Grants:Project/Rapid/Rossella Vignola (OBC)/Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon/Report

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2016-17 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Participants at the Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon in Belgrade (November 21st, 2016)


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

We are very satisfied of the outcome of the edit-a-thon. The Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon was a transnational and multilingual event involving 16 participants from 5 different European countries (i.e. Italy, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and UK), realised thanks to the cooperation of two WM chapters, namely Wikimedia Serbia and Wikimedia Italia, with Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa, a non-profit digital media and think tank based in Italy. The event fully achieved its goals as it:

a) made possible the creation / improvement of contents on media freedom-related issues in different language editions of Wikipedia (Italian, English, Serbian, Slovenian);
b) contributed to recruit new Wikipedia editors, in particular among journalists; and
c) allowed socialization of community members and make possible the encounter of two different communities, namely journalists and Wikipedians. Both these communities share the battle for media freedom and freedom of information alongside with the need for quality information and a richer and plural information ecosystem.

We were aware that this edit-a-thon presented some challenges, in particular the complexity of the edit-a-thon’s topics which could discourage people not involved in the media sector to participate.


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
Number of events: 1 1 1 edit-a-thon named “Wiki4MediaFreedom” was successfully runned on November 21st at the ImpactHub in Belgrade.
Number of participants: 30 16 16 participants from 5 different European countries (Italy, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and UK) took part in the edit-a-thon. Actual participants were around half of the maximum number of available places and slightly less than the ideal number of expected registrations, i.e. 20. From one side the complexity of the edit-a-thon’s issues (media freedom-related topics) may have discouraged people not into the media sector to join. On the other side, we expected to attract more people participating in the SEEMO forum (SEEMF), the annual regional conference on the media sector which was held in Belgrade on November 21-22.[1] For this reason, we decided to run the edit-a-thon on Monday morning before the starting of the SEEMF and we distributed the invitation to the edit-a-thon to the SEEMF’s registered participants in cooperation with SEEMF’s organizers. However, we did not have the expected participation among SEEMF’s participants as the registration to the conference was slightly anticipated, while the choice of a Monday morning for running the edit-e-thon has probably discouraged other categories of participants, in particular students, to join.
Number of new editors: 15-20 8 8 new editors started editing in Wikipedia for the first time. The majority of them was journalists. This number is less than the expected one as the overall number of actual participants was less (as explained in the previous row).
Number of articles created / improved: 15-20 15 Despite the actual number of participants was less than the expected number, we achieved the goal of having at least 15 newly created or improved articles. Specifically, 11 new articles were created in different linguistic Wikipedia editions (i.e. English, Serbian, Italian, Slovenian) and 4 new articles were edited / improved / updated (mainly by working on existing English articles). In practice, each participants chose and worked on “his/her” article. The great majority of new editors was journalist and this can explain their ability in drafting texts and editing contents. For the full list of articles created / edited see the dedicated page on META.


Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:

*What worked well? The cooperation between two national WM chapters (Serbia and Italy) among them and with a non-profit online media and think tank has been a positive feature of this event. As a result, the Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon was a transnational and multilingual event, resulting in the improvement of Wikipedia in different linguistic editions. Also, the edit-a-thon achieved its goal of making possible the encounter of different communities, i.e. journalists and media experts and Wikipedians, thus stimulating new synergies and common projects in the future. Many participants expressed curiosity, enthusiasm and very positive feedbacks (“I got the Wikipedia virus”, stated a participant from Bosnia and Herzegovina) together with the willingness to continue to contribute to Wikipedia and interest in taking part in similar initiative in the future. Finally, also the communication strategy worked very well, thanks to the contribution of Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa's transnational media network and the good job performed by Wikimedia Serbia's Communication officer. The press work resulted in more than 30 media appearances in Serbia and Italy, including TV and radio live interviews. For a list of the main media appearances, see the media clipping published in META.

*What did not work so well? As stated above, we would have liked to have a bit more participants (at least 20) even if we were aware that the topics of the edit-a-thon and its duration (6 hours) were challenging and quite demanding for a Monday morning.

*What would you do differently next time? Make sure that expert Wikipedians are more distributed among the participants to allow them to better support new editors; give participants more time for studying the lists of articles to be improved / created and the related suggested sources and dedicate more time at the end of the edit-a-thon for letting participants share with other attendees what they have worked on during the edit-a-thon.


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

Item Budgeted (EUR) Spent (EUR)*
Food and drinks for participants EUR 80 EUR 91,51
Room's rent at ImpactHub Belgrade EUR 450 EUR 427,80 including bank's costs for wire transfer (EUR 15,00)
Miscellaneus (printed materials, cheatsheets) EUR 20 EUR 18,48
Total spent EUR 537,79
Requested WMF contribution EUR 550

NB: *The exchange rate Serbian dinar (RSD) - Euro (EUR) is referred to the month of November as per the exchange rate provided by the Bank of Italy (see: and the document in attach).

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds? Yes, EUR 12,21, calculated as follow:

Unused funds: EUR 550 - EUR 537,79 = EUR 12,21

The funds remaining from this grant in the amount of 12.21 EUR were deducted from another grant payment for Grants:Project/Rapid/Rossella_Vignola_(OBC)/Wiki4MediaFreedom_edit-a-thon_-_II_edition.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

The edit-a-thon “Wiki4MediaFreedom” is a follow up to a GLAM project implemented in 2015-16[2] by OBC Transeuropa in cooperation with Wikimedia Italia as a part of the European project named “European Centre for Press and Media Freedom”.[3] As we believe there is a lot of opportunity for collaboration between the Wikimedia community and journalists and media freedom experts, as confirmed also by the participants, we would like to plan a follow up to this first edition of Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon, for instance, by organizing a series of small similar edit-a-thons across Europe next year.

All the relevant information on the edit-a-thon (including the list of articles created and media clipping) are available in META; pictures of the event are available in Commons. This Storify[4] is a collection of user generated content (mainly tweets) by event’s participants while at this link [5] the whole project “Wiki4MediaFreedom” is explained in detail.

Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon ENG.png