Which activities will be implemented?
This project will be in five principle parts:
- Online distance learning course about reporting environmental issues, understanding science and journalistic investigation techniques. On line distance course about reporting environmental issues, understanding science and journalistic investigation techniques. Transitions Online (TOL) has a long-running relationship with the BBC World Service Trust and the Guardian Foundation and has regularly adapted and used the content developed by them for the BBC’s iLearn distance learning portal. Each course module—on reporting the environment, understanding science and journalistic investigation—will consist of a narrative theoretical part, a questionnaire test, and a practical exercise. We will adapt the current modules, used on a similar training program in the Balkan region, to the Albanian context and translate it into Albanian. The course, which will be run by Kevin Burden, a former environment correspondent for BBC Television, will be offered to all applicants who meet the criteria.
- A follow-up, three-day seminar in Vlora. We will then choose the best 12 journalists from the distance course (making sure all regions of the project area are represented) and invite them to a three-day workshop that will focus on providing instruction on investigative techniques and understanding environmental issues, highlighting, in particular, environmental issues related to Albania’s bid to join the EU. Leading experts and investigative journalists from the regions, the Czech Republic and other EU countries will be invited as trainers, including Aleksandar Maksimovic, Kevin Burden and reporters from Ekolist Foundation, the Czech publication by BEZK, one of our associates on this project. On the third day of the gathering, a group of editors of Albanian media outlets and a group of environmental activists and government practitioners in the sector will join the trainees for a day-long and carefully structured roundtable discussion. The event will be organized in cooperation with the EDEN Center our partner on this project and our associates i.e “Club Media” an Albanian umbrella organisation of media associations, AJMMI ( Ionian Agency of Environment, Media and Information).
- Reporting assignments with a trainer (Shoulder-to-Shoulder method) Using methods that TOL has successfully applied in earlier journalism training projects, trainers will work side-by-side in the field with trainees on “real” stories. Reporting together in this fashion has resulted in the most productive transfer of skills. The stories will be published in various formats in Albanian in the country’s media outlets (as text, TV and radio pieces or combined multimedia packages) and on the project’s own website. CRCD and EDEN Center will provide information from the environmental monitoring and watchdoging actions. The best stories will be published in English in the TOL magazine (www.tol.org), EDEN, CRCD and project websites.
- Project website A project website enabling citizens’ involvement in news generation and serving as an information resource for journalists covering the environment.Utilizing the opportunities offered by the growing popularity of new media technologies among members of the public in Albania and transferring similar experiences from the Czech Republic, the project will seek to involve citizens as active participants in the news generation process. The project will enable them to report alleged cases of environmental abuse via the Internet or their mobile phones (using text, photos, or video). Project staff and participants will then evaluate these citizen contributions and choose to investigate the most promising cases. The website will outlive the project, hosted and maintained by our partner as an outlet for stories on environmental topics and information resource for journalists covering the environment. CRCD and EDEN Center will work jointly on the website development.
- Study visit to Prague. In the final stage of the project, five trainees judged as most successful by the project’s trainers—on the basis of the online course results, activity at the seminar and the results of the reporting assignments—will be invited to Prague to take part in an international workshop on environmental journalism, taught by leading European trainers in the field. The course, which is part of TOL journalism training program, will partly focus on international environmental issues, such as climate change and sustainable regional development concepts. The course will enable the Albanian participants to network with colleagues from other parts of the world. The project staff will also arrange a series of networking opportunities for the participants with representatives of Czech media, environmental organizations, and relevant government bodies. This part of the project will be implemented in cooperation with colleagues from our associate BEZK.Put together, this project’s activities are expected to raise the profiles of both the environment as a valued journalistic specialization and journalists who decide to dedicate their careers to covering this beat as respected professionals.
The planned activities to complement one another and engage students in a continuous training scheme lasting a year, a method that in our experience gives superior results to those produced by trainings featuring seminars only. (Apart from engaging a trainee on a series of training activities over a relatively long period of time, this method also encourages students to adopt the idea of life-long learning and training.)
As a motivating tool, the activities and their sequence also have an important element of competitiveness built in, with the best twelve trainees proceeding from stage one to stages two, three and four, and only the best five students (at maximum) participating in the fifth stage of the project.
Put together, this project’s activities are expected to raise the profiles of both the environment as a valued journalistic specialization and journalists who decide to dedicate their careers to covering this beat as respected professionals.
The REA project’s activities are expected to raise the profiles of both the environment as a valued journalistic specialization and journalists who decide to dedicate their careers to covering this beat as respected professionals.
A preparation phase is foreseen at the beginning of the project.
This phase mainly aims at:
• defining a common visibility and communication strategy
• defining project activities in details (e.g. locations and venues of the events, detailed programmes and agendas, etc.)
• elaborating the set of indicators for monitoring and evaluation activities
The preparation phase will employ ICT tools to favor an efficient communication and cooperation among partners.