The aim is to empower participants with essential journalistic skills, focusing on sourcing, interviewing techniques and effective information gathering. The training also covered the significance of documents, planning and structuring research, as well as story-pitching to editors.
The entire training was designed to simulate a newsroom and show trainees how journalists find, identify and research stories.
Trainees were divided into groups to research different topics to find a story, online and in the field, learned how to find sources for their story (both human and data, documents), how to perform customized search and how to navigate their way through various open databases.
They learned also how to assess source reliability through case studies and did practical exercises, such as simulated interviews. Under the guidance of the trainers, they conducted local field and online research, defined their story hypothesis, and identified sources and necessary documents.
Participants received a practical crash course how to use open datasets and were shown various tips and tricks on where to find useful data (from local institutions to international organizations, CSOs, etc), how to map read Google satellite imagery and find their way in land registries and other databases.
A dedicated session highlighted the significance of the Freedom of Information Act, providing participants with insights on how to access government records and documents. The practical exercise guided them through the legal procedures required to obtain necessary information from government and other institutions.
The trainees were invited to submit story proposals and prepare a story that would be published by BIRN, with support and guidance of BIRN mentors in the coming period. The next training is set to take place in February 2024.