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Reporting the Environment in Serbia, 2011



The project activities were centred on the following five core components:

Activity 1: Online distance learning course about reporting environmental issues, understanding science and journalistic investigation techniques.

For the purposes of this project, we created a three-module course in cooperation with the BBC World Service Trust and using the iLearn online education platform. Each course module—on reporting the environment, understanding science and journalistic investigation—consisted of a narrative theoretical part, a questionnaire test, and a practical exercise. In its present form and with minimal updates the course can be used on similar projects in Serbia and the rest of the region. We received 29 applications, 22 out of 29 applicants were enrolled as online course participants. After four weeks, 17 out of the 22 enrolled students successfully completed the course, 12 with “distinction” and five with “pass.”

Activity 2: Three-day seminar in Novi Sad

Twelve selected participants gathered in Novi Sad between 22 and 25 November 2010 for a three day seminar on reporting the environment. The seminar focused on providing instruction on investigative techniques and understanding environmental issues, highlighting, in particular, environmental issues related to Serbia’s bid to join the EU.

Activities 3 and 4: Reporting Assignments and development of project website

The goal of the reporting assignments was two-fold. They were designed to provide the participants with opportunities to work on real stories with trainers and on their own, testing the knowledge and skills gained in the previous two phases of the project, and to generate a sizable amount of content on environmental issues for publication on the project website and other outlets. The participants produced a total of 29 stories within the project.

The website was used as a key tool for ensuring the project's visibility. It is also designed for further development as a resource for journalists who cover environmental issues.

Activity 5: Study trip to Prague

In the final stage of the project, a group of 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—were invited to the Czech capital Prague to take part in an international workshop on environmental journalism, taught by leading European trainers in the field. The original plan was to invite to Prague only five best participants. The generally high quality of the participants’ engagement on the project as well as a budget revision made possible by lower overall costs than expected enabled us to invite eight best trainees, of which seven in the end participated in this activity, while one cancelled last minute due to illness.

Approved grant (MZV): 333.745 Kc