ABOUT THE PROJECT
Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety is a network of journalist associations and media trade unions in Western Balkans countries established in January 2016 with the financial assistance of the European Union and within the EU Support to Regional Thematic Networks of Civil Society Organisations Program.
Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia, Association of BH Journalists, Trade Union of Media od Montenegro, Association of Journalist of Macedonia, Association of Journalist of Kosovo, Croatian Journalists’ Association have a multi-annual, bilateral and cross-border cooperation in improving media freedoms, and in joint actions in solidarity to protect professional rights of journalists. This cooperation has been formalised by the establishment of the Regional Platform and signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with clearly defined courses of action: (a) establishment of a strong and efficient mechanism for the protection of and advocacy for the freedom of expression, rights and safety of journalists, as well as (b) creation of a democratic working environment for the media in Western Balkan countries in compliance with EU standards and recommendations.
The objective of the establishment and operation of the Regional Platform is the creation of a favourable legal and social environment for media pluralism by empowering journalists’ associations and media trade unions to become an efficient, responsible and independent actor in advocating media freedoms and EU standards, as well as rights of citizens to information and to variety of information from different source.
Journalists’ associations also plan to establish a System of Early Warning and Prevention (SEWP) as a regional mechanism to advocate freedom of expression and integration of EU freedom of media standards, as well as to prevent various forms of violence against journalists and abuses of the freedom of expression. At the same time, there will be activities on the introduction of a methodology of continuous monitoring of media freedoms and journalists’ safety, as well as the public availability of information on cases of violation of professional and human rights of journalists, editors and other media professionals. The specific objective of the Regional Platform is exchange of knowledge, experience and information between the 6 journalists’ associations and media trade unions, as they themselves are recognised as active and responsible defenders of journalists’ rights who can now invest part of their capacities to respond to regional needs and challenges of the Western Balkans media community.
In the project duration period of 36 months, numerous activities will be implemented, and a particularly important one is the Online Platform for Immediate Reporting of Attacks on Journalist and Violation of their Rights. In addition to the possibility of reporting attacks and providing efficient support to journalists, the Online Platform contains a single database of attacks on journalists since 2014, as well as data on public actions, analyses, advocacy activities of partners and other media organisations. Partners will work together to build their own capacities and prepare a three-year strategy and advocacy plan which will focus on the identification of gaps in the legislative framework and will offer legal solutions and actions that may contribute to a more efficient and timely protection of journalists, their right to freedom of expression and professional integrity.
Total project cost is 1.321.795,52 EUR; 1.189.615,97 EUR has been supported by European Commission, as rest will be provided by partners. The main project coordinator is the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia.