OSTRAVA - The Moravian-Silesian Region lacks independent investigative journalism for the proper functioning of local democracy. That is why we will establish a new independent media outlet "Okraj", an investigative and analytical regional editorial office that will not deal with daily news, but rather with the production of complex, contextual articles covering politics, environment, minorities, social issues and more.
With expertise in innovative formats like data journalism, OSINT or podcasts we will enrich our offerings for those who live in the Moravian-Silesian region and possess a genuine interest in their local surroundings and a strong desire to foster positive change within the region.
We are a collective of experienced journalists who have extensively covered regional concerns at a national scale over the years. With a common origin rooted in this locality, we collectively recognize the pronounced demand for high-calibre investigative and analytical journalism. This shared recognition has propelled us towards a shared objective: the establishment of a regional newsroom in the Moravian-Silesian region, which is one of the largest and most important regions in the country, it is an economic, political and industrial centre.
Despite that, the local population is poorly informed and the powerful are hardly controlled by the watchdogs of democracy - journalists. There is a noticeable gap in terms of quality investigative and analytical regional media. This deficiency hinders systematic and nuanced investigation of the region's many problems, and thus prevents the visibility that is necessary for local civil society to effectively address and solve these problems. In direct response to this gap, the establishment of the non-profit newsroom, Okraj, emerges as a transformative prospect. Okraj aspires to extend quality, autonomous journalism to both the region and its inhabitants.
Our target group is people like us. The inhabitants of Ostrava who live and work here, possess a genuine interest in their local surroundings and a strong desire to foster positive change within the region. Demographically speaking, they are college graduates, between the ages of 25 and 50, employed or in business, or considering leaving the region for another location. These individuals have the invaluable opportunity to utilise the high-quality information we provide about the region to drive active transformations in the realms of politics, economics, and social dynamics, all for the greater good of both the local population and the entire region. However, our initiative also extends its benefits to underrepresented communities, notably including the region's sizable yet unfairly stereotyped Roma minority. We would also like to focus on the local, yet frequently overlooked seniors and youth whose perspectives and concerns we aim to spotlight.
Goals of the project
The acquisition of this grant stands as a pivotal milestone, facilitating two crucial aspects of our endeavour. Primarily, it will empower us to construct a cutting-edge website, thereby solidifying our online presence. Equally significant, this support will bolster the editorial structure, streamlining its functioning. This strategic enhancement will alleviate a substantial portion of the technical demands, allowing us to dedicate our energies wholeheartedly to the pursuit of investigative and analytical journalism within the Moravian-Silesian region.
The project's overarching goal is to establish a robust and enduring operational framework for the editorial office, laying the foundation for its sustained existence and even its potential growth through the integration of more journalists in the times ahead. We realise that there are only three of us and our forces are limited. In the future, we would like to work with colleagues who already live in the region or are returning to the region and need the perspective of working in a high quality medium.
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