Three people sitting together talking

We take a look at the range of topics and stories some of our Media for All grantees have covered since they have been trained in using the Engaged Citizens Reporting tool (ECR). 

Over fifty outlets across the Western Balkans are using the online platform to ask their audiences about topics of interest but also to request documents, testimonials or other evidence to report on issues of interest to their communities. 

Stories have been wide ranging, looking at the challenges of home schooling during the pandemic, environmental issues from pollution and waste management to climate change, traffic problems, cruise ships and medical issues. Using the ECR tool, outlets have been able to follow up on stories, ask questions and seek solutions to local issues. In some cases, the story run by a local outlet has then been covered by a larger regional or national media outlet, reaching more people. 

Here are a selection of the topics covered by media outlets across the region.


Info Elbasani used the ECR tool to investigate illegal logging and waste management issues in the area. They followed up the initial story by speaking to different sources, using the Freedom of Information act and questioning officials.  They have already seen a response to their stories as the municipality of Gramsh has now placed waste bins in rural and tourist areas. 

Promoting equal right for LGBT+ communities

As well as using the ECR tool, media outlets are also using focus groups to gather suggestions for stories of interest. Historia Ime published a feature story about the first lesbian couple who gave birth to twins in Albania and their struggle with the legal system to register them

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The ECR tool is a great way of connecting with the local community, whatever the reason. used the ECR tool to create a questionnaire for the purpose of another project, implemented in cooperation with CPCD and supported by the Government of Sweden. The questionnaire deals with the environmental issues in the area. 



GracanicaOnline used the ECR tool to obtain more detailed information from citizens on how they were affected by industrial waste from the Kisnica, located just outside of Gracanica. The focus was on how the former agricultural land has affected the  health and welfare of citizens.

GracanicaOnline has continued to communicate with citizens on the topic on environment pollution, making a close link with citizens’ health. High level of air pollution in Kosovo has affected COVID 19 patients, especially those suffering from pneumonia. The topic of environmental pollution was discussed at a regional level with a range of experts and how to improve the situation. GracanicaOnline was part of the debate and produced two videos covering the discussion. 

The articles are in the Serbian language. 

ROMTEGRA marked 8 April, International Roma Day by engaging citizens’ and different personalities in the discussion: whether this day should be marked with celebration or a protest. ROMTEGRA used the ECR tool to gather data from citizens in Kosovo and Albania to inform the television programme they produced covering the debate. The programme is in the Roma language.


Connecting with citizens concerns

Boka News has used the ECR tool extensively to cover different stories of interest to their audience. Exploring the impact of cruise ships and suggesting ways to create sustainable approaches to tourism, the renovation and care of stone parapets to protect architectural heritage to citizens views on vaccination against Covid-19.  By publishing these articles they have raised awareness of the issues with the local municipalities of Tivat and Kotor and the Marine Estate. 

The story about the damaged parapets was covered by national television news RTCG and this increased further awareness of the issue. With more contributions from citizens, sharing photographs and videos, Boka News were able to report further and get a response from the local government about the situation. 

News portal Onogost: Solving local problems 

Montenegrin news portal Onogost from the town of Niksic called on citizens to report infrastructural problems in their neighborhood. The problems had been reported for many years but had not been addressed by the municipal authority.  The local news office then made a virtual map of unarranged parts of the city, calling on the authorities to solve the problems.

“The survey showed that more than 60 locations in the town are in a very bad situation, as those neighborhoods were without parking, parks and with roads in very bad condition. In most of the cases citizens were already reporting those problems, but after the survey and published articles the authorities started to act”, said Marija Vujovic from Onogost.  

She added that after a month, thanks to communication with the audience, they reported how many locations were now supportedby local authorities. “Reactions of the citizens were very positive, as this was one of the first such actions in the town's history,” said Vujovic.

Portal Onogost was established in 2014 and soon became the most important local digital outlet in the city of Niksic.  

North Macedonia

Kumanovo news has examined illegal waste dumps in the north-east region of North Macedonia. The article offers analysis into the situation and includes infographics, as well as photographs that were sent by the citizens through the questionnaire. The story also touches on the solutions proposed by the citizens for the waste management. 


Nova ekonomija has used the ECR tool to explore the challenges of online schooling in the pandemic from different perspectives.  In these articles they focused on issues faced by children with disabilities. The majority of parents and teachers agree that this method was poorly adjusted to their needs and that they lack learning material. This has caused an additional burden on the families of those children.