Brief: Guidelines for Community Journalists

Guide for the work to ensure everyone knows how to approach it and offer benchmark on the quality of the data

  • Result from all the collected stories could be: A book about our times.
    • Individuals stories (and their burning questions)
    • Summary of discussions (Ethno + interpretations from participants) (we need these from @amelia )
    • Visualisation (SSNA) (we need this from @alberto)

What is the mission we are trying to achieve?

We want to discover real stories of real people, that speak to the socio-economic circumstances in which they personally live. Through such stories, we aim to connect people with each other in an engaging conversation where they can be heard, feel supported by others, and learn new or interesting ways in which to look at the future.

Below is a set of exemplary stories. Why are they good? First, they are stories told by the people who lived them. Second, they explain in detail the social/economic/political contexts in which the authors live. Thirdly, they invite questions and generate conversations: other community members find them interesting enough to ask something, or offer their own experience on the topic!

From Poland:

  • An educated view of why Kaczyński is so appealing to people: Pepe relates his own political views in a respectful and argumented manner, and details his personal experiences in a way that can build empathy even with people who are ideologically very different.
  • The Underground State of Women - a compelling story from 2016 about the illegal and grey market for abortions in Poland.
  • The difficulties of being an entrepreneur in Poland: Marta explains how as a young business owner she had to return to full time work, because in Poland it is difficult to be an entrepreneur.
  • The story of Aska, a 25 year old who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and the injustices that she saw in the health care system.
  • Why I became a sex educator - a young feminist who early on in life identified a lot of barriers in her community/ country culture. She emigrated to the UK to be able to practice her work, because sex education in Poland is very tabu.

From Serbia:

  • Does society today work for our benefit? 35 year old journalist Željko talks about the lack of security in Serbia today, populism and a series of questions that doom over the population and his own personal ageing.
  • The “New”moral code of 21st century: Wylache interogates traditional customs and religion and how the convervative views pushed her to choose a minority way of living in a new culture and spirituality.

From the Czech Republic:

Which Topics do we explore?

Focus on the 3 key topics in POPREBEL, with the underlying experiences of wellbeing at a personal level and community level

  1. How do we access work and prosperity? (EN) (also in SB, PL, CZ)
  2. How can we be morally and psychologically well? (EN) (in SB, PL, CZ)
  3. How do we get health and social care support? (EN) (in SB, PL, CZ)
  4. Additional questions are also compatible with the previous ones: What would make living in [your country] better today? What makes you feel safe or unsafe in these times of lockdown ? Do you agree with the measures taken by your government?

What happens with the content

  • Each language contributors will upload their stories (using a maximum 2 Step process and guideline)
  • Ethnographic draft reports by Amelia and team
  • SSNA visualisations
  • Event: Meet the others
  • Book

Process & Timeline

BiWeekly activities:

  • Virtual Community Cafe: This week we will discuss X that came up in last two weeks discussions
  • Promote last weeks stories to people signed up to event

Phase 1: Till Mid December - each person/journalist gets in two stories to learn the process, get sense of how it works & what could be improved and plan next steps for collecting the larger body of stories

Phase 2: Till April - Do the bigger journalism drive - more stories (17 per country; t.b.d after phase 1, 1 per week)

Phase 3: By end of June - Produce the first draft of Book


Stories: (interview by journalist + editing into first person account, posted by interviewee onto platform) total is 6000 Eur for the stories of all the three countries combined. 2000 eur/country

  • (17 stories/country ca 80 Eur/ Story of max. 1000 words)
  • Events: 3 articles summarising findings/ country ahead of virtual cafe events

How to use other platforms

Only to post a link to draw attention to things on the edgeryders platform - the conversations should happen on the platform and not in e.g a facebook group.

How to post the stories

The stories need to be posted by the people who are the protagonists, the people whom you interviews. If they are new to Edgeryders, there are two steps they need to follow. If they are already members on the forum, they only need to do point 2. below.

1. Create an account on Edgeryders -> The easiest way to do it is to fill out this form:

After sumitting the form, each person will have an account and their first message will appear automatically on the forum (Are you new to Edgeryders? Say HELLO and meet others!).

2. Upload their story on Edgeryders ->

Click the “+ New Topic” button in the top right:
An expandable text editor will pop up where the person can copy-paste your text and add the photos too! When they are finished, click on Create Topic to save and publish.


Question: "So it means that I should prepare

  • 17 texts during this project
  • one text should be up to 1000 words
  • and those 3 summarizing texts per country are included in these 17 texts or additional?"

Answer: Correct. The 3 summarising texts per country are additional to those 17 texts - so 20 texts in total per country.

**Question**: When should the articles be delivered?

Answer: Delivery of 17 stories by June 2021 (per country), out of which 2 stories need to be done by mid December. Please note: we also ask for 3 articles that are editorial (summaries of the discussions with and amongst participants on the edgeryders platform and in the online events we organise (3- events in total). If you are working as a team for a country; this means you split the number of articles amongst youselves in the team as it is 17 stories in total.

Question: “What are “SSNA visualisations”?”

Answer: These are visualisations that are produced by our research team to give a nice visual overview of what has been discussed.

Question: " Are those points also my tasks: Are those points also my tasks:

  • Tell forms for each language where contributors can upload their stories
  • Ethnographic draft reports by Amelia and team
  • SSNA visualisations
  • Event: Meet the others
  • Book "

Answer: "No. For the tell form- what this means is that the text for the person interviewed should be copy pasted by them directly into a form once you have finished the text. This is for us to be sure that they have given their full consent to the material being published. The form that you are asked to use will be provided to you by the edgeryders team. Other than that we may ask you to have a look at the texts in your language that are produced by others just to check that there are no major language issues or errors"

Question: Is the payment made gradually after publication of each text or does it take place at the end of the project?

Answer: We can split it on the basis of delivery, e.g in three batches- one payment after delivery of three texts

Question: Are you interested in texts on other subjects?

Answer: We are interested in texts that are personal accounts of some experience that one has lived, and thoughts about that - rather than articles written about third parties

Question: what is the pay per story/article?
Answer: 80 Euros per article/story. Plus 400 Eur budget/ country for helping to prepare and participate the public online meetings/discussions.

Question: From the topics you have sent (mental wellbeing, work and prosperity, health) I got an impression that the interviews are not supposed to by focused on political postures of the respondents, right? It seems to me we are going to be talking more about the current crisis and possible solutions of it, right?

Answer: Yes and no. We would like to start by better understand the current situation and context within which people are living right now. What is their understanding of the issues that they care about/ affect them. And how they connect this with politics/ their relationship to the contemporary political landscape. Rather than start with hearing or discussing political opinions or positions per se as a starting point.

Question: Are there any criteria for the respondents (regarding age, income group or region they live)? Any adult from the Czech Republic, Poland or Serbia with access to internet can be a respondent, right?
Answer: @Richard can you reply to this one with your stated preferences?

Question: How do I communicate what the project is? For examples what would I write in an announcement on my FB profile?

Answer: Maybe something like this - *I am looking for anyone who wants to share their views, concerns and worries about current situation

  • with … (@noemi could you add a blurb here?)
  • In order to improve the world we are living in
  • is willing to share his story with other members of edgeryders forum.*
  • Er forum is ( also @noemi ,can you add short description appropriate for the context here?)

Question: Does the respondent have a duty to discuss in the forum, or is he/she only responsible for publishing the story and that is the end of his responsibility?

Answer: We do wish to encourage a dialogue between participants on the platform. It is best if the person is interested publishing the story and answering some questions or comments that others ask about his or her story.

Question: Can the respondent remain anonymous or use a nickname? Do we need any other data about him?
Answer: Yes, absolutely - They just need an email address to create an account and can use an alias.

Question: Do my duties include any other activity besides delivering the story and the summary ( weekly meetings, promotion of stories, any activity related to the book)? And each story needs a summary, right?

Answer: There are 17 stories, each with a short summary added to it and the activities mentioned above. But we also ask for 3 stories that are your own reflections on what has been said by the respondents, and the discussions that they generate. The purpose here is to understand what deeper understanding you, and we get from these conversations - and what lessons this gives us on how we can nurture a healthy political future in your country and perhaps in Europe as a whole.

Question: Is there any travel budget?
Answer: There is, we will need an estimate at the beginning of the work and the expenses have to be requested and approved by the Edgeryders managing team before the costs are incurred.

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We need links for this

@noemi can you share some here please?

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Also added the mention of maximum 1000 words per story. We need to make sure they are readable, but journalists should be able to work with this guideline…

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ping @Ewa_Dryjanska @marijanesque @VesNat @Dragan_Jonic

Hello everyone, now that our first 3 community journalists are on board and our collaboration is official, I’d like to encourage you to reach out here if you have questions or doubts about your interviews or upcoming stories! That way, we can all contribute to answering them.

Especially in the next 2 weeks when some of us will be taking a few days off from work, posting here will help ensure that someone sees your question and can provide support,

One question we had from @marijanesque was about recording the online interviews and transcribing them. Here is what you can do:

Indeed, working with an audio transcript is the best way, because it’s hard to take notes of what people say, at the same time as asking them questions! Interviewing takes a lot of attention, so if you are saving the recording you will be better able to transcribe their real words and make sure the stories are accurate.

