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

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OBC Transeuropa/Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon - II edition
The Second edition of the Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon, this year in Sofia, aims at boosting the availability of accurate knowledge on media freedom, transparency and pluralism of the media in Europe in Wikipedia and learning how to use Wikidata to find data for investigative journalism and for transparency and accountability projects.
targetWikipedia (in English; in Bulgarian; in Italian) and Wikidata
start dateOctober 1st, 2017
end dateNovember 27th
budget (local currency)EUR 800,00
budget (USD)US$ 930,336 (, November 2nd, 2017)
grant typeorganization
non-profit statusyes
contact(s)• vignola(_AT_)• segreteria(_AT_)
organization (if applicable)• Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)
website (if applicable)•

Review your report

Please see the sample Editathon/Training application before drafting your application.

Project Goal[edit]

Choose one or more of the following goals. You can add or delete goals as needed.

  1. Recruit new editors
  2. Increase skills for existing editors (including on Wikidata)
  3. Add or improve content

Project Plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. Be sure to answer the following questions:

1. Are you doing one editathon or training or a series of editathons or trainings?

We are planning the implementation of one edit-a-thon, i.e. the second edition of the Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon to be held in Sofia (Bulgaria). The first edition was run in 2016 in Belgrade[1].
This year's edition will include a Wikidata track on how to use Wikidata to find data for investigative journalism and for transparency and accountability projects. The main targets of the event will be journalists, media experts and human rights activists.
Participants, trained and assisted by a group of experienced Wikipedians and Wikidata experts, will work together to improve, update, and translate Wikipedia articles concerning media freedom and pluralism, access to information and transparency in Bulgaria, South-Eastern Europe, and the wider Europe and learn how to query and add information to Wikidata.
The Wikidata track has been developed by the British NGO, MySociety, moving from their previous experience with Wikidata within the project "EveryPolitician"[2][3], aiming at gathering and sharing data on every politician.
The event is organised by Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (Italy) in cooperation with the Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria (Bulgaria) - that will help us in engaging participants, MySociety (United Kingdom) and members of the local Wikimedians of Bulgaria User Group (Bulgaria) who will support participants in editing, their commitments permitting.

2. How will you let your community know about the event? Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions.

The idea of replicating the Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon emerged last year after the first edition in Belgrade took place. Many participants expressed curiosity and enthusiasm, along with the will to continue contributing Wikipedia.
As far as communication is concerned, we have created a dedicated page on Meta-Wiki. The proposal will also be notified to the Italian Wikimedia community through the newsletter of Wikimedia Italia, as well as the communication channels (newsletters, websites, social media, etc.) of the other partners involved in the event, i.e. the Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria and the British NGO mySociety. Other channels for engaging participants will be the Facebook groups "Central and Eastern European Wikipedia Community" and "Wikipedia Weekly". Moreover, a news will be published on the portal of OBC Transeuropa in Italian and English. Finally, each partnering organization will carry out traditional press work for the media.
An EventBrite page will be created to facilitate participants’ registration.

3. Do you have experienced Wikimedia editors to lead the event?

The event will be led by Rossella Vignola (Italy) and Niccolò "Jaqen" Caranti (Italy). The Wikidata track will be run by Tony Bowden and Lucas Werkmeister (mySociety). Members of the Wikimedians of Bulgaria User Group will join, their commitments permitting.
Rossella is a Wikipedia editor & Wikimedia since March 2015; she has been trained by the Wikipedian in Residence hosted at Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa in the frame of a GLAM project implemented in cooperation with Wikimedia Italia.[4] Since then, she has been continuing to engage in curating contents on media freedom and pluralism in Wikipedia, and beyond. She has participated to several Wikimedia's events, including Wikimania2016 and many edit-a-thons. She is among the creators of the project Wikipedia 4 Refugees, a project aiming at involving a group of asylum seekers/refugees in translating relevant entries from the Italian linguistic edition of Wikipedia into the languages of the participants, mainly African and Asian languages.
Niccolò is a Wikipedia editor since 2006, a sysop on Italian Wikipedia since 2007 and sysop on Wikimedia Commons since 2013. He has organised several edit-a-thons in Trento (including a Wiki Weekend in September 2016 that was funded by WMF) and took part in several Wikimedia-related events.
Tony Bowden has been with mySociety since 2009. He’s on the road a lot of the time, meeting with groups around the world but for the last two years he’s been travelling a little less, because he’s busy leading the EveryPolitician project. EveryPolitician is Tony's brainchild coming from his deep understanding that it's impossible to create services to hold politicians to account if you're not starting with good quality, consistent data. Before joining mySociety, Tony founded Blackstar, one of the UK's earliest online retailers; built an email search tool that the launch of Gmail made obsolete almost overnight; helped turn around Ireland’s oldest ISP in part by rewriting most of their systems to use Semantic MediaWiki; and worked on merging wikis with spreadsheets at Socialtext.
Lucas Werkmeister is a CS student from Germany who has been contributing to Wikidata in his spare time since 2013. In 2016, he started the @WikidataFacts Twitter account, which publishes interesting information on Wikidata, especially many queries on the Wikidata Query Service.

4. Do participants have the equipment or skills needed to participate and contribute high quality content? If not, how will you support them?

