Small Grants Programme Outputs: Invisible Violence – Stories from the Newsroom


30.12.2018. – Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and safety of journalists in the Western Balkans has the honour 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”.  One of the funded projects was “Invisible Violence: Stories from the Newsroom”, implemented by NIIT Society Innovation Center.  

Five journalists from the Western Balkans region issued the publication “Invisible Violence: Stories from The Newsroom” which brings stories about the real possibilities for doing journalism in Balkan newsrooms and the (dis)respect of journalists’ labour rights.

The study is based on interviews with fellow journalists in five countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. Fifty interviews with journalists working in the public, commercial and non-profit sectors (civil society media) were conducted from January to May 2018.

Under open political pressures and threats, often denounced at press conferences of the countries’ leading persons, while in conflict with editors over the issues to be covered, and finally in a precarious labour position, journalists are doing their job amidst insecurity, discrimination, censorship and open pressures, finally resulting in self-censorship, the study states.

Many journalists refused to speak for the study or they insisted to stay anonymous, the authors say, due to the fear of losing their jobs or being prevented from finding one in the future, or due to the feeling of embarrassment for having succumbed to pressures.

The study authors are journalists Biljana Sekulovska, Una Hajdari, Nidžara Ahmetašević, Milica Bogdanović and Žarka Radoja. The author of the introduction is Viktor Ivančić, founder of the cult newspaper “Feral Tribune” based in Split and columnist for the weekly “Novosti”.

The project was specifically focused on “lifting the veil” on the internal operation of the news production process, which is rarely mentioned in discussions about freedom of speech, media rights and press freedoms, and by organizations which deal with media and press advocacy.

The goal of this project was to provide support to journalists who have suffered difficulties within their newsroom and who have lacked the ability to share their story and to ensure that they get the support they need from their colleagues.

The project was implemented by Society Innovation Center – NIIT (Centar za društvene inovacije „NIIT“ – in Serbian), voluntary, nongovernmental and nonprofit association from Niš,  Kontra, journalist association based in Belgrade, Nova TV, media outlet based in Macedonia, Balkanist, online media outlet, Center for democratic transition, non profit organization, and
journalist Nidžara Ahmetašević.

Find the publication “Invisible Violence: Stories from the Newsroom” HERE.

Find other articles published within the project 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.