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Legal Leaks

One year of training in South East Europe

CC BY SA, Legal Leaks Training - Sarajevo: Train media professionals in data journalism

During the month of June 2014, UNESCO organized in cooperation with Access Info Europe and SEENPM, five legal Leaks training in Pristina, Tirana, Sarajevo, Podgorica and Belgrade. Around 150 journalists and students in journalism from South East Europe were trained to make full use of access to information laws in their daily work. With a great deal of enthusiasm the participants shared their challenges when searching public information and worked on case studies to understand the reality of access to information. In addition, the participants were trained on data journalism, on the protection of sources and on the ethical dilemmas of access to information in the digital age.

All participants received a local version of the Legal Leaks toolkit, which is a detailed guide on how to file freedom of information requests. The Legal Leaks Toolkit was adapted to the local legal framework and translated into local languages. The Legal Leaks training included components of data journalism skills, with training on how to process, analyse and present data obtained under access to information requests, including use of data visualisation techniques.

In addition to the trainings and the toolkits a competition was also launched to encourage the journalists to use their newly acquired skills. Participants are invited to write a story of maximum 2000 words based on one or more access to information requests. The winners will be invited to present their stories at the Skopje Regional Conference on 16 and 17 October 2014.

"Legal Leak" is a branding term developed by the UNESCO project partner Access Info Europe for information released by journalists when using access to information laws.

Legal Leaks training seminars

Ankara: Empowering Turkish journalists to access information from European institutions

What are the grants received from the European Union (EU) in Turkey? Who are the beneficiaries? How were they decided? Accessing this type of information can be a source of interesting and original stories for journalists. To help media professionals access information held by public bodies at the EU level, as well as in Turkey and other countries, a Legal Leaks training was organized in Ankara on 10 and 11 April 2015.

>> Read the article

Tirana: Using Legal Leaks in daily work

Is the Albanian law on access to information useful in the daily work of Albanian journalists? Is its implementation a pending issue? Should journalists play a greater role in implementing the law and in encouraging the rest of society to use this right? To advance debate on these issues, a seminar took place in Tirana on 4 and 5 June 2014.

>> Read the article

Skopje: Better accessing information

In the context of the South East Europe Media Forum, Access Info Europe and UNESCO held its 6th Legal Leaks training seminar in the South East Europe region in collaboration with the Macedonian Institute for Media. The local version of the Legal Leaks Toolkit, a guide for journalists on how to access public information, was presented and distributed to the participants of the training.

>> Read the article

Sarajevo: Data journalism for new possibilities

Data journalism is opening up new possibilities to produce new types of stories and to present complex information to readers through infographics. To enhance journalists’ skills to access information and to analyse and present data, a training was organized in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 10 and 11 June 2014.

>> Read the article

Podgorica: Focusing on media self-regulation

“There is a weak culture of investigative journalism in Montenegro, with young journalists not being encouraged by editors to use the access to information law,” stated participants of the training, which took place on 12 and 13 June 2014 in Podgorica, Montenegro.

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Belgrade: Truth seeking requires skills

Belgrade was the fifth and final stop of the Legal Leaks training tour for media professionals in South East Europe. The workshop took place on 16 and 17 June 2014 and was attended by around 30 journalists. Participants highlighted the importance of journalists for public debate and their need for access to information.

>> Read the article

Pristina: Using access to information laws

How is taxpayers’ money being spent in a city? What are the plans for constructing a public hospital or a new school? Who received public contracts for building a new road or public infrastructure? To help media professionals get information held by public bodies for their stories, a seminar was organized in Pristina on 2 and 3 June 2014.

>> Read the article

Legal Leaks Toolkits

A local version of the Legal Leaks Toolkit, which provides guidance on how to file freedom of information requests and how to appeal refusals, was presented to participants in all training seminars organized in:

>> Ankara
>> Tirana
>> Sarajevo
>> Podgorica
>> Belgrade
>> Pristina
>> Skopje

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