BIRN Kicks Off Project Strengthening Quality Journalism in Western Balkans and Turkey II

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Balkan Investigative Regional Reporting Network BIRN hosted a kick-off meeting for representatives of media organisations and higher education institutions from six Western Balkan countries, Türkiye and Hungary on February 20-23 in Belgrade, Serbia.

In the next three years, BIRN Hub will continue to provide systemic support to improve the quality and professionalism of journalism in the Western Balkans and Türkiye through the project Strengthening Quality Journalism II funded by the European Union.

Together, Central European University, the Association of Journalists from Türkiye, Thomson Media, University Goce Delcev Stip, the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers from North Macedonia, Media Association of South-East Europe from Montenegro and Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Kosovo (BIRN Kosovo) will implement actions to strengthen trust-based engagement between citizens and media, provide resources and support for high-quality content production through education, training, mentoring, and supply editorial support.

Different trainings will be provided to young and mid-career journalists followed by editorial support. At the same time, mainstream and public service media will be included in the project activities, especially oriented towards content production through cross-border collaborations.

Through the already recognized EU awards scheme and the new regional award, the project will promote high standards in investigative journalism. Academia will be involved through different activities, among them working on a Master’s level programme for investigative journalism.

Over the three days, BIRN Hub and its seven partner organizations met and planned project actions that aim to support 600 young and mid-career journalists to produce quality news and conduct investigative reporting, provide journalism training, funds for content production and awards for merits in investigative reporting.

The partners also shared lessons learned from the previous phase of the project implemented over the past four years. In the previous phase, 1,000 journalists enhanced their skills through a set of different tailor-made capacity-building activities and over 1,500 pieces of quality news were produced. Cross-border stories, news, documentaries and investigations were developed and awarded through the EU awards.

This article was created with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of BIRN and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.