Programme

Balkan's Initiative for Cultural Cooperation, Exchange and Development (BICCED)

BIRN's Initiative for Cultural Cooperation, Exchange and Development aimed to improve the situation in the region by strengthening cultural life and cross-cultural cooperation as an important element of a participatory, open and dynamic civil society.

Location: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia Duration: January 2010 – December 2012

Summary

BICCED, which ran from January 2010-December 2012, worked to improve journalists’ skills in analytical reporting on cultural policy and cooperation in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia.

Over the course of the three-year project, 30 journalists were trained to produce high quality analytical news reports on crucial cultural policy issues.

Each BICCED journalist received one year of on-the-job training. Their achievements are easily measurable- through the articles they produced and published. Following the training, each journalist has had the opportunity to continue to contribute to BIRN's output as well as that of other media outlets, which allows the project's efforts to carry on past the formal end date.

This project also aimed to enhance cross-regional cooperation and the exchange of information between journalists, media, culture professionals and civil society organisations.

This was achieved through study visits that were an obligatory part of the training for the journalists, as well as regional workshops that brought the journalists together for an open debate involving decision makers and representatives of the government. Regular reporting on the activities of cultural organisations also contributed to the achievement of this objective.

Through the BICCED project, BIRN also worked to raise awareness of the importance of the development of cultural policies in the region. It did this through the establishment of a dedicated website section on Balkan Insight, called Culture Watch, which expanded the reach and impact of local journalists’ reporting, and through free republishing in culture-oriented and general print, electronic and internet outlets.

The journalists who took part in the BICCED project contributed to a monthly newsletter published in English, Albanian, Macedonian and BCS, and took part in an opening and closing conference that brought together the participants and other stakeholders.

Over the duration of the project, the BICCED newsletter was sent to more than 1,000 subscribers, and its
webpage received more than 4,800 unique page views each quarter.

BIRN Hub partnered with seecult.org, BIRN Serbia, BIRN Kosovo and BIRN Macedonia on the BICCED project, which was funded by the Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans.

The project targeted journalists who specialise in culture reporting in the target countries, cultural media outlets and web portals, and mainstream media, culture-oriented NGOs and governmental institutions, and culture professionals, decision makers, and the wider public.

Information Sheet

Main Objective:

To improve the situation in the region by strengthening cultural life and cross-cultural cooperation as an important element of a participatory, open and dynamic civil society.

Specific Objectives:
  • Improve journalists’ skills in analytical reporting on issues in the sphere of cultural policy and cooperation. This objective is concentrated on a group of 30 journalists who will in three years (10 journalists each year) be trained to produce high quality analytical journalism on crucial cultural policy issues. Because of the way our editorial process is structured, each group of journalists will have the opportunity to receive one year of on the job training. Their achievement is easily measurable, through the articles they will produce and publish. Additionally this is sustainable, as each group will after the training period is over, have the opportunity to continue to contribute to our output as well as own media.
  • Enhanced cross-regional cooperation and exchange of information between journalists, media, culture professionals and organisations. This will be achieved through study visits that will be an obligatory part of the training for the journalists, as well as regional workshops that will bring the journalists together for an open debate involving decision makers and representatives of the government. Regular journalistic reporting on the activities of cultural organisations will contribute to achievement of this objective.
  • Raised awareness of the importance of development of cultural policies in the region through the establishment of a dedicated website section developed within the Balkan Insight web site, called Culture Watch, to expand the reach and impact of local journalists’ reporting, and through free republishing in culture-oriented and general print, electronic and internet outlets.
Main Activities:
  • Training in analytical reporting (three workshop trainings over the course of three years, continued on-the-job training)
  • Study visits (to three locations within the project countries, with the aim to learnt and see culture of other places)
  • Publishing (establishment of a monthly newsletter, published in English, Albanian, Macedonian and BCS)
  • Conferences (opening and closing event, aimed at bringing the stakeholders together)
Target Groups:
  • Local journalists who specialise in culture reporting in the target countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia
  • Selected cultural media outlets and web portals, and mainstream media
  • Selected cultural nongovernmental organisations and governmental institutions
  • Culture professionals, decision makers, wider public and informal cultural networks in the region.
Highlights:
  • In the period of 18 months of implementation, there are 1050 subscribers to the newsletters
  • More than 4800 unique pageviews in each quarte