Donator: U.S. EMBASSY
Dates for Project implementation: April 2018 – December 2018
The project goal is to strengthen the capacity of citizens to participate in decision-making in rural municipalities of Pelagonia planning region, which will increase the accountability and transparency, as well as the care of the local self-governments towards the citizens; through the strengthening of public and institutional awareness, capacity and social sensitivity for ethnic, religious, gender, health, generational and social issues, as well as through the realization of the rights of special target groups, in accordance with the laws.
The main project activity will be training for Rural Community Reporting target groups in 4 rural municipalities in order to change the character from “disabling” to “enabling” environments through on-site monitoring of the work of Local Self Governments and state bodies and agencies, which will be disseminated on “Open TV Prilep”, as part of the Balkan Network Web Television and across all other media.
8. “Journalism of small stories” training
Young people from the Pelagonija planning region, in the past few days, had the opportunity to be part of a “tailored” training for small journalism, whose goal was the establishment of a field network of reporters.
The training for small journalism was conducted at a central training attended by young reporters, mayors of Prilep and Krushevo, institutional and NGO representatives, and was lead by top journalists in the Republic of Macedonia: Sasho Ordanoski (1TV), Goran Velichkovski (Kanal 5-Zezzekmania) and Sefer Tahiri (professor at the Faculty of Languages, Culture and Communications of the Department of Communications at the South East European University), as well as by ACTAC team International Community Reporters: Aleksandar Cvetkoski, Martina Biljarovska, Bozidar Cvetkoski and Filip Stojanoski.
The mayors of Prilep – Ilija Jovanoski and Krusevo – Tome Hristoski, who selflessly gave their support from the very beginning of the project, took active participation in the training, as well as other institutional and NGO representatives, supported the young reporters and were available to help them to learn how to get an interview. At the same time, they learned how to properly represent their institution, get acquainted with young reporters who have different approaches from the journalists they are accustomed to, because these reporters best know the local community and local problems, and are not afraid to ask questions about competencies that have been worked out, those that have not been worked out, which should have been worked out, as well as require the execution of competencies in the future, if the institutions are doing their job.
The approach used is called Community Reporting (ACTAC is the only organization in Macedonia with 5 internationally-certified reporters) and is a way to strengthen communities, including institutional factors and citizens.
In order for this strong “tool” of local democracy to revive and be able to influence local rural communities, the capacity of local actors and institutions must be built up, and awareness to advocate the interests of particular groups of users, where we face “factors for disabling”: ethnic, gender and other stereotypes, mistrust, low level of trust and understanding of democracy, patriarchal system, closed and politicized institutions, their small capacity to respond to the needs of the citizens.
The project is designed precisely in those points and the need to raise the capacity of municipalities that can take advantage of this opportunity.
Below is a gallery of active small journalism training.
7. Public open call for candidates for training
ACTAC Prilep publishes OPEN CALL for participants from the Pelagonija region for “Small journalism” or “Journalism of small stories”. This is part of the project “Rural Community Reporting through Open TV”, which intends to establish a network of field reporters.
The participation of citizens and NGOs in the decision-making process in small and poor rural municipalities is at a very low level. This leads to a sense of total lack of power and lack of motivation of local people, especially of young people, to influence their own and social life – where they are born.
This project aims to encourage citizens to develop local democracy by fostering local themes and thus increasing the interest and awareness of participation in decision-making processes in the municipalities themselves. The approach called Rural Community Reporting will be a way to strengthen rural communities, including institutional factors and citizens. Within this project, young reporters will transfer topics that are useful for the population and thus will raise awareness among the population, as well as the visibility of Open TV.
The interested participants must be registered no later than November 20, 2018. The registration is done by sending CV of the candidate at the following address: email@example.com. The training will be several days, with professional journalists and trainers who will transfer the basics of journalism to the candidates. For more information, we are at your disposal at the already mentioned contact address or at 048 432 432.
The best candidates will have the opportunity to become regular correspondents of Open TV Prilep.
