BIRN Serbia Launches New Programme for Journalists and Media in South Serbia

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Vranje _ BIRN Serbia launched a multi-year project “Building Public Awareness in Multiethnic Areas”, supported by the UK Government, in Southern Serbia.

The program is designed to contribute to the reduction of tension in multiethnic communities and develop objective media reporting through media training that both develops journalistic skills and allows local journalists to develop a better understanding of political and social context of the area.

The first activity in the programme was a five day ‘in – house’ training session in “Vranjske” – an independent weekly in Serbia’s southern city of Vranje. A group of experienced trainers worked hands on with journalists, editors and technical staff, helping them to prepare one weekly edition of the newspaper. The trainers tackled important issues such as respect for the highest professional standards, making reporting more  relevant to the readership, improving editorial policy and procedures and the market positioning of the newspaper.

This training was the first of many – during the first year of the programme there will be three similar events followed by the publishing of four supplements of Vranjske, aiming to provide in-depth reporting of important issues in this region of Southern Serbia.

Within the wider scope of the programme for media and journalists in Southern Serbia, in addition to implementing basic and advanced training and editorial mentoring for journalists, BIRN will produce high quality coverage on political and social developments in Serbia’s southern province, organise web journalism workshops and hold a series of round table discussions.

 The “Building Public Awareness in Multiethnic Areas” programme was launched on December 10, 2009 and will run until mid 2011 and is supported by the UK Government’s Conflict Prevention Pool.