“CIVIL is implementing the ‘Civic Lenses’ project for four years now, and I can say that it is a project that was at high risk at the beginning. The project started in 2015, at a time when very little could be seen in the media, and even on the social networks very serious control was carried out on what was being published. This project was supported and still is supported by National Endowment for Democracy, a US organization that advocates for democracy and human rights around the world”, were the words with which Xhabir Deralla, CIVIL, opened the multimedia event “Citizens for the country or the country for the citizens!?”.
Going through the successful project activities in these four years, Deralla outlined the political and social framework in which our country is moving, pointing out the importance and influence of citizen journalism and the topics that in a fast, direct and objective way are processed and distributed to the public and the competent bodies.
“This is a project for responsible and transparent political processes through popularization of civil society. When citizen journalists monitor the situation in their communities, they record, take photos, write, report on our online platform, and thus contribute to transparency of all processes. What we as an organization are trying to do is to contribute to the transparency of the institutions, but also of all the structures, including the political parties, the municipalities, and even the informal civic initiatives”, said Deralla.
Transparency does not always imply responsibility, and as Deralla explained, we, the citizens, have no benefit if someone is transparent but does not feel responsible for his/her actions. The bad policies and practices to which we have been witnesses to, as Deralla says, have passed without anyone taking responsibility for them.
Deralla also presented the topics on which the citizen journalists worked and are still working on, from violation of human rights and freedoms, to corruption, reports of misuse of public resources, reports of election irregularities, hate speech, false news, social problems, environmental problems…
“The project statistics are as follows: 4 years, 28 seminars, 20 workshops, over 1500 articles, 4 election processes, over 950 accredited observers, over 1000 non-accredited citizen observers, 110 awards and over 1000 participants at seminars and workshops within the framework of “Civic Lenses”, said Deralla.
Through the presentation of CIVIL’s online platform, Deralla presented the possibility for every citizen that would like to contribute to social changes through active participation, to use the media platform as the fastest way for familiarizing the public with the situation in society.
Biljana Jordanovska (text, photography, editing)
Camera: Atanas Petrovski
This post is also available in: Macedonian