“Fact-checkers are not boring,” BIRN editor Ivana Jeremic told participants on the third day of BIRN’s Summer School of Investigative Journalism in Montenegro on Wednesday. “They are here to make your story better”.
That was just one of the messages from Jeremic’s talk on the importance of fact-checking in journalism.
“Keep track of your activities and data. Question your thesis. Use timelines. Use Excel or Google Sheets. Save all the emails, messages and calls. Fact-checking will make your story even better,” Jeremic told the assembled journalists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and the United States.
In the second session, Ben Strick, an investigator at BBC Africa Eye and Bellingcat, took participants through the fundamentals of open source data from Strava, Google Maps to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
In an interactive session, reporters had the opportunity to geolocate and chrono-locate various videos and pictures with Strick’s help.
Lead trainer Blake Morrison, Reuters investigative projects editor, discussed the art of the interview.
“Be yourself. Don’t deceive. Don’t get flustered. Ask for help,” he said. “You must be genuinely interested.”
The day ended with a screening of the Bellingcat documentary “Truth in a Post-Truth World”.
BIRN’s Summer School is organised in cooperation with the Media Program South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, The Balkan Trust for Democracy and Austrian Development Agency, the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation, and with support from the European Union.