Berta Tilmantaitė

Berta Tilmantaitė

Stories by famous media journalists are encouraging change

Finding a career after travelling to another country sounds like the plot of a fairy tale. However, for journalism student Berta Tilmantaitė, studying in Denmark for an Erasmus exchange programme helped her learn photojournalism. Now, Berta is a renowned Lithuanian multimedia journalist, a winner of international awards, co-founder of the contemporary media agency Nanook and a worldwide traveller.

At university, a lot of attention was paid to professional ethics – the teachers gave us a lot of information about how to tell a story ethically. We learned how to present a story, discussed why it's unethical to victimise a character, and why it’s unkind to look down on a character with pity or haughtiness.
Berta Tilmantaitė,
31
snin
Multimedia Journalist
How did you set up your contemporary media agency Nanook?

“I returned to Lithuania with ideas on how to use the knowledge gained in Denmark, but in the long run I felt a professional loneliness. At that time, it wasn’t possible to exploit multimedia opportunities or experiment with the ways to present stories.

I also studied in Beijing, where I graduated from Multimedia Journalism Studies and then returned as a teacher to the University of Vilnius. I met photojournalist Artūras Morozovas and by sharing experiences, the idea of creating a different media platform naturally developed. This is how Nanook was created.

We created Nanook primarily for ourselves as an audience seeking high-quality content. This platform has made it possible for us to create interesting, sensitive and empathetic stories, using an innovative presentation form. 

I strive to educate using my stories and initiate change, promote community spirit and change the established norms. Using stories from Lithuania, we can present the country's context and image, to introduce our country with real stories to the real world.”

What impact do international EU opportunities have on young people?

“I spent half a year in Denmark via Erasmus, where I found photojournalism for the first time. I learned in one of the world's leading photojournalist schools, alongside a strong community of photojournalists and an inspirational academic culture.

The school provided all the facilities for creation and experimentation, professional photography equipment was available, and the lecturers consulted and assisted. It was at that time that multimedia journalism also emerged – Denmark gave me the opportunity to discover and start doing what I am doing now.

At university, a lot of attention was paid to professional ethics – the teachers gave us a lot of knowledge about how to tell a story ethically. We learned how to present a story, discussed why it's unethical to victimise a character, and why it is unkind to look down on a character with pity or haughtiness. It's important to keep yourself educated so you can discover a new perspective on storytelling.”

What changes do you expect in the future?

By publishing a story, I always hope that it will become a significant impetus for changes. The society in Lithuania is changing too, it becomes more conscious and more demanding of the media and other institutions. More and more people taking advantage of the mobility opportunities return to the country with a wealth of experience that naturally creates a positive environment for the community to exchange and develop.

Together with the Nanook team we promise to introduce new projects – we are planning to create webcasts during live events, and this will provide an opportunity for the audience to directly participate and share questions or discuss relevant issues.

Our team also works with educational projects in some regions, contributing to the development of methodical materials on media literacy. I would like to establish a physical space for Nanook, in which not only the whole team would be able to gather together, but also our audience and professional journalists from abroad.”

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