BIRN Receives a 3-year Grant from the SCP

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The Balkan Investigative Regional Reporting Network, BIRN, is delighted to announce the signing of a three-year contract with the Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans, SCP.

“Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans” sub=”Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans” >The project, “Balkan’s Initiative for Cultural Cooperation, Exchange and Development,” BICCED, aims to build a platform for development of culture-related co-operation in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia and Macedonia, focusing on common cultural policy issues and contributing to the change and development of individual country policies. BIRN, as lead partner in this project, will work closely with SEECult, from Serbia, and BIRN’s country-based organisations in Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia.
The first phase of the project will involve the preparation of an editorial strategy and the establishment of links with cultural organisations and experts from across the region.

Later, a small group of influential representatives of the creative industries from all of the participating countries will get together for a regional conference to discuss the challenges faced and to agree a common approach.

Alongside, BIRN will organise the first of three annual training programmes in analytical and investigative reporting for 10 journalists, two from each of the participating countries. Journalists, who have an interest and focus on arts and cultural policy are strongly encouraged to apply for this opportunity which, in addition to the training, will offer them the   opportunity to participate in study visits around the region. Each group will visit one country attending a selection of cultural events, and meeting decision makers in institutions and organisations. Applications will be opened for interested journalists in February. After the initial training, the selected journalists will receive on-the-job training for a further 10 months. For each of the three years of the programme, 10 new journalists will be selected.

During the on-the-job training phase, each month, the journalists will participate in the production of 12 texts which will be published on a dedicated culture section of BIRN’s Balkan Insight web site and the six best texts will be put together to produce a monthly newsletter. The web section will also include a cultural calendar for the region and links to other resources in the cultural and arts field.