This Turkish election portfolio covers the collaboration work between the BBC Near East visual journalism team and the BBC Turkish service ahead of the 2018 poll. This was a snap election, called with just six weeks notice, requiring the team of 3 journalists and a developer, designer and data specialist, to create a suite of content with little time for prior preparation.
In the lead up to the poll we created animations, still graphics and interactive features to explain the election process and the stated policies of parties and Presidential candidates taking part. We also created a dashboard to show the results of both the presidential and parliamentary contests.
Playing with the maths: We set out to explain the complex voting system used for the parliamentary poll in, using a simulator game that allows users to play with hypothetical results data to create their own vote outcomes. This was designed to explain in a playful, interactive way how the mathematics of proportional representation works, using the D’Hondt seat allocation system. BBC Turkce promoted this in the run up to the election alongside other explainer content, including a video showing how to use the new multiple choices ballot paper.
Cutting through the confusion: In the 2018 elections, people could vote for a party-alliance rather than a single party for the first time, leading to a complex re-allocation of ‘second alliance votes’. Out interactive product explained this too, using a worked example of vote counts being re-allocated to the parties inside an alliance.
Menu of manifestos: We also offered digestible formats of party manifestos through a clickable guide to key policies published ahead of the polls. In addition a searchable election glossary, offered an alternative to producing fairly dry content in a regular text article.
Result! After the election we produced a dashboard showing the 2018 results, comparing them to the 2015 parliamentary and 2014 presidential polls. We also dug into the 2018 data to compare presidential results with the vote share of each candidate’s party.
What makes this project innovative?
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
All our interactive and associated digital products performed way above average consumption and interaction rates (measured at between 3,000 and 5,000 page views). The results data for 5 of our featured products is below, expressed in website page views and associated engagement times plus Instagram Story views - the main social platform we focused on during the election.
(Figures compiled July 4th 2018, based on internal data anlytics tools, using Chartbeat/Comscore)
Seçim 2018: 24 Haziran seçimleri sözlüğü: Jargon Buster published June 12th),
Website page views: 103,752, 1:06 min average engagement time
IG stories: 15,600
Oy pusulası nasıl geçerli ya da geçersiz sayılacak?: Voting card explainer, (published Jun 19th) Website page views: 95,577, 0:47 secs average engagement time (68% of video viewed on average)
IG Stories: 15,300
Parti ve ittifakların oy oranına göre sandalye dağılımı nasıl yapılacak?: Result simulator,
(published June 20th)
Website page views: 82,821, 0:26 secs average engagament time
IG Stories: 14,000
Seçim 2018: Siyasi partilerin beyanname ve manifestolarında neler var?: Manifesto guide (published June 1st)
Website page views : 44888, 0:31 secs average engagement (No IG)
İnteraktif: Karşılaştırmalı seçim 2018 sonuçları: Results Dashboard,
Website page views: 30,514, 0:36 secs average engagement
IG Stories: 10,400
The broader impact of the project was manifold:
In user experience terms we offered our audience some new story telling formats, and fresh angles on a story obviously widely covered by local and international competitors. It helped us to establish a distinct voice in a crowded digital field, and underlining our role as an independent news source at a time when impartial media are under immense pressure in Turkey. Products like the jargon buster, the manifesto guide, the voting system explainers and data-driven story formats gave depth and credibility to our wider analysis.
Internally the election allowed us to try out new techniques and formats that were re-used for other elections by other teams, for example the manifesto guide, which went on to perform very well in the Brazilian elections in October and was turned into a reusable component that now can be quickly deployed.
The pre-election content performed above average with a high engagement times. Additionally, the content and graphics performed very well on social media, and were picked up by other news agencies and ultimately provided assets for the live coverage of the election night.