Brief: Guidelines for Community Journalists

My pleasure and anytime @mariesque :slight_smile:
Let’s all catch up at the end of the month when Ewa and Dragan will also be finished.

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Hey @mariesque,

In order for us to better promote the new stories, can I ask you to do this for your stories:

Visualise a digital flyer like the ones below… a flyer that you will share on your social media, inviting your networks to join the conversation that you have helped launch. They can join to meet the person whose story you found incredible and worth telling!

Could you find a good line for each story so that people seeing this image on your wall engage in the conversation?

  1. a statement about the protagonist or
  2. a provocative question that the story reflects or
  3. a quote

Let me know which could be a text for each story, and then we will make images similar to these, that you can share - better if they are in Serbian…

Hey @noemi !

I think I can do this for one out of two stories. The protagonist of the second story doesn’t feel comfortable sharing the story in this way, mostly because of his job situation and the things he shared. Also, he mentioned he might reconsider when there is more stories to read.

How you mean to ‘‘visualize’’ - in my head and keep it for myself :slightly_smiling_face: or do I need to actually look for some images to follow my visualization?

I will share a flyer for my 1st story, as the protagonist already shared and she is generally fine with posting it within her own social network’ community. Is there a deadline for the quote?

I am interested to know why is Serbian preferable as a language for a flyer, if the story is already written in English? It may be a bit misleading, but I understand that maybe the clicks are important too.

In my opinion, none of the people in my social network will join a new platform, only to support someone’s story. Instead, they might comment and show their support directly under the link I share on social networks OR send a private message. I’m mentioning this only because I’m familiar with the general behavior of people on social networks in my surroundings, but I can try, of course.

Also, can I proceed with the interviews or to wait until the end of the month to have a meet up?

Here are my flyer suggestions for the 1st story (in Serbian):

  1. Kako nastaviti sa borbom, uprkos životnim nedaćama?
    Moje ime je Daliborka, a ovo je moja priča .

  2. Zdravo! Moje ime je Daliborka.
    Ja sam sekretarka mesne zajednice
    u izolovanom i skoro praznom selu u Srbiji.

  1. How to continue to fight, despite life’s adversities?
    My name is Daliborka, and this is my story.

  2. Hello! My name is Daliborka.
    I am the secretary of the local community in
    an isolated and almost empty village in Serbia.

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I’ve noticed that people I did/plan to do interviews with prefer their stories to be presented in English. I can’t say that I’m surprised. Majority is relatively fluent in English. They are curious about the feedback and support outside of their (Serbian) community - which opens another subject, summarized in a saying ‘‘Niko nije prorok u svom selu’’ (No one is a prophet in his own village) which indicates the feeling of an individual that he/she lacks the support of their community and/or that their success/fight for a cause is not being recognized as such. As if one needs an outside authority to get the local recognition, which is bizzare, but also very typical.

On that note, in my future interviews, I plan to talk to some people who are trying to revive their villages, through individual or civic action. It will be interesting to know more about the obstacles they meet along the way.

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This is perfect, thanks Marijana,

It’s perfectly fine if Slavko doesn’t want to ‘advertise’ his story, as long as he knows that the forum is public, which means people can see the story if, for example, it is shared on the Edgeryders social media… We will put the content in the foreground, not him or his name, if that’s better.

A bit of context for you… just to better understand:
In order for us to create conversations around stories and connect people with others, we are doing a little outreach - telling the world about the story and the people behind it. As part of outreach, it’s usually more effective to generate conversations if the team members or the protagonists of stories share it, it’s also more human. Again, each person can share it how they want to - because you know your social media best!

So if you think it’s better that the quote is in English, super.
We’ll have the flyers in English then - intuitively I thought that if the flyers speak in Serbian and your post is also in Serbian than it would speak more to people. Again, feel free to share it and invite people to come and connect with others from around the world, in your own words…

Thanks for sharing this about the language people prefer,
It’s understandable, coming from an Eastern European country. English gives stories more ‘importance’ to the outside world, but also makes them more distant from the very people who live them. Sometimes it’s easier to share personal things if you’re not going to be sharing with ‘your people’.

For the new stories, let’s wait for a checkin with the team and how to continue the community journalism program after your first contracts are ending :slight_smile:

Thanks for your patience,

Hi @noemi

Thank you for the additional explanations.

Slavko understands that Edgeryders is a public forum, he just doesn’t feel comfortable sharing it on Facebook within his community, for now.

If the flyer is in English, I can add translation in Serbian in my post above the flyer on my social medias. This way, I think, it would be the best.

Thanks again, I will wait for further instructions.

Have a good one!

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Hello @Ewa_Dryjanska,

Confirming also here that your stories are posted, nice work,

Can I ask you how you found the interviewees and would they be willing to share a link to their stories with their networks?

@Dragan_Jonic @marijana @Ewa_Dryjanska: we are starting to promote the stories - and began with those in English, because it’s easier to drive engagement.

Can I ask you to share these headlines with your networks, and maybe ask your interviewees to share as well? You can just COPY-PASTE the texts/ images, and links, pick those which you like the most. Thanks!

