BIRN Serbia launches new project: 5 pence for media

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Meetings in six Serbian cities with civil society and media representatives marked the official launch of the “5 pence for media” (5 para za medije) project.

The project aims to reaffirm and strengthen the notion of free, independent and professional media among Serbia citizens and CSOs. A strong message regarding the importance of professional media needs to be reiterated as the national strategy for media development is being adopted and the proposed document is prompting lively public debate.

BIRN Serbia initiated this project after concluding that the media should show more sensitivity to local community needs and should produce more content based on communities’ real needs. On the other hand, local media are facing major financial difficulties and suffering from numerous political and economic pressures.

The main topics of meetings held in Vranje, Novi Pazar, Uzice, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Nis were the current local media situation, media content quality and connections with the local community and CSO representatives.

Field visits demonstrated that there is room for the improvement of cooperation between local media and their local communities.

All participants expressed a willingness to take part in the action. Through this project BIRN will offer several platforms to reconnect local media and their communities, including Facebook pages, online applications, street events and joint meetings