6. “Tailored” trainings for: Community reporting, journalistic techniques
The “tailored” training covers a wide range of areas: Use of information technology in journalism and reporting (ACTAC has multiple sets of quality video equipment), mobile journalism, video advocacy; organization and competencies of the local self-government, as well as the local departments of state institutions, methods and techniques for monitoring ethnic, religious, gender, health, youth and social issues and monitoring the realization of the rights of special target groups, techniques for raising public and institutional awareness of marginalized and stigmatized communities and individuals, people with mild mental and psychological disability, people with special needs, health-threatened citizens, unemployed, in order to make the environments ran from “disabling” to “enabling” environments.
5. Debate How to get better and more accurate information
On September 6, 2018, on open space, under the City Clock Tower in Prilep citizens took part in an open public debate: “How To Get Better and more Accurate Informing” organized by ACTAC Prilep.
The debate is related to two projects of ACTAC merged into one: “Rural and small journalism through Open Television – OTV”, which are realized thanks to the understanding of the Embassy of the United States of America in Macedonia and the European Union.
The project itself intends to create a network of local reporters in the municipalities of the Pelagonija planning region, especially in those municipalities, for which Prilep provides certain institutional services. Local reporters are the answer to the question raised at the debate: What kind of a medium does Prilep need?
“This journalism is familiar with the knowledge of the local self-government itself, it is more researching than sensationalist journalism, and serves the small stories of ordinary people to find themselves in the air and in front of the institutions – who make decisions on our behalf. It is simple, if we popularize a situation, there is a much greater chance of solving it. Institutions work much more smoothly, if there is a medium that monitors their affairs, not just events.
That is why we begin with the small journalism training, but through videos, which will also involve knowledge gathered through the skin, and not only through the head. Here we will learn to be dangerous, to learn to research documents of municipalities and institutions, their plans, decisions, budgets, reports … and thus, to try to change the society in a desired direction, not just to be passive citizens, who live with the decisions of the municipal authorities, and at the same time do not participate in the decision-making process. It is simple: We want to be involved in the making of those decisions, so we will be interested timely, we will warn, we will strive to turn public attention and to develop debate of municipalities and citizens. That is the way to improvement, and it is also easier for municipalities when they are close to civil attitudes and opinions. Everything else is a pure technique “- explains Aleksandar Cvetkoski, president of ACTAC.
A large number of citizens, representatives from the municipality of Prilep, the mayor Ilija Jovanoski, NGOs, associations, business sector, representatives of political parties, local journalists and others were present at the debate. Citizens used the debate to ask various questions to panelists, problems at the local level, the current social and political situation in which our country is located, as well as to give their support to citizen journalism and pointed out the need for an open, transparent and true information.
“Thanks to ACTAC, which organized an excellent debate for journalism, especially journalism in rural areas, the news that should be shown, how to display the news and everything that is needed for a journalist. Special thanks because this is the first time, me, as a mayor, have the opportunity, on open space, to come out with the citizens in interactive communication about all the problems in the city, and I must once again mention that there is no taboo topic, that cannot be discussed. I am at your disposal, always and everywhere to answer journalistic questions and questions from citizens. Let us do everything within the competence of the municipality for everything to be better than it is now. And I think that any well-intentioned criticism, whether from the citizens or from the journalists, will positively affect me and my decisions, the council, the entire administration in the Municipality of Prilep “- said Ilija Jovanoski, mayor of the Municipality of Prilep.
The full debate is available here.
AGTIS-ACTAC – Debate How to get better and more accurate information
Municipality of Prilep – “Small journalism for big local topics”
OTV Prilep and Media Research Center (MRC) – Nish, Serbia – “Debate How To Get Better and more Accurate Informing”
4. Initial video for journalism training
3. Small workshops of the project team with stakeholders for clarifying the project ideas and signing cooperation memorandums
Signing cooperation memorandum with the Municipality of Prilep
Signing cooperation memorandum with the Municipality of Dolneni
Signing cooperation memorandum with the Municipality of Krivogashtani
Signing cooperation memorandum with the Municipality of Krushevo
2. Creative workshop – Plan for dissemination of project ideas through social media
1. Creative workshop – Project visualization