Participants will bring their own laptops: this will be clearly specified in the event’s page as well as on the invitations and in all promotional materials that will be created. The edit-a-thon will be hosted at the Red House Centre for culture and debate in Sofia in a fully equipped room which includes: a stable Internet connection, a full space setting, projectors and sound system.
The Wiki4Mediafreedom edit-a-thon aims at gathering media freedom activists, journalists, media experts and a group of experienced Wikipedia volunteers: experts and Wikipedians will therefore work together and complement each other’s expertise to ensure the quality of contents that will be created.
The event's facilitators will deliver two tutorials, i.e. the first on how to edit Wikipedia and the second on Wikidata and how to query it.
Participants will be provided in advance with the list of entries to be created / improved / translated along with a selection of relevant quality sources to be used as reference. Both lists will be prepared by the curators of the Media Freedom Resource Centre[5], a curation digital platform on media freedom and pluralism in Europe. Those sources will be listed in the event’s page published in Meta-Wiki and distributed in printed copies at the beginning of the event.
Given the target group, i.e. mainly journalists, the Wikidata track has been designed with the idea of clearly show the relevance of it and the "usability" of Wikidata to the participants, also by showing examples of how to query Wikidata for journalistic / accountability / transparency purposes.

5. How will you engage participants after the event(s)?

Posts reporting about the edit-a-thon will be proposed to community blogs (including the blog of the Wikimedia Foundation), newsletter, mailing lists and Facebook groups. Participants will also be notified on every relevant initiative that will be carried out in the frame of Wiki4MediaFreedom project (in the social networks, for instance, by using the hashtag #Wiki4MediaFreedom which is already used).
Participants will be invited to join a dedicated Slack channel, where they can ask further questions on using and improving Wikidata on politicians.

6. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?

The event aims at fostering new alliances between the Wikipedia and the open knowledge communities on one side, journalists and media experts on the other. Freedom of expression and information is a fundamental right which is relevant for both these communities. This year, with the Wikidata track we aim at further reinforce the cross-fertilization between different expertise and communities.
The edit-a-thon is a follow up to a GLAM project implemented in 2015-16 by OBC Transeuropa in cooperation with Wikimedia Italia [6] as a part of the action European Centre for Press and Media Freedom.[7] The GLAM "Wiki4MediaFreedom"'s aim was to enrich and systematize the articles on media freedom and pluralism in Europe in several linguistic versions in Wikipedia and training / assisting OBC Transeuropa’s staff to allow them to contribute autonomously beyond the end of the Residence. The Wiki4MediaFreedom initiative has been presented in a poster session at Wikimania2016 held in Esino Lario in June 2016.[8].
The edit-a-thon will be transnational and multilingual. Participants from different nationalities are expected to attend and content will be edited in English, Bulgarian, Italian and any other language participants will choose.
We plan to make the Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon a replicable event, to be run across Europe. For 2018, we are planning to organise the third and forth editions, to be held in Italy and Germany on the occasion of the World Press freedom Day (3 May) and on the International Right to Know Day (28 September). For facilitating the replicability of the event in other European cities, we plan to invite 2-3 Wikipedians from across Europe to join the edit-a-thon in Sofia.


How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets:

  1. Number of events: 1
  2. Number of participants: 30
  3. Number of new editors: 10-15
  4. Number of of articles created or improved: 10-15
  5. Number of repeat participants (for projects that include a series of events): -


What resources do you have? Include information on who is organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

4 people from OBC Transeuropa’s staff, including 2 experienced Wikipedia editors, will attend the event, supporting participants in editing and helping in the events logistics. 1 experienced Wikipedia editors from Italy will take part as volunteer (he participated also as trainer and tutor in the Belgrade's edition).
The Association of European Journalists, with its staff, will support the organisation of the event: they will be responsible for reaching out and engaging participants, in particular among their audience (i.e. journalists). They will also support the events' communication.
Tony Bowden from mySociety and Lucas Werkmeister will attend the event to run the Wikidata track. Their travel and expenses will be funded through the Wikimedia Foundation-funded EveryPolitician project.
Travel to Sofia and accommodation expenses for the Italian team is funded by the European Union through the project European Centre for Press and Media Freedom.[9] (...)

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense and include a total amount.

  • Food and drink for participants = EUR 200,00
  • Room’s rent: EUR 150,00
  • Contribution to Travel & Accomodation expenses for Wikipedians from other European countries joining the event (for replicability): EUR 450,00 (EUR 150 * 3 people);
  • TOTAL AMOUNT = EUR 800,00

Remaining funds[edit]

We have EUR 12,21 as remaining funds from a previous grant.



Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

  • Looks like an amazing way to approach the theme of media freedom and to raise awareness about it. Also, the knowledge of the Bulgarian environment by Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso and its contacts in the region make it a promising event! - Sofia Verza
  • I will co-lead the event and I obviously support the grant request! --Jaqen (talk) 08:10, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I endorse this request. Yiyi (talk) 08:30, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Because it's a great project! Who wouldn't support a transnational initiative like this that brings together people from different fields on such an important topic? SalviaMenta OBCT (talk) 08:53, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I've been involved in a previous GLAM project on media freedom with OBCT and I am very happy to see that cooperation with Wikipedians from the region goes on and in-person contacts are also fostered. This is a promising way to strengthen both Wikipedia contents and journalist resources. I wholeheartedly endorse the proposal. --Dans (talk) 09:47, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • The proponents of this grant have substantive expertise in leading media freedom-related Wikipedia projects. I am sure they will do a very good job that will have a strong impact both in and outside the community. Martina Puppi (talk) 11:20, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Participated in last year's event. Was really interesting and usefull. Fully endorse.-- Ibn battuta (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2017
  • A project worth supporting! Marzia Bona (OBC)
  • A very interesting and inspiring project, I definitely endorse it!--Chiaranita (talk) 17:55, 5 November 2017 (UTC)Chiaranita
  • Interesting and well-planned. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 06:05, 7 November 2017 (UTC)