Stories Resulting from Students’ Research within the FFIS Project
Within the Future of Freedom of Information in Serbia project, which has been implemented since 2018 by Partners Serbia, in cooperation with the Bureau for Social Research (BIRODI) and the Law Scanner, with the financial support of the European Union, students of journalism and communicology from the Universities in Novi Sad, Niš and Belgrade have written nineteen research papers.
The drafting of students’ papers was preceded by the Autumn School of Activism, where 40 students of journalism and communicology at the Novi Sad Faculty of Philosophy, Niš Faculty of Philosophy and Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences took part. Within the school, students had the opportunity to cover the topics of free access to information of public importance, freedom of speech, free media, media literacy, open data, fake news, fight against corruption, human rights in the digital environment, and, in the end, their mentors were assigned, i.e. lecturers from the relevant faculties with whom they had worked on research stories for eight months.
Students covered the topics of ecology, inclusion, infrastructure, media literacy, workers’ rights, students’ rights, work of higher education institutions, distribution of the budget in the field of education and sports, etc. The common feature of all these research stories is that they point to specific issues that exist in the Republic of Serbia and issue a direct call for reaction to competent institutions.
An added value of the papers is that students chose their topics according to their own personal interests, using mechanisms referred to in the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance for collecting research material and thus showed that the young peoples’ awareness of the burning issues in the state was very high.