In the midst of a politically heated December, CIVIL is awarding citizen journalists who with their cameras have documented numerous events of the turbulent Macedonian reality. Our organization provides citizen journalists a safe space to express themselves and to share information, facts and stories from the election period.
Those who have footage, photos or stories on election irregularities, on violation of voting rights, pressures and threats, on bribing of voters…They can all be part of the big family of citizen journalists who cooperate with CIVIL. The contributions can be published anonymously, because the conditions that CIVIL offers allow for this – it is important for the facts to be known, for the procedures of those violating the law to be exposed, instead of conducted.
In regards to the project, in just three days away from early parliamentary elections in Macedonia, we spoke with Xhabir Deralla from CIVIL, who says that his position in the organization is completely irreverent and that it is enough to say that he is from CIVIL.
“Citizen journalists around the world have enormous power. Thanks to the accessible technology and the Internet, they have the opportunity to expose bad actions of potentates and their infantrymen, to contribute to the strengthening of freedom of expression. If some time ago we had to wait for corrupted editorials to publish alarming stories on violation of human rights, usually without any success, now we can do this ourselves, with the help of our smart phones and the social networks. These days, citizen journalists are recording short video stories with visibility that easily exceeds the circulation of even the largest newspapers or the viewership of the most popular shows” – says Xhabir Deralla from CIVIL, while explaining the importance of citizen journalism today.
According to Deralla, cooperation with citizens is of extreme importance. “As always, CIVIL relies on that cooperation in order to arrive to information and stories on what is really happening in their lives. Even though CIVIL has only 300 observers, the responses from around the country and the contributions of citizen journalists make this mission much greater. It is a joint mission of many conscious citizens of this country, regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliation, political affiliation or social status” – says Deralla.
CIVIL is formed by independent intellectuals, artists and journalists on November 25, 1999, an organization for which foreign media say that it thinks and acts “outside the box” (originally), and is popular in the country and enjoys great support.
“I would like to emphasize that I am proud that CIVIL today reflects Macedonia on all grounds of diversity. I am even more proud that we enjoy enormous trust and support from citizens throughout the country, and we are making all efforts to justify that trust. Just as before, in these stressful days when accuracy of information is highly needed, information and stories are at hand, precisely because of the trust of citizens, but also because of the openness and sincerity of our joint CIVIL”, says Deralla, reflecting on the diversity of the organization, and also on the need of accuracy in the information that is presented to the public.