Promoting Fact-Based Reporting and Media Literacy in Addressing Mis- and Disinformation

Posted on
October 2023 – June 2024

BIRN Kosovo

The overall goal of the project is to help prevent the spread of false news, misinformation, and disinformation on different platforms in Kosovo and to foster the development of a discerning, informed, and ethical media environment, organisations, and professionals, by contributing to setting up of a sustainable model of reliable press in Kosovo that enhances trust among communities and works towards advancing sustained peace and security, political equanimity, and coexistence in the region. Furthermore, the project aims to contribute to the creation of a critical mass of news and information consumers in Kosovo able to identify, prevent further spreading, and protect themselves from false news, misinformation, and disinformation.


In multi-ethnic, post-conflict societies, misinformation has the potential to adversely impact conditions for sustained peace and coexistence among communities and create political strife. Moreover, in a digital and social media age, and a of the steep rise of online news portals in Kosovo, rumours and manipulated falsehoods can have heightened operational consequences for UNMIK and international partners by undoing or undermining careful and deliberate political work, and directly impacting the safety and security of communities that peacekeeping missions serve.

The proposed project comes at a time when Kosovo continues to witness an upward trend in the spread of mis- and disinformation. Media outlets lack the necessary capacities (resources and skillsets) to report on these issues and uphold professional fact-checking standards, whereas consumers are not well-equipped to identify spurious news stories and debunk them. Such false news items are frequently on topics related to members of non-majority communities, which in turn perpetuates discrimination, and reinvigorates fear and insecurity amongst readers. These news items are easily spread across most online media given current social media algorithms reward polarising and extreme content. This is similarly a problem in the Western Balkans.

BIRN Kosovo, in cooperation with Serbian-language Kosovo portal KoSSev, will identify, analyse and debunk false or misleading news; covering topics relating to, inter alia, security, politics, inter-ethnic relations, tension in northern Kosovo, mis- and disinformation, health, the economy and culture through the publication of fact-checking articles and television programmes, and will help cultivate a fact-checking culture amongst young and future journalists and students through workshops and lectures. All activities will be conducted in line with international human rights frameworks.



Main Objectives:

Objective 1: Enhanced knowledge and awareness on fact-checking journalism among young generation.

Objective 2: Increased public awareness about mis- and disinformation relating to areas such as security, health, economy, and culture.

Objective 3: Youth across Kosovo communities enhanced media literacy and gained the necessary knowledge on fact-checking, ethical constitutes and professional reporting.

Main Activities:

  1. Organise 2 training workshops on fact-checking journalism with 40 young journalists and students;
  2. Publish 40 articles that debunk mis- or disinformation circulating across various platforms in Kosovo; provide fact-checked, real-time, accurate reporting during crisis situations;
  3. Establish an anti-disinformation partnership with the local Serbian-language media KoSSev publishing articles debunking false news as a result of this partnership;
  4. Produce and broadcast 4 TV programs featuring members of different communities living in Kosovo to discuss effects of mis- and disinformation on the real-time reporting during crisis situations; and
  5. Translate into Serbian language the existing Albanian language content of the false news and hate speech platform (developed by D+) making it bilingual and available to Serbian-speaking youth in Kosovo, and run a fighting dis- and misinformation course for 200 high school and university students from different communities in Kosovo.

Target Groups:

  • Members of all ethnic communities in Kosovo, particularly Albanians and Serbs
  • Students and journalists of local media from different ethnic backgrounds
  • Media outlets
  • Citizens of Kosovo

Main implementer:

BIRN Kosovo

Project partner: