Western Balkans

Better working conditions for journalists in the Western Balkans

Staff
Veronika Menjoun

Regional Manager

Partners
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN)
The Association of Independent Media Broadcasters in Kosovo (AMPEK)
Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (TUMM)
Sustainable Development Goals in this project
SDG4 - Quality Education
SDG8 - Decent work and economic growth
SDG16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions
Theme(s)
Media management
Lifelong learning
Media resilience
Funder(s)
Svenska institutet

In the Western Balkans working conditions for journalists have deteriorated dramatically in recent years. Journalists regularly face harassment, smear campaigns and pressure from political actors and others in power. In addition, threats to the safety of journalists have long been a concern, with physical or verbal attacks on journalists increasing significantly in recent years. Unfortunately, most governments in the area do not do enough to protect journalists.

In 2021 Fojo implemented a 16-month pilot project focusing on working conditions for journalists in 10 countries, including four in the Western Balkans. The view of partners there was that the work to improve working conditions needed to be scaled up and involve several actors to achieve greater impact.

4

countries participating (Kosovo, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Serbia, Montenegro)

16

media managers and directors participating in this project

6

webinars will take place during this project

What we do

This project aims to improve working conditions for journalists in Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina over the long-term. While other initiatives in the region were already providing after-the-fact support, the aim here is to work pro-actively to mitigate burnout and decrease stress levels.

An important actor and target of the project are media managers and media owners as they are key to providing a safe working environment for their employees. Organisations from media civil society with a large geographical footprint also participate. Through the project they will develop policies and guidelines to improve legal, personal, digital, and psychological safety in the media sector.

The project includes a range of activities such as webinars, workshops and study visits. Participants also receive individual mentorship and develop change projects for their media organisations. The three best change projects will receive grants for their implementation.