Initiation of Balkan Culture Watch Strengthening Project

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Balkan Investigative Regional Reporting Network has launched its Balkan Culture Watch Strengthening Project, funded by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF). The BCWSP project is a “build-on” project that complements the existing three-year “Balkan’s Initiative for Cultural Cooperation, Exchange and Development Project” (BICCED, funded by the SCP), which aims to support a constant production of analytical reporting on culture-related developments in five countries (Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo) through a monthly newsletter (Culture Watch / CW), and support the media in the region with coverage of culture by offering analytical reports free of charge.

This project aims to involve government officials and decision makers and work to improve the situation in the region by strengthening cultural life and cross-cultural cooperation as an important element of a participatory, open, and dynamic civil society.

The project’s first event will comprise Advisory Board meeting, conference and training “Culture in the Media”, which will be held in Pristina from March 17 to 19 2011. The participants in the conference will include editors, journalists, and experts in culture from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia.

The conference aims to explore the coverage of cultural policy issues by the media, as well as the understanding of cultural policy and the challenges in presenting these issues to the public. Furthermore, the conference will include working sessions which will provide the opportunity for an exchange of opinions between the 15 editors and 15 journalists participating in the gathering, as well as a number of cultural experts. The conference is organised by BIRN and the Centre for Media Activities, CMA, from Macedonia.

Following the conference, the project will continue to provide support to media outlets through the sharing of analyses produced as part of Culture Watch, the collection of feedback from relevant ministries and cultural organisations, and analysis.