Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey

With financial support from the EU and UNESCO, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is promoting freedom of expression and press freedom in South East Europe and Turkey. The project, entitled Building Trust in media in South East Europe and Turkey, seeks to strengthen freedom of expression, access to information, free, independent and pluralistic media, ensuring that journalists and media are key drivers for democratic, sustainable and peaceful development in the region.

The project is being implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, as well as in Kosovo (administered by the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244).

The focus of the project Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey is on improving media accountability mechanisms, media internal governance and information literacy among citizens to strengthen civil society support for the media and demand for quality media.

The project builds on previous cooperation between the European Union and UNESCO. It will benefits from the experiences and lessons learned from the project Alignment to International Standards in the Media Sector in South East European countries implemented by UNESCO from 2009 to 2011 and the project Media Accountability in South East Europe and Turkey, implemented from 2013 to 2015. Both projects supported the creation and strengthening of voluntary media self-regulation mechanisms such as press councils or news ombudsmen.

Promote and share our activities on online social networking services (Facebook, Twitter,…) using the specific hashtag #TrustInMediaSEE

Activities for 2017-2018 are:

  • LAREG+ : First meeting of EFJ Labour rights expert groups with representative of target country, 13 November 2017 (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Press conference on journalists’ working conditions in South East Europe and Turkey at the Press Club Brussels, 14 November 2017 (Brussels, Belgium)
  • January 2018: follow-up training of trainers
  • LAREG +: Second meeting of EFJ Labour rights expert groups with representative of target country in the region (place to be decided)
  • Photo exhibition on journalists’ working conditions in South East Europe and Turkey at the Press Club, May 2018 (Brussels, Belgium)

Activities for 2016 were:

  • LAREG+ : First meeting of EFJ Labour rights expert groups with representative of target country, 4 April 2016 (Brussels, Belgium)
  • LAREG+ : Second meeting of EFJ Labour rights expert groups with representative of target country, October 2016 (Zagreb, Croatia)
  • Regional workshop on working conditions & safety of journalists, December 2016 (Tirana, Albania)

Actions

15 points to improve working conditions for journalists in Western Balkans and Turkey

Bosnian / Türkçe / Shqiptar / Montenegro The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliate the Association of Professional Journalists in Albania (APJA) have successfully organised on 19/12/2016 in Tirana (Albania) the training of trainers’ workshop for Labour Rights Expert Group (LAREG+) in the framework of its Unesco supported project called Building Trust in media in South East Europe and Turkey (#TrustinMediaSEE). Tim Dawson (NUJ President, UK) acted as expert during this event and gave the course based on his long serving experience as trade unionist in the United Kingdom to trainers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro…

Stop impunity, nobody should be free to kill journalists

by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President 827 journalists were killed during the last decade and paid the ultimate price for exercising their job. An appalling and worrying fact documented by the biannual report from the Director General at UNESCO. The safety of journalists and fighting impunity was on top of the agenda during the UNESCO IPDC Council meeting, 17th-18th November 2016 in Paris. IPDC is an UNESCO program for safety of journalists, press freedom and media development. As the representative of Denmark, I delivered the following speech: Eight hundred and twenty seven, 827 journalists, have been killed since 2006. This is…

Enforcing labour rights for journalists in South East Europe and Turkey

Enforcing labour rights and improving working conditions for journalists remain challenging in South East Europe and Turkey, as concluded in the Labour Rights Expert Group meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 26 October in Zagreb. The meeting is partly funded by the UNESCO as part of the project “Building trust in the media in South East Europe and Turkey” that enables labour rights experts from the region to exchange views with their colleagues. Erisa Zykaj, journalist and representative from the Association of Professional Journalists of Albania (APJA) said that the enforcement of labour rights is yet to…

Confronting the crisis of transparency and censorship facing journalism in Serbia

A mission to Serbia by the Ethical Journalism Network and the European Federation of Journalists this month has called for urgent action to strengthen journalism and independent media across the country. Aidan White, EJN Director, and EFJ Project Officer Mehmet Koksal talked with media leaders and journalism support groups during their visit on September 16-17. They found that problems of political bias, lack of transparency in ownership, manipulated state funding for favoured media, and a desperately weak economic situation all contribute to a deeply flawed media system. “The media crisis cannot be allowed to get worse,” said White. “It poisons…

South East Europe and Turkey journalists join European Labour Rights Experts group

Journalists and media workers from South East Europe and Turkey are able to share best practices, illuminate present challenges in labour rights and benefit from legal expertise after joining European Labour Rights Experts Group. “If journalists’ working conditions are poor, how can media be the driver for sustainable and peaceful development in the region? By promoting these exchanges, UNESCO and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) aim for a collective upgrade of media professionals’ rights, for the benefit of publics and democracy,” commented Mehmet Koksal, project officer from EFJ. Under the EU-funded project “Building Trust in media in South East…

Kosovo: Ethical media audits and guidelines for quality journalism

This report arises from a visit to Prishtina and covers a series of interviews and meetings with Kosovo media leaders and regulatory bodies to develop draft guidelines for ethical audits and good governance at media enterprise level. In line with the working programme for 2016 the EJN has begun to prepare materials to perform internal audits (these are attached). The initial material has been circulated to local media selected for co-operation: Koha Ditore, Zëri, Insider Online Agency, Kosovo 2.0 and Radio Television Kosova. The meetings also examined the current media situation and the major challenges for ethical practice and good…