As the first cases of COVID-19 occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina, news portal klix.ba, a grantee of Internews’ Rapid Response Fund, started collecting and graphing data – the number of new cases, number of people who recovered, and the number who died from the virus – for a section of their website dedicated to communicating real-time information on the pandemic.
They developed tables, graphs, a timeline, and an interactive map of the all cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina that have confirmed COVID-19 cases. The data is the most accurate in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is used by government officials. The COVID-19 section is generating millions of views daily.
Rijad Durkic is a journalist for klix.ba. He says it has been challenging finding credible sources of information and that, even before the pandemic, the situation for journalists and the government was complicated, in part by divisions within Bosnian society.
Klix.ba, which was started in 2000 by two young web developers, is the most popular independent news site in Bosnia and Hercegovina and is dedicated to fighting disinformation and hate speech. It is financed by selling advertising which has fallen dramatically during the pandemic.
While income has been reduced, costs have gone up for klix.ba. The high traffic to the site due to the COVID-19 data has increased server costs and there are increased expenses for developers and designers to keep the data up to date and accessible. Klix.ba will use their Rapid Response Fund grant to offset these expenses.
The pandemic crisis is also an information crisis, and journalists are the first responders. In an emergency, information saves lives. Hear from more journalists and information providers, as they grapple to stay operational and report on the crisis.
(Banner image: Screenshot of the Klix.ba COVID-19 page showing virus statistics for Bosnia & Hercegovina)