BIRN network publishes a `Guide for Investigative Journalists in the Balkans`

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At the beginning of 2010 BIRN network published Digging Deeper – A Guide for Investigative Journalists in the Balkans, written in cooperation with Sheila Coronel, Director of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism and professor of professional practice at Columbia University, New York.

The idea for this handbook came from a desire to put on paper the valuable experience of BIRN, a regional network of journalists and trainers, and other colleagues from the region in their pursuit of investigative stories.

Digging Deeper showcases interesting investigative stories and individual journalistic successes and provides an overview of investigative techniques, the various databases available in the region and tips for the practitioners. It takes readers through this demanding discipline methodically, from a definition of what investigative journalism is and what is not, through the investigative process itself and the set of techniques for following people and paper trails, interviewing and checking the legal implications of journalistic work, and putting the article together.

Gordana Igric, BIRN regional director and editor of the handbook says – “To serve the public interest, an investigative journalist must also serve their own – by building their skills and knowledge, expanding their list of sources and enriching their reporting styles and techniques.”

BIRN is preparing translations of the handbook into Serbian, and translation into Albanian will follow shortly thereafter. The book will be distributed widely throughout the region, and will serve as a key tool for BIRN’s development of an investigative journalism summer school curriculum.

Production and publishing of ‘Digging Deeper – A Guide for Investigative Journalists in the Balkans’ was financially supported by the Open Society Institute and the OSCE Mission to Serbia.