22.12.2018. – Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and safety of journalists in the Western Balkans has the honor of presenting outputs of Small Grants Programme, which took place during years 2017 and 2018 within the bigger project “Protecting Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in the Western Balkans”. Within the project “Follow The (Media) Money” Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS) analyzed the ownership and financing of media in Serbia.
Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS) analyzed the ownership and financing of media with taxpayers’ money, as well as political and other pressures that journalists in Serbia face. CINS produced four investigative stories and mini advocacy campaign with the closing conference in Belgrade and production of the conference report and recommendations.
The specific goal of the project was to help fuel evidence-based and data-driven advocacy for transparent and accountable financing of media from the public funds, supporting sustainable media production in the public interest.
Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia – CINS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to investigative journalism according to the internationally recognized standards, including the use of new tools and techniques. Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia was founded by the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia with the aim to show that independent journalism in line with the highest professional standards is possible in Serbia.
Earlier CINS investigations on these topics showed that the citizens’ money is spent in a non-transparent manner. Since the start of the implementation of the new Law on Public Information and Media, media close to the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and its officials have been favored in the calls for project-based co-financing of media content in the public interest. Also, budgetary funds have been allocated outside of official calls, by secret agreements and with insufficient control. CINS stories also uncovered allocation of funds via project-based co-financing to mutually linked companies, while the election committees featured members who were not eligible.
Read the report from the debate “Are there privileged media?” in English is HERE.
Read the article “Millions from media competitions for the Srpski telegraf and Informer” in English HERE.
About Small Grants Programme
During 2017. and 2018. 15 projects were funded through the Small Grants Programme in two LOTs (4 regional and 11 national projects) in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo* and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The Small Grants Programme supported locally and regionally rooted civil society initiatives, engaging human rights activists, journalists and media, aiming to protect the freedom of expression and freedom of media.
The small grants programme was funded by IPA /EU with co-financing from the Croatian Government Office for NGOs and matching funds from grantees; it is part of a regional project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety implemented through partnership of five regional journalists’ associations and one journalists’ union– Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (IJAS), Association of BH Journalists (BHJ), Croatian Journalists Association (CJA), Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK), Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (TUMM).
Croatian Journalists’ Association and its regional partner journalists’ associations thank all subgrantees and other participants for their interest and effort in engaging in the Small Grants Programme and for their cooperation throughout the whole application and project implementation process.