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Democratic Initiatives Foundation trains Journalists from the South on how to Understand and Use Sociological Data 

September 23 – The Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF) organized a training called “Sociology in Journalism: How to Make Sense of Public Opinion Surveys” for journalists in Odesa region.

The training took place at the “Paritet” (Parity) information agency and attracted 20 participants, among whom were journalists from local press, online media and TV companies, civic leaders, and journalism students. The trainers were Iryna Bekeshkina, DIF’s Director, DIF expert Yurii Horban, and Svitlana Khutka, an expert with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

Participants learned how to analyze sociological survey data, how to spot polls that are fake or have weak methodologies, and what fact-checking questions to ask before publishing surveys. Journalists asked about the credibility of local surveys, the feasibility of having polls in occupied territories, and the peculiarities of using sociological data in pre-election periods. The training was streamed on the platforms of DIF and the host information agency. The trainers gave interviews to two local TV channels –  7 channel and Grad.

Note: DIF’s six-month project “Making Sense of Surveys: Education Campaign for Journalists and Media Experts” consists of nine trainings for regional journalists, media experts, local authorities’ press services and civic leaders with the support of USAID’s Media Program in Ukraine implemented by Internews.

After this first training in Odesa, eight trainings will take place in Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Severodonetsk, Dnipro, Lviv, Vinnytsia, Chernihiv, and Kyiv.

The project will launch a new online resource about elections and post the latest reliable sociological data for use by journalists and civil society organizations. DIF’s experts will also produce a manual for journalists on how to make the most of public opinion surveys to ensure that the lessons developed as part of the project have a longer shelf life and a wider reach.