Chisinau, Moldova — Sixteen Moldovan journalists and civil society activists, keen on using media as a tool to make government more transparent, have just completed a Broadcasting Board of Governors-sponsored workshop that focused on using mobile phones and new media tools to promote the free flow of information.
Participants posted their first work on a Facebook page that drew more than 9,000 viewers within three days of the citizen journalist workshop, which took place at the Independent Journalism Center (IJC), February 21-24.
The workshop, led by Voice of America’s Senior TV Editor Bart Childs and BBG Development Officer Inna Dubinsky, trained the aspiring journalists on how to capitalize on new media platforms, the mechanics of video and audio recording on mobile phones, ethics and responsible reporting, and best practices in investigative journalism.
“The rise of digital media has changed the way information flows.” said Bruce Sherman, Director of the BBG’s Office of Strategy and Development, “Media are no longer exclusively hierarchical, coming from large national and international providers, but rather are decentralized and networked, coming from a vast number of sources including individuals who can tell their stories directly to global audiences.”
Each of the participants produced a multimedia feature using a mobile phone and the skills developed during the four-day workshop. Stories focused on the day-to-day challenges that Moldovan society faces — from pedestrian safety to police corruption.
Guest speakers at the workshop included Bay Fang, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Lauren Pelraza. Fang met with workshop participants and spoke about the importance of new media platforms in giving citizens the ability to obtain and contribute information.
The workshop is supported by the State Department’s Fund for Innovation in Public Diplomacy as part of a one-year program entitled “The Media and the Judiciary in Moldova: Building Mutual Trust, Promoting Accountability and Engaging Citizens.”
The Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) and the Moldovan Curaj TV will mentor the new citizen journalists, assist them in curating their Facebook page and Twitter accounts, help them work on investigative reports and publish their stories in the future.