Karolis Granickas from Transparency International Lithuania held an interesting presentation on monitoring.
At the beginning of the presentation Karolis presented the media context in which TI operates in Lithuania.
When it comes to media ownership in Lithuania there are no restrictions, which practically means that one person can theoretically be the owner of all media in the country, but also that structure is very complicated.
“It’s frustrating that it can be very difficult to find out who is the ultimate owner of the media in Lithuania.” Trust in the Lithuanian media is very small and it decreases from year to year. So now virtually only 20% of the population believes the media“, said Granickas.
Because of this situation TI Lithuania started monitoring the ownership structure of the media and it tried to visualise it.
“What is needed is to collect all this information and then display it and visualize it in a web form. We went to the Ministry of Culture, took all the data from the last 25 years and digitalised it “, Granickas explained their way of visualizing data.
But the most important thing was, that after this enquiry the Ministry accepted the new system in order to reorganize their data and they accepted the principles of open data.
Another important thing is to show the importance of the principles of this approach to the common people that is why it is important for them. Although the TI in Lithuania visualized the ownership structure of the media, it was not easy.
“What we did afterward is that we showed how to read articles. Basic principles, such as the author. If you do not know who the author is, google him. What does the title mean? In fact, we tried to get people to read articles critically, “said Granickas.
“What we want to do in the future in the process of monitoring the media is to make a pop-up that will tell the people the ownership structure of the site immediately after they visit it. This will effectively mean that we should not wait any longer for the people to visit our web site, but the data on the ownership structure will be instantly available to all who are on these portals, “explained Granickas.
The biggest question for civil society organizations, according to his words is how to achieve better goals with small budgets and little resources. Therefore, better ways of presenting the data are very important.