If you need to use our Edgeryders Zoom account let me know, there is a possibility that you get access to it. We have a professional subscription. Zoom gives you the option to send people an invitation link to the video call and once you are in the call, as a host, you can record the session. The audio is presumably of higher quality than if you record from your computer speakers (ex: skype) on your phone. Otherwise, a phone can also record, just make sure you test it.

Looking forward to hear from you,

Hello and thank you @Noemi Salantiu for guidelines and advices. I finished my 1st interview ( ever! :smiley:) last week and I must say - it was an enjoyable experience for me. I adapted to my interviewee’s tehnichal conditions, so we used Skype while recording it via Voice recorder on my laptop. The recording itself is not bad in quality. Also, I was taking notes at the same time, and this will hopefully make things easier for me while transcribing from the audio, as I underlined some themes and conclusions from my interviewee, which will help me to shape the whole story at the end. This first interview also helped me to see where I want to go with presenting people’s personal experiences and I hope I will do this the way I imagined it to be. Maybe its just the first time luck thing, but I felt like I really “clicked” with the person I talked to, we had a conversation which lasted for a couple of hours, and its good to know that from the conversation itself emerged some ideas which I (in the name of that person) might even present in a separate/additional article if thats allowed (without any added expectations from my side). So, that’s all from me (for now)! Hope you all are doing good and getting into the holiday spirit of cheer and joy, unless thats not your thing and you’re cool regardless. :smiley::wink::white_heart:

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This is also my process when doing interviews!! And it works great… It also saves time from having to go through all of the recording or minutiously transcribe everything.

Of course, you are more than welcome to do so!

Happy holidays to you too!

Dear @noemi, dear friends,

I hope this year will bring us some relief… My immediate family and I have been extremely cautious in our behaviour, but most of the people in my circle of family and friends were ill, some severely, some died. The official figures say one thing but my eyes tell another story, which forced me lately to be more of a news consumer than seeker and producer.

My plans include going to remote areas for interviewing, and, for some time, we’ll have to wait for a pow-wow session I imagined. I know what to do, but the Covid incidence is high and the pandemic is rampaging across Serbia. As my interviewees are vulnerable (their exposure to Covid is low as they live in isolated areas), I don’t know what I’d bring into their communities that’ve been spared so far. So I’d recommend caution, some more patience and abstaining from travelling until I feel safe enough to visit them. I can only hope that the latest wave will abate soon (the official figures are hovering between 2,000 and 4,000 new cases per day, which is rather high for a country with only seven million people). Once I’m there, I’ll need just a day or two to do the job. I hope to be able to make it by the end of January.

Good luck to us all; I think we have to be careful with our contacts but, above all, with our sanity and reason.

Stay safe,


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Hi Dragan, thank you for the update… Sorry to hear that the pandemic is not slowing down in Serbia either!

How about this to mitigate this challenge:
Is there a chance that you source one story from someone with another profile, more digitally savvy, who have connectivity, and whom you can interview through video calling?



Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe I’ll have to rewrite my plan. To complicate the situation further, heavy rains yesterday and overnight caused big floods and landslides in the area, many villages are cut off and without mobile network.

We’ll see.

Thanks again,


Pictures from Southeast Serbia, the locations are 50 km away from each other:

Life threatening for the animals… :frowning:

@marijanesque asked:

I am interested to know more about how to publish and where exactly? The interviewee needs to do this, to publish his/her story, right? Is there a link I can share? Thanks! Will use the platform once I know what to do next.

Marijana, look in the guidelines above?
I added 2 steps for publishing the story!
Does it work for you?

Thank you,

Hi @noemi via Edgeryders ! Sorry, I am a bit confused, as I read in Guidelines’ FAQ that the interviewees need to copy and paste the text themselves into a form which will be provided by the edgeryders team. I am not sure what form? I really appologize if I missed something. Thank you!

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Ah yes, those were from before… I am deleting it.

Initially we wanted a 1 step process, but the form is not ideal for creating New Topics on the platform.

So the updated version is:

How to post the stories

The stories need to be posted by the people who are the protagonists, the people whom you interviews. If they are new to Edgeryders, there are two steps they need to follow. If they are already members on the forum, they only need to do point 2. below.

1. Create an account on Edgeryders -> The easiest way to do it is to fill out this form:

After sumitting the form, each person will have an account and their first message will appear automatically on the forum (Are you new to Edgeryders? Say HELLO and meet others!).

2. Upload their story on Edgeryders ->

Click the “+ New Topic” button in the top right:
An expandable text editor will pop up where the person can copy-paste your text and add the photos too! When they are finished, click on Create Topic to save and publish.

Do you think this could work?

Hey @noemi via Edgeryders , yes, I think this will work well, just need to translate the instructions and forward to my interviewees. Thank you!

Hey @Dragan ! I’m familiar with what’s been happening so I hope you’re doing all right. I’m available if you need any help with this project or with anything really. Sending good vibes your way! :stars:

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