Going Environmental: Strengthening Local and Regional Media in the Western Balkans Through Reporting on Climate Change

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Balkan region
June 2022 – February 2023


This project aims to contribute to improving the public debate on climate change and environmental protection in the Balkans through strengthening journalists and media to produce high-quality, independent and systematic climate reporting. Journalists and media will work together so that, instead of isolated reports on environmental problems, systematic and cross-border reporting is done that can convey the national and global character of this phenomenon to the public in an understandable way.


Media play an important role in the fragile balance of a post-conflict situation in a region characterized by linguistic and ethnic diversity: media can break down issues of regional, national and international significance into local contexts and idioms. They represent the most effective tool for holding local institutions to account. They also enjoy a potentially high level of trust in their local target group. However, when it comes to environmental and climate reporting in the media in the Balkans, systematic and competent reporting is not being done as yet.

 Journalists need more background knowledge on complex environmental and climate issues, especially related to EU regulations, which are relevant for the Balkans. Journalists need additional skills in research, data analysis and fact-checking as well as financial resources. Finally, as a result of a lack of resources, journalists lack opportunities for networking and cross-border cooperation with colleagues investigating similar topics in other countries. Connections to regional and pan-European networks would bring new perspectives and more sustainability for the journalists interested in these topics.

In response to these needs, the project is intended to carry out capacity on three levels:

  • Participating journalists and media are aware of the importance of climate issues, in particular the cross-border nature of a problem that needs to be addressed collectively in the region. Through two workshops and a final event, their skills to investigate these topics will be strengthened and their networking possibilities improved. Finally, resources will be provided for the production of their stories during the project.
  • Participating journalists and media will network with colleagues from other countries so that they can access a wealth of experience and know-how in the field of climate reporting.
  • Participating journalists and media may better understand the special responsibility they have in raising public awareness on climate change. 


Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Main objectives: 

  • To achieve more quality reporting on climate change and environmental issues through tailored workshops, production of stories, peer-to-peer learning and cross-border cooperation. Participating journalists and media will gain knowledge and resources to investigate different environmental issues.
  • To integrate participants into different journalistic networks. Through their integration into the n-ost and BIRN network, participants will be better networked throughout Europe and enabled to produce transnational, collaborative work.
  • To raise public awareness on climate change and the environment.

Main Activities:

  • Project start, central strategy development
  • Call for participation and selection of participants
  • Kick-off meeting with all participants
  • Selection of topics and trainers, planning workshops
  • First workshop
  • Follow-up workshop and development of stories
  • Second workshop
  • Follow-up second workshop and finalization of stories
  • Publication of stories and videos about the stories
  • Final event

Target Groups:

  • 18 climate/environmental journalists
  • 18 local/regional media
  • Visitors to the final event
  • Audience of publications/stories published within the project
  • Viewers of the videos related to the publications/stories

Main implementer:

n-ost, Germany