BIRN Albania Holds Five Regional Roundtables on Environment

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The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania over the last four weeks held a series of regional roundtables for civil society activists and journalists in order to discuss and brainstorm its coverage of environmental issues.

The roundtables were part of the project: “Building Resilience through Environmental Journalism”, which is co-financed by the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program of the US Embassy in Tirana, and implemented by BIRN in cooperation with local journalists.

Five roundtables took place between November 24 and December 15 in Elbasan, Durres, Shkodra, Vlora and the Albanian capital Tirana. The roundtables, in which 70 civil society activists and journalists took part, aimed to introduce local actors to BIRN Albania’s project, which supports journalists to report on environmental issues.

The project aims to strengthen the cooperation between NGOs, activists and local journalists in Albania to research, monitor and publish in cooperation with media articles on environmental violations, with the aim of increasing awareness, public pressure and advocacy for the most efficient use of natural resources and sustainable development in the country

During the roundtables, BIRN Albania’s representatives gave a short overview of the project while inviting participants to debate possible topics for in-depth data-driven stories on the environment.

The activists and civil society representatives present at the meetings proposed important topics that journalists could and should investigate, while calling for more coverage of the causes they advocate for and their activities from the media.

Underlining the importance of close cooperation between civil society and media, journalists explained that the basic tenets of news value and editorial considerations often conditioned their coverage, urging civil society experts to speak with a louder voice on issues that are critical to the community.

Both parties recognized the need to strengthen cooperation between journalists and activists in the coverage of green issues in order to identify periodically the main problems in the field of the environment and the most efficient use of natural resources.