BIRN, n-ost, Hold Workshop in Kolasin on Data Visualization and Environmental and Climate Reporting

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BIRN Hub and partner organization n-ost held a workshop from November 21-24 in Kolasin, Montenegro, on data visualization and cross-border environmental and climate reporting for 18 journalists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Photo: Jorge Franganillo / Unsplash

After forming cross-border teams at the workshop in Ohrid in September, participating journalists reunited to continue their investigations related to topics such as river pollution, waste management and consequences of climate change in the region.

During the first day, they learned about data visualization and data storytelling from Uros Krcadinac, digital artist, technologist, writer, and educator.

Uros explained how to present visual data and information clearly and in an emotionally engaging way, with a special focus on ecological and climate data. He also introduced them to tools they can use while working on their own datasets, such as Raw Graphs, Pictochart, Canva, Google Spreadsheets, Tableau Public, etc.

“It’s important to have openness towards new tools. Allow yourself to play with them, with any data that you have, because it will make your stories more compelling,” Krcadinac said.

Participants also had the chance to discuss the local environmental issues related to the devastation of Tara River with highway construction with Lazar Grdinic, from the NGO MANS.

“We asked the environmental inspection many times to carry out regular on-site visits to separate locations. I was there on-site with inspectors, but even during those visits they didn’t show any willingness to stop the devastation of this river,” Grdinic said.

On the second day, participants refreshed their knowledge on story structure and storytelling, while continuing group work on their cross-border stories with the assistance of their mentors, Besar Likmeta and Dragan Gmizic. By the end of the workshop, they had drafted the structure of their stories, which will be finalized and published in the following months.

This was the second workshop organized as part of the project “Going Environmental”, which is financed by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.