Association of Online Media – AOM

PARTNER
Association of Online Media – AOM was established in 2015 and gathers more than 20 independent digital media outlets.

Its goal is to develop and promote ethical standards of reporting on the Internet as well as strengthening the role of online media in the democratisation of society.

Association is committed to the affirmation of the free, independent and professional work of online media and highest journalistic standards.

AOM aims to improve the online media and civil society organizations cooperation and to raise citizens and authorities awareness about online media and their role in public information.

Web: http://www.aom.rs/

Public Money for Public Interest – Measuring Index of Transparency of Public Money in the Media

BIRN Serbia
Through this project, BIRN will encourage the participation of civil society in the process of increasing transparency of public spending for media.

Summary

In the cross-sectoral cooperation, 10 representatives of local CSOs throughout Serbia will be involved.

Donor: Open Society Foundation, Serbia

Information Sheet

Main Objective

To increase transparency and accountability in the spending of public money in the media sector through the involvement of civil society and joint activities of monitoring and public advocacy.

Specific Objectives

  • Mentoring, capacity-building and networking of 10 representatives of local CSOs, enabling them to adequately monitor budget money spending in the media sector.
  • Systematic monitoring of media financing from local budgets, through the methodology of the Transparency Index
  • Presentation of results and joint public advocacy activities that promote the transparency of public funding and procedures and practices of allocating public money to media

Main Activities

A1: Networking, capacity-building, learning by doing
A2: Data collection and monitoring
A3: Promotion of results and public advocacy
A4: Evaluation

Target Groups

Primary target group: an informal group of local CSOs that BIRN has gathered within the project Public Money for Public Interest.
Secondary target groups: decision-makers at local and national level, media, civil society organisations, professional associations and the general public.

Highlights

  • The Transparency Index reserch results
  • Local public debates
  • Policy briefs

Main implementer

BIRN Serbia

Partners

  • Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (IJAS)
  • Slavko Curuvija Foundation (SCF)

Transparent Allocation of Public Funds for Media

BIRN Serbia

Summary

Through systematic research into the transparency of budget allocation, analysis of collected data, and practical policy suggestions for improving established practices, the project will affect the reduction of the ‘grey area’ in which there is a room for non-transparent treatment, discretionary interpretation and corruptive practices.
The policy change proposals will be promoted at four public debates, through social networks, websites and advocacy activities.

Donor: Ministry of Culture and Information Serbia

Information Sheet

Main Objective

Increasing transparency and accountability in the spending of budget money in the media sector by reducing regulatory risks of corruption, and monitoring and evaluating the effects of this type of public spending.

Specific Objectives

Systematic monitoring of the budgetary financing of the media: Improving the transparency of public allocation and procedures and practices of allocating public money through policy proposals and public advocacy.

Main Activities

A1: Data collection, monitoring and analysis
A2: Writing a proposal for practical policies – policy briefs
A3: Public advocacy

Target Groups

Primary target group: decision-makers at local and national level
Secondary target groups: professional organisations and associations, as well as other CSOs that have complementary public advocacy activities and with which BIRN cooperates; the general public.

Highlights

Results of the research
Policy briefs

Main implementer

BIRN Serbia

Natalija Jovanovic

During her journalism studies, Natatalija joined BIRN in 2015 as an intern working on media privatisation and public tenders for media. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Belgrade in 2016.

She is currently doing a master’s in Social Science and Computing at the University of Belgrade.

Ana Curic

Ana joined BIRN Serbia in 2017.

She has a degree in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Belgrade.

Before joining BIRN, she was an intern at regional television network N1.

Ana has attended various courses and training sessions for journalists to improve her skills in digital media, investigative journalism and data journalism.

The Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia

DONOR
The Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia is the ministry in the Government of Serbia which is in the charge of culture and information.

The Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia is in charge of:

  • development and improvement of culture and artistic creativity;
  • monitoring and research in the field of culture;
  • providing a material basis for cultural activities;
  • development and improvement of literary, translation, music and stage creativity, fine arts and applied arts and design, film and architecture in the field of other audio-visual media;
  • protection of immovable, movable and non-material cultural heritage;
  • library, publishing, cinematographic and music-scenic activity;
  • endowments and foundations;
  • public information system;
  • monitoring the implementation of laws in the field of public information;
  • monitoring the work of public companies and institutions in the field of public information;
  • monitoring the activities of foreign information institutions, foreign media, correspondents and correspondents in the Republic of Serbia;
  • informing national minorities;
  • registration of foreign information institutions and providing assistance to foreign journalists and correspondents;
  • cooperation in the field of protection of cultural heritage, cultural creativity and information in the language and script of the members of the Serbian people in the region;
  • establishment and development of cultural-information centers abroad…

Web: http://www.kultura.gov.rs/en/

Danas

PARTNER
Danas, both on-line and off-line edition, is privately owned media with pro-democratic editorial orientation and high appreciation for professional journalistic standards. Danas newspaper has long list of international awards, including International Press Institute Media Freedom Award (2002) and the most recently an award of the Austrian Foreign Ministry for Inter-culturalism and tolerance (2015), and is often regarded as the only independent national daily.

