The EU funded project Empowering society: Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans was implemented by a consortium led by the IFJ since 2018 in 6 countries, namely Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia.
The project’s objective was to contribute to the reform and professional development of public service media (PSM) in the Western Balkans to produce pluralistic, independent and accountable content.
- Adoption of regional principles for governance and funding, including the design of road maps on management reforms to change management structures and functions and upskill human resources managers .
- Production and broadcast of dozens of investigative stories, cross-border investigative documentaries and children’s programmes and training of investigative and fact-checking teams on countering disinformation. Dozens of journalists were upskilled in data and mobile journalism.
- Creation of Integrated newsrooms – making PSMs more efficient as well as value for money
- Adoption of a code of conduct for PSM, as well as the updating of editorial guidelines and complaints.
- Archive exchange platform linking all six PSMs, sharing hundreds of hours of digitized public service content
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "We are proud of these results that will contribute to enhancing PSM quality content and professional skills in the region. The challenges we met were massive, not least the political challenges and the Covid pandemic, but it is such an achievement to know that the public in the Western Balkans will be better informed and benefit from greater quality content".
Besides the IFJ, the consortium partners include the European Broadcasting Union, the European Federation of Journalists, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, the Eurovision News Exchange for South East Europe ERNO and the Austrian broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF)