BRATISLAVA - ICJK project intends to train 4 journalists working in news deserts and in regions without proper media attention in Central and Eastern Slovakia in investigative techniques. ICJK will also create an informal regional investigative journalism network in Slovakia that will cooperate on investigative projects in Slovak regions in the future.

Communities in several regions of Slovakia are deprived of quality regional information. People are thus easily targeted by hoaxes and disinformation on social media, but it also means a lack of control of regional authorities.

Target group

The proposed project is oriented on communities and regions that are underserved by a lack of regional media providing high-quality information, especially in Central and Eastern Slovakia. According to the analysis of Transparency International Slovakia, almost 70% of Slovak regions have weak, insufficient or in the worst cases minimal coverage by the local newspapers. The majority of them are located in Central and Eastern Slovakia as the underserved regions in Western Slovakia benefit from the main media that have headquarters in the capital Bratislava.

In the most underserved regions in central and eastern Slovakia (white - minimal coverage, and light blue - insufficient coverage in the map) lives, according to the Slovak Statistical Office, around 900.000 people, will benefit of the project. We have to stress that underserved regions also correlate with the statistics of poverty (higher than average in underserved regions) and with large Roma minority populations, which itself has almost no coverage at all in all the media.

Goals of the project

ICJK is committed to training four journalists from newsrooms covering underserved regions in ICJK is committed to training four journalists from newsrooms covering underserved regions in Central and Eastern Slovakia in investigative journalism and techniques. That will allow them to work on investigative stories from underserved regions under the mentorship of ICJK journalists. Investigative stories resulting from the mentoring will be published in various formats - text, video, podcast, and social media posts. Trained journalists covering underserved regions will be the base of the newly established informal regional investigative network coordinated by ICJK and will collaborate on the follow-up investigative projects of the members of the network. In cooperation with the members of the network, a safe point for whistleblowers from the regions will be created. The project will help to increase the coverage of underserved regions and will increase the skills and capacity of local journalists to control municipalities and local governments and inform the public about matters of public interest.

About the media outlet

Investigative Center of Ján Kuciak (ICJK) is a non-profit independent organization that was established in 2018 after the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnirová. ICJK is involved in the most important national and cross-border investigations oriented on corruption, organized crime, money laundering, environment as well and disinformation and serves also as a hub for investigative cooperation. ICJK's goal is to preserve the legacy of Jan Kuciak in promoting freedom of the press, protection of journalists, and education of journalists. Since 2023 ICJK has run independent journalist's protection platform Safe.Journalism.SK monitors attacks against journalists and helps those under threat.

€31.000 allocated on 31/10/2023

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