BIRN Kosovo Trains Journalists on Reporting Crisis Situations

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To improve the way journalists report from emergency crisis situations, BIRN Kosovo held a training for journalists and students of journalism, designed to equip them with appropriate knowledge and practices on reporting from protests, with a special focus on violent ones, which was held on March 25.

The training consisted of two sessions. The first was delivered by Amir Gërguri, Commander of specialized units in the Kosovo Police. He elaborated on communications with security institutions in emergency crisis situations. The second session was delivered by Kreshnik Gashi, editor-in-chief of KALLXO.com, who reflected upon safe and ethical reporting of emergency crisis situations.

Participants were given examples to further understand the applicability of the theoretical framework of the training sessions. They were also given the opportunity to ask insightful questions on reporting from emergency crisis situations, as well as share their own experiences.

The training was organized as part of the project “Providing a safe environment for journalists during protests”, a project funded by the European Union Office in Kosovo.

In total, 18 journalists and students of journalism participated in this training.

BIRN Kosovo aims to support the democratic transition in Kosovo and the implementation of human rights and media freedom by holding regular training sessions and workshops.

During this part of 2022 alone, BIRN Kosovo, as part of the project “Resilient Community Program”, held three community gatherings in the municipalities of Prishtina, Gjilan and Obiliq.

The gatherings consisted of a lecture by Kreshnik Gashi, editor in chief at KALLXO.com, and brought together psychologists and directors of schools.

The guests shared their experiences with people, more specifically students, whose families have returned from the conflict zones in Syria and Iraq, and the process of reintegration and re-socialization to which they have been subjected. In total, 16 participants have been part of the gatherings held thus far.

Training on fact-finding

As part of the project “Promoting fact-checking to combat false news and misinformation in Kosovo”, which is supported by the US embassy in Kosovo, BIRN Kosovo also held three trainings on fact-checking methodologies with a total of 50 journalists, in the municipalities of Prishtina, Prizren and Gjilan.

The trainings were made up of three parts. The first covered standards, the basics of fact-checking, and the differences between misinformation, fake news, deep fakes, and other fake news production formats.

The second was dedicated to identifying fake news and harmful narratives in the media and building debunking mechanisms within newsrooms. The third part gave participants the opportunity to practice together with the trainers to identify fake news.

Workshop trainers included Kreshnik Gashi and Visar Prebreza, managing editor of Research and Krypometer articles at KALLXO.com.

As part of the project “Data 4 Fighting Harmful Narratives in the Judiciary”, which is funded by the Millennium Foundation Kosovo, MFK, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, MCC, BIRN Kosovo held training sessions on using judicial data with a total of 77 Faculty of Law students from the University of Pristina and the University of Prizren.

On March 10 and 11, as part of the project “Confidence Building Project”, which is supported by UNMIK, BIRN Kosovo held a training session with a journalists in the municipality of Gjilan on the bases of investigation and fact-checking principles.

On the first day, KALLXO.com’s Kreshnik Gashi, spoke about the bases of reporting, the public profile that journalists should keep, how to develop contacts with sources of information, protection of sources and how to build trust.

Visar Prebreza meanwhile spoke on how to initiate research and secure information from open data platforms. He also talked about investigations into public procurement and techniques for detecting stories in this field. Finally, on day one,

Valdet Salihu, a producer at the TV programme KALLXO Pernime, gave insight into different production techniques, photographs and video footage.

The second day of the training involved activities in which the participants practiced use of techniques for fact-checking and detecting fake news, with scenarios sourced from statements and footage of public officials.

A total of 16 journalists participated in the course, including three from the Serb and Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian minority communities.

Additionally, as part of the project ““Providing a safe environment for journalists during protests”, a project funded by the European Union Office in Kosovo”, BIRN Kosovo held a training for 18 journalists and students of journalism, which aims to equip them with appropriate knowledge and practices on reporting from protests, with a special focus on violent ones.