  1. How to continue to fight, despite life’s adversities? My name is Daliborka, and this is my story .
    ‘’I Came Back To Stay: Story About A Young Woman, A Mayor Of An Isolated Village In Serbia ’’

(photo below)

  1. Hello! My name is Daliborka. I am the secretary of the local community in an isolated and almost empty village in Serbia.
    ‘’I Came Back To Stay: Story About A Young Woman, A Mayor Of An Isolated Village In Serbia ’’

(photo below)

  1. What does abortion have to do with covid19 vaccination? A conversation about wellbeing in CEE Europe: The Underground State of Women


  1. Wellbeing in Serbia: ‘It is not unusual for people here to have a ‘’blurry’’ stand when it comes to health, especially if it’s related to having a job. In fact, I think many would choose a job over health.’
    Mental Health Issues in a Rural Community and the Importance of Having a Job

No photo to respect the wishes of Slavko.

  1. Who is talking about Covid19 effects on #mentalhealth sufferers? Connect with edgeryders Marijana and Slavko! Mental Health Issues in a Rural Community and the Importance of Having a Job

No photo.

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By all means @noemi. I’ll share these stories.

It’s interesting to notice large differences within the same country (urban vs. rural, educated vs. undereducated, etc.): contrary to Mariana’s, most of my interviewees speak only Serbian, and even so, they are more comfortable with the dialectal variant than with the standard language.

Luckily I speak it too, and that makes them less shy in sharing their views and stories. If they have to be translated into English, I’ll do it gladly and at no cost. The translation of their language into English by translation engines would diminish its colourfulness and ruin their turns of phrase.

Sociologists and anthropologists have much to research in the SEE area.

As an afterthought: it looks like I’ll meet again my first protagonist fairly soon. The developer of the small hydropower plant in his village is in rush as he has to meet deadlines with his bank loans, and the recent floods have damaged the dam and uncovered the pipes illegally set in the riverbed. So we’re on high alert.


Thanks for your prompt response Dragan, as always,

A bit of context for those of you who care about the research:
In Serbia, unlike Poland and Czechia, we no longer have ethnographers to analyse the conversations in Serbian. That’s why I was happy with the EN versions of Marijana. This also makes it possible for our social media channels to share with a broader English speaking audience.

However: the most important for us is to generate conversations to go in depth of the subjects, with the very people in those countries who live those experiences and can share more about the situation and local context. So if you think having the stories in Serbian would make it possible for others to join the forum to leave their impressions, then so be it. I would leave it up to you.
In that case, we can always post short summaries in English for broader communications.

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…even though both of her protagonists are rather from rural places, with a very clear and lucid discourse.

I agree. The age group is different, as well as the milieu they come from and mingle in. My protagonist is a migrant-worker, a mason in his late 60s, with eight-year education only. Forced into eco-activism, first because of necessity and then he embraced it wholeheartedly. He’s seemingly the biggest criminal in Serbia if we judge by all the criminal, misdemeanour and defamation charges brought against him by the police and the developer.


Hi @noemi ,

Just to let you know that I’ve shared the stories on my social networks. They have a great feedback, but as I predicted - mostly in private messages. I got a message from a local journalist saying that she really liked both stories, “because they tackle some serious subjects in such a simple manner” . Plus, both of my interviewees got in touch with each other and are forming a friendship of some sort, which I think is a good thing.

I try to keep up with many things and I don’t feel well informed about even more, but it seems that @Dragan_Jonic 's activism and all what’s been happening over there might as well decide the whole future, regardless of the outcome. So, I am more than curious to read his story.

I still haven’t read Ewa’s edit, but will do that over the weekend!

The Underground State of Women thread got my full attention as well. It inspired me to think about some related issues. In fact, Daliborka and I had a similar collaboration like we did here, but for some photo contest in Paris, where Daliborka was to send a photo of a woman(hood) in the Balkans and to send a story relating to that photo, so this is where I jumped in. Will check with her if it can be shared here, if you think it would be interesting to see and read.

Wishing you all a good weekend.

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Hello Noemi,

Probably you saw already that I posted the texts on several groups on Facebook and on Twitter. When I think of a new place to share then definitely I will post it there too.

Greeetings for everyone!


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Hello Noemi,

I am sorry for replying so late. Somehow your question was hidden in a chain of e-mails on my mailbox. I noticed it only now.

The people I talked with are my acquitances. I thought of asking them as I thought that their stories and life situation could be interesting for the readers. However they agreed to tell their story they stressed a lot the need to remain anonymous - especially one of the texts remains antigovernmental. I helped them create their profiles.

Best regards,



I have a similar experience. Some people (not all) who are willing to share their views and experiences on more sensitive subjects ( mainly against the government, local or national, also about work conditions ( private sector during corona)) are also asking to stay anonymous. Is that possible? Can they use nicknames in public?

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Of course, we will only reference the usename they use on the platform!

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Thanks for raising this issue - and that’s perfectly understandable - that’s why they can create an account on using a preudonym, and that is the only one we will use when talking to them or about them :slight_smile:
In the next step of the program we will probably need to work together more closely to help build more trust with other people in the networks who can join the conversation - the stories are great!

I will get back to you both next week with the next steps, including payment!


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