Strengthening Quality News and Independent Journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey

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Western Balkans, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey
2019-2021

BIRN Hub

The overall objective of the project is to provide structural support to media freedom and media integrity in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Summary

The goal of the three-year project led by BIRN Hub and its partners, and supported by the European Union, is to enhance media trust among citizens and create a safe environment for journalists to produce independent news content through training, mentoring, technical and financial support, and publishing.


Donor

European Commision – Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.


Main Objective

The overall objective of the project is to provide structural support to media freedom and media integrity in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The overall objective is relevant to the global objective of the Call for Proposals which aims to contribute to the promotion of free and professional media in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

It is intended to address the main problems and challenges in the Western Balkans identified in the Feasibility Study for the Establishment of a Regional Program in Media and Journalism Training – poor professional skills among journalists; limited training capacity at a high proficiency level for mid-career journalists; lack of financial resources in most of the media sector, especially for investigations; and limited penetration of the investigative stories that are published.


Specific Objectives

The specific objective of the action is to enhance media trust among citizens and create a safe environment for journalists to produce independent news content through trainings, mentoring, technical and financial support, publishing and recognising best examples of quality journalism.


Main Activities

National Trainings are set to enhance the skills of journalists both basic and advance, as well as to boost partnerships between trained journalists and stakeholders, providers of professional trainings for journalists, organisations supporting media, CSOs, etc.

During the course of 36 months, the 12 national trainings will be organised (2 trainings per country) in collaboration with local partners.

Regional training on investigative journalism for local journalists aim is to enhance efficiency and skills of journalists, as well as to develop a scalable course curriculum for advanced journalism.

Digital Security Lab is planned to be a resource platform for investigative journalists, aiming to provide them with the tools and services that will help journalists breach the technological gap between their skills and an investigative story.

A study trip for up to 20 editors to one of the major media outlets in Europe with a highly-developed investigative newsroom is also planned.

Production and publishing of quality news and investigative stories in mainstream media and Public Service Media has a strong focus on involving these segments of the media into quality news production and investigative reporting.

Production of cross-border investigations is set to boost cooperation between journalists in the Western Balkans region, and increase their knowledge and skills through joint cooperation on cross-border investigative stories.

Training and curriculum development for investigative journalism in academia will include developing a curriculum on investigative journalism both for journalism students, and for students interested either in investigative journalism, or in the methodology of investigative journalism.

Training of Trainers aims to help providers of professional training for journalists improve their own training capacities, and improve their editorial standards in quality news and investigative journalism.

EU Award Scheme is the continuation of the ongoing regional EU Investigative Journalism Award in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Through the award scheme, 63 prizes will be awarded over the course of 36 months, three in each project country.


Main Implementer

BIRN Hub


Partners

Thomson Media gGmbH (TM), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Central European University (CEU CMDS), the Media Association of South-East Europe (MASEE), the Center for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro (CIN CG), the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers in Macedonia (SSNM), BIRN Albania and BIRN Serbia.