Since its establishment in 2016 web portal is also gaining public recognition for its work.

Web: danas.rs

Under the Spotlight: Criminal Justice in Serbia

BIRN Serbia

Promotion of judicial transparency and accountability through investigative reporting.

Summary

BIRN will provide comprehensive public insight into the capacities of the judicial system to fight against the corruption through the newly-established mechanism of special courts and prosecution offices in charge of the abuse of funds, money-laundering and tax evasion.

BIRN plans to increase its content production and publishing on BIRN Serbia’s flagship website javno.rs, providing citizens with accurate and unbiased information about cases of corruption, access to justice and abuse of public funds or posts.

BIRN will produce at least four journalistic stories in different formats – investigative, data-journalism and/or analytical content, published on the javno.rs platform, with follow-ups on the reported cases. Additionally, two online databases will be created, establishing an evidence base for tracing the work of the special anti-corruption departments and their effectiveness in processing the cases of high corruption..

Information Sheet

Main Objective:
To promote judicial transparency and accountability through investigative reporting.
Specific Objectives:
  • To promote the accountability of the judiciary and other state institutions through investigative journalism and professional media reporting
  • To put the spotlight on newly-established judicial instruments and their contribution to anti-corruption efforts, by scrutinizing their work and exposing potential cases of the abuse of funds, money-laundering and tax evasion

Main Activities:

  1. Content production
  2. Creation of online databases
  3. Online promotion and awareness-raising

Target Groups:

Journalists, experts, the public
Highlights: 
Investigations, Analysis, Data bases

Digital Media Action

BIRN Serbia

The overall objective is to reinforce the role of media in democratic processes in Serbia by enhancing the reach and impact of quality, public-interest oriented journalism that strives to make government more accountable to citizens

Summary

The Digital Media Action project involves independent media through a small grants scheme and innovative training approaches, responding to their needs and motivations, giving them expertise, tools and resources, including the opportunity to publish and efficiently promote and start monetizing their work.

The project will demonstrate the power of quality media and journalism to bring to the public eye sensitive and underreported issues and steer debate about them.

This will have a positive impact on the Serbian public, who will be better informed and thus able to hold authorities accountable, and also on the participating media, as their profile and influence will be strengthened, creating the basis for their future sustainability.

Information Sheet

Main Objective:
The overall objective is to reinforce the role of media in democratic processes in Serbia by enhancing the reach and impact of quality, public-interest oriented journalism that strives to make government more accountable to citizens.

Specific Objectives:

  • Make independent media more financially stable, producing regular, high quality and professional content that meets citizens’ demands
    There is a considerable need and space for improvement in journalistic, technical and managerial terms in order to expand their influence and create the basis for sustainability in a fast-developing digital arena, currently dominated by questionable and highly politicized, externally influenced journalistic standards and practices.
  • Enable citizens to increasingly understand and debate the performance of public institutions, contributing to raising public accountably
    Citizens’ informed decision-making is significantly reduced by the lack of relevant and unbiased information and debate, especially on potentially controversial issues such as the rule of law. This is exacerbated by the political capture of the mainstream media environment, which leaves large parts of the population deprived of reliable information.

Main Activities:

    • Organise and carry out cutting-edge training, online mentorship, provide expert know-how and technical support to selected independent media;
    • Create a basis for sustainable business model development by providing technical solutions and digital services;
    • Strengthen capacities in development of revenue streams;
    • Provide grants for quality journalistic and multimedia production on issues of public concern that would otherwise remain unreported;
    • Provide editorial mentorship to media awarded with small grants;
    • Coordinate content syndication, exchange and promotion for all participating media;
    • Foster public debate and stakeholders’ involvement over the reported issues through debates, conferences, consultations and online campaigns.

    Target Groups:

  • Local media, independent institutions, experts, communities, authorities, general public

Highlights: 

  • News, analysis, investigations
Partners:
Juzne Vesti

New Partners for ‘Public Money’ Project in Serbia

Three civil society organisations were selected on June 11 as partners on the ‘Public Money for Public Interest’ project which is being conducted by BIRN Serbia, the Independent Journalism Association of Serbia (IJAS) and the Slavko Curuvija Foundation, funded by the European Union.

The organisations selected were the Nis Committee for Human Rights, the Omnibus civic association from Pancevo, and the Sumadija Centre for Civil Activism ‘Res Publika’.

Over the next year, these organisations will have the opportunity to determine what is in the public interest in their communities.

After a restricted call for five local civil society organisations that attended a training course in April, three of them were selected to continue working on the ‘Public Money for Public Interest’ project as sub-grantees.

The overall objective is to contribute to the participation of civil society in changing public policies related to media financing to reflect the rights and interests of the country’s citizens.