By working with citizens on stories or issues that are of interest or concern to them, media outlets are reporting with their audiences, not just about them. Giving citizens the opportunity to suggest topics, provide documents, testimonials or other evidence, helps media outlets to investigate and report on issues that are of interest to their community.
Engaged Citizens Reporting Tool
Our partner BIRN (Balkan Investigative Reporting Network) has developed an Engaged Citizens Reporting (ECR) tool. This is an online platform that helps media outlets ask their audiences about topics of interest. It is also a tool for citizens to report any issues or areas of concern in a safe and secure way.
By using this online tool, journalists can develop different kinds of surveys, polls and other ways of engaging citizens. The tool also allows media to analyse the information and data they have collected before incorporating it into their reporting.
Over 20 outlets now have the ECR tool. Our partner BIRN is providing training and mentoring on how to use the tool both on how to develop stories but also how to promote it to their audiences. The outlets have started to use the ECR tool and have already produced articles based on topics suggested by their audiences.
Media outlets from different countries in the region are also working together to create stories covering common interest. Through using the ECR tool, media outlets have selected topics of interest and they shared relevant information across countries to create stories that reflect the experiences and interests to all their audiences across the Western Balkans.