American journalism school offers free online training in Turkish

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- One of the world’s leading online journalism institutions, The Poynter Institute, on Wednesday introduced free online training courses for Turkish journalists, a certificate program and a scholarship, in conjunction with the Media Association of Turkey (MedyaDer).

The project is funded by a US State Department grant for innovative ideas and was presented at a joint press conference held by the Poynter Institute, MedyaDer and the US Consulate General in Istanbul.

Four courses were tailored with examples relevant to journalists in Turkey before they were translated into Turkish and include modules related to topics such as using social media and investigative reporting.

Journalists also can also earn a certificate by taking an assessment for each of the courses. The certificate is part of the application process for the scholarship program which will enable up to 20 Turkish journalists to go to the US to The Poynter Institute campus in St. Petersburg, Florida, for several days of training in October.

The public affairs officer at the US Consulate General in Istanbul, Craig Dicker, spoke in Turkish at the press conference and said they are happy to support this program that offers an online resource to share the American experience in the field of journalism.

Poynter Institute Director of Business Development Howard Finberg said that NewsU is one of the organization’s most ambitious international projects. “We use our professional experience to help other journalists get better at their craft,” he said, after explaining that NewsU stands somewhere in the middle between an academic institution and a media organization.

“The very best journalists never stop learning,” Finberg said, as he noted that Poynter has the world’s largest online journalism curriculum. Of the institute’s 300,000 registered users, NewsU has 248 registered Turkish users. “This is the first certificate program offered in a foreign language,” Finberg said, adding that that the website has more than 300 training modules in total.

MedyaDer Secretary-General Deniz Ergurel said at the press conference, “Urfa [province in southeastern Turkey] still might not have an Oxford [University], but thanks to the Internet, today it is possible to have access to the classes from Oxford.”

The deadline for applications for the NewsU scholarship is July 1. Additional information can be found online at http:www.newsu.orgtrnewsu-turkiye.

(CihanToday’s Zaman)