Serbian citizens are suffering a lack of information about taxation and therefore understanding of its purpose and advantages. They are thus not aware of the link between paying taxes and the quality and scope of public services.
One of the reasons for this is the abstract, incomprehensible and sparse news coverage on fiscal issues. Interesting news, on the contrary, will improve citizens’ knowledge about fiscal issues and generate commitment to pay taxes and to get involved in how public funds are spent.
Therefore, the project developed innovative and participatory means of reporting on financial and tax related issues. Journalists were trained to competently and comprehensibly cover public finance and to use data journalism to underpin their reports.
On top of that, an interactive e-map was created in cooperation with the municipality of Lazarevac whithin the City of Belgrade. Citizens may send input to feed the e-map and provide decision-makers with first-hand information where public investment is needed. Journalists in turn will pick up on the grievances raised on the e-map and transform them into full-fledged, data-based reports.
Combining these elements will thus make the complex topic of public revenues and spending more transparent and encourage citizens to participate in the planning, use and monitoring of tax-related activities.