This project aims to identify and promote the common threads that bring Kosovo’s different communities together through intercommunity dialogue in order to support peace and stability in Kosovo. The project also aims at seeking accountability and transparency from governmental institutions by addressing political, economic and social issues through a collaborative engaging format, in which members of different communities come together and engage in dialogue with each other and with the panellists. In order to achieve this, UNMIK, in collaboration with the implementing partner Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) in Kosovo, seeks to produce a series of televised programmes titled “Town Hall Solutions”, thereby engaging different communities in dialogue on pressing issues faced by Kosovo inhabitants in their daily lives, and to promote shared solutions.
The proposal is in line with UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) which mandates UNMIK to “promote security, stability and respect for human rights through engagement with all communities in Kosovo”, including the equal engagement of women and men.
The project also aligns with United Nations Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security, promoting active and meaningful participation of women and youth on issues that have impact on decision making and prevention and resolution of conflict.
The proposed efforts are furthermore in line with priorities set out under the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) agenda, putting people at the centre and contribute to prevention of conflict, through providing a space for dialogue, cross community engagement and building trust.
Furthermore, several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) affecting the livelihood and future of the people in Kosovo, which requires close collaboration of all communities and special attention to the living conditions of the minorities and their access to services and resources (as further reinforced in recommendations of the United Nations Trust-Building Forum) will also be advanced through implementation of this project through various episodes of the debates (SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15 and 16).
The overall objective of the action is to bring together the wider community of journalists and media professionals, media outlets, civil society, young media talent and the public to increase awareness, recognition and support for professional journalism as a means of solidifying the foundations of a sustainable democracy in Kosovo.
Specific objective 1: Develop incentives for increase in qualitative multi-ethnic reporting;
Specific objective 2: Increase the presence of non-political topics of mutual concern, such as artistic and cultural events and environmental issues in public media in all official languages, while simultaneously insisting upon professional (objective, impartial and unbiased) reporting;
Specific objective 3: Donors should consider media as a priority area, thus enabling joint coverage of issues of mutual concern;
Specific objective 4: Encourage the public broadcaster to continue having qualitative programs in the languages of the communities, thus increasing the access to information and exchanges between the communities and regional public broadcasters.
Specific objective 5: Strengthen partnership between youth-led initiatives and media actors in order to amplify the positive role of youth in building sustainable peace in their communities through building inter-ethnic trust, promotion of responsible citizenship and awareness-raising on diverse human-rights related issues;
Specific objective 6: Provide incentives for involvement of young people in awareness raising campaigns offline and online on societal issues, including as key actors in disseminating information;
Specific objective 7: Undertake efforts to provide media coverage and space for youth-led activities at the key public broadcaster and other media in order to raise the attention of local and central institutions to the problems that Kosovo youth face on a daily basis (education-related issues, bullying in schools, prevention of peer-to-peer violence, employment opportunities and socio-economic empowerment, air pollution, etc.) and empower youth by giving them a stronger voice in their communities.
Specific objective 8: To present women as leaders and role models and avoid portrayals that reinforce discriminatory and patriarchal attitudes and social norms about the role of women (especially before and after elections);
Specific objective 9: Include gender-related issues in the media and do more to reflect gender equality within reporting.
Key activities of the project include producing five longform TV programmes (approximately 120 minutes each) on social, infrastructural, environmental, health and educational issues. Each programme will include the following segments:
- Multiethnic televised debates, connecting via video conferencing a large number of participants from across Kosovo communities with panellists consisting of authorities, civil society leaders and experts.
- Investigative reportages presenting a community which has come up with a solution to a problem in their community and explore whether the solution can be replicated in other communities.
- A series of ‘Community Heroes’ reportages, featuring Kosovo communities’ grassroots champions who have supported their communities during the challenging period of the pandemic.