclusive education, and others. Though exploring different topics, all the articles involved finding reliable data, analyzing it to support the article findings, and presenting the data in a clear and professional way.
Baku Data Journalism Course trained media representatives on finding, analyzing, and delivering accurate information. The aim of the project was to promote data-driven journalism in Azerbaijan which included the ability to read, understand and communicate data to the public. Local and international trainers were conducting sessions covering such topics as the role of data in the newsroom, the skills necessary for data journalists, ways to find and clean relevant data, approaches to analyzing data to identify compelling stories, and clear vizualization of data. The participants represented different types of media, so the course was also a good platform for them to exchange ideas.
The Data Journalism Course was organized with the core support of the U.S. Embassy in Baku, received assistance from the EU-funded MOBILAZE project, carried out in Azerbaijan by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and implemented in close collaboration with the Eurasia Partnership Foundation and Baku IdeaLab.