Journalists participated in eleven sessions coverimg a wide range of topics related to digital rights reporting.
The participants came from various Montenegrin media outlets and civil society organisations including Vijesti, RTCG, RTV Teuta, Civic Alliance, Zumiraj, Kombinat.
The training topics ranged from digital rights and their impact on journalism, multimedia storytelling using contemporary tools, and harnessing the power of open-source intelligence (OSINT) in journalism to techniques and best practices in data journalism, data analysis and data visualisation.
The participants singled out a session on identifying and collecting digital rights violations in Montenegro and fact-checking and verification techniques for digital rights reporting as particularly useful in their future work.
“During the session investigating the violations of digital rights in Montenegro, I learned how to recognise a story in the things we encounter every day, for example – what is the extent of the abuse of our personal data, which we are not even aware of,” said one of the trainees.
BIRN’s training course enabled the participants to comprehensively understand the relevant issues around digital rights violations. It gave them practical tools to identify and report on them more effectively.
Journalists play a key role in raising public awareness and driving change and the course was intended to provide skills and knowledge to enable them to produce impactful stories that can contribute to a more informed public debate and ultimately lead to policy changes that protect and promote digital rights in the Balkans.
Numerous reports from international rights groups, media, civil society and international organisations, as well as BIRN’s annual digital rights violations reports, have indicated a worrying situation for digital rights in the Balkans.
Such reports have emphasised the need for continuous efforts to improve the protection and promotion of these rights by improving journalists’ abilities to produce quality reporting on these issues.
Journalists are often the target of online attacks but many of them have yet to fully understand the extent of digital rights violations or the underlying legal and technological aspects that lead to such violations.
BIRN’s training in digital rights reporting addressed these issues and provided the most up-to-date tools and techniques on journalistic protection in the online sphere as well as various resources reporters can use on the job.
“I look forward to any future collaboration with BIRN because all the recent collaborations and training courses are proving to be very useful in my everyday work,” said one of the journalists who attended the course in Montenegro.
Calls for applications for BIRN’s digital rights training for journalists from Kosovo and North Macedonia are still open: find more information here and here.