BIRN Investigative Resource Desk

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BIRN Investigative Resource Desk (B.I.R.D.) is an innovative interactive platform created for journalists who want to keep up-to-date with the fast-changing world of technology without sacrificing their ethics or the standards of professional journalism.

BIRD provides investigative journalists with various types of assistance and a set of tools and resources relating, but not limited, to freedom of information, data access and protection, cyber security and open source datasets. Assistance is free and provided on a needs basis.

An integral part of BIRD is the digital freedom-monitoring database covering the state of digital rights in Southern and Eastern Europe. Recognising the open and global nature of the online arena, the database stresses the importance of a human rights-based approach towards people in the digital environment.

Technical sabotage, stifling freedom of expression and opinion, personal attacks and campaigns of hatred in the digital sphere have all increased as the role of online media, social networks and other platforms has become stronger in Southern and Eastern Europe – societies where traditional media actors are largely controlled and used as political tools.

In this new environment, the role of investigative journalists remains decisive – but how to handle big data, and stay secure and ethical in the open space run by algorithms, is a challenge for all of us. Through BIRD, we want to take an active role in shaping the future of journalism.