In the context of the International Journalism Forum 2023, an annual journalistic meeting organised by Greek non-profit iMEdD (incubator for Media Education and Development), Balkan Insight’s Managing Editor, Dusica Tomovic, presented BIRN’s Engaged Citizen Reporting ECR tool.
“ECR tool is the fastest way to get to the real people, as our main scope is to report with them, not only about them,” Tomovic told the audience of journalists and journalism students from Greece and other countries.
ECR is not only a citizens’ engagement tool; it is an original, trustworthy and inspiring mechanism that creates bonds among society members and impactful stories that matter.
Presenting some of the most successful stories created through ECR, such as “Flight Delayed: Air Serbia Faces Capacity and Quality Questions,” “Childbirth Often Traumatic in CEE, But Few Women Seek Redress,” and “TikTok Balkans: Alarm Bells over Child Access to Video App,” Tomovic explained how it works. Besides the callouts for engagement, journalists must analyze the data they collect, verify and fact-check them and then produce the story.
In the past four years, BIRN has trained 75 media outlets from six Western Balkan countries on how to use the ECR; a total of more than 400 videos, articles, features, and podcasts on health, environment, social issues, etc, was produced through ECR.
Users of the BIRN investigative reporting tool say it has transformed the way they communicate with their audiences who feel empowered by helping shape the content of their own media.
BIRN continues to support local media to further develop their skills in engagement journalism and raise their editorial standards, with a focus on storytelling, data analysis, verification and fact-checking, contributing to the fight against misinformation and disinformation.
The International Journalism Forum 2023, an annual journalistic meeting organized by iMEdD, was held in Athens from September 28 to 30. iMedD is a non-profit founded in 2018 with the exclusive donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.