The training was held as part of the “Accountability in Local Governance through Citizen Participation and Civic Journalism” project, supported by the US Embassy in Albania Democracy Small Grants Program.
This project aims to bridge the gap between local voters and mayoral candidates ahead of the 2015 local elections, by strengthening the capacities of CSOs, grassroots organizations, activists and the media in order to identify and stimulate public debate on the key issues facing local communities.
Reporters were trained by two independent experts on the changes that the new administrative reform will bring to the administrative map, on the way new municipalities are organized, and on the impact these changes will have on local governance and democracy.
The journalists also were also presented with information on how the administrative reform will impact on the upcoming electoral contest.
The ten journalists, representing local media in Albania, were also trained by BIRN editors into identifying important issues for local communities in cooperation with CSOs.
Following the two-day formal training, the local journalists will develop a working plan and carry out at least 30 interviews and open discussions sessions (focus groups) with representatives of grassroots organizations, activists and representatives of relevant groups in each region of the country.
The interviews with community members will aim to identify key issues for each population subgroup in the run-up to the local elections.