WEAPONIZED INFORMATION - The real threat to the European dream 

In times of extremely large scale and uncontrolled propaganda spread both through traditional and new media, the right of the citizens to have accurate and relevant information is limited. This affects strongly the ability of the citizens to make the right decisions for themselves. One of the strongest illustration of this limitation can be seen in the intervention on their rights to vote on democratic elections due to the widely spread propaganda and misinformation both on traditional and digital media platforms. The media stakeholders are loosing trust and parallel to this process there is a big drop in trust in institutions as well as drops in the voter turnouts on elections, not just in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, but also in the region and globally. On the other hand, corruption and organized crime, as well as weak institutions that do not implement the principles of rule of law is leading to fast-growing inequality among citizens. In 2015 the UN adopted the new development goals – the struggle for equal opportunities. The reasons for this trends are spotted in the increased corruption practices in the developing countries. The Investigative Reporting Lab aims to increase the influence of the investigative reporting in society and help citizens understand how corruption affect their lives. Through a brave, innovative and interdisciplinary approach that involves reporters in cooperation with the academic community, technology experts, marketing experts, bloggers, civil society activist, we aim to rebuild trust in institutions by building trust in media as a watchdog in society.  How do we do it and what can EU and Western Balkan fellow reporters do to help? Why investigative reporters should be the strongest allies to EU in the fight for the common goal to preserve the vision of United Europe where citizens will live in peace, safety and prosperity. 

Presenter: Jovan Dimitrov - Investigative Reporting Lab