Small Grants Programme Outputs: Media Freedom Matrix


28.12.2018. – 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 “Media Freedom Matrix – Online Monitoring Tool”, implemented by Citizens’ Association for Democracy and Civic Education “Civic Initiatives” and FoNet. 

The Media Freedom Matrix was created as one of the results of the project “Protecting Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in the Western Balkans”, initiated by Civic Initiatives and FoNet news agency in order to increase respect for the freedom of the media and expression in Serbia. The project enables monitoring of the planned measures and the effectiveness of implementation in the field of media freedom during the European integration process.

The online platform for monitoring the development of media freedom through EU integration enables monitoring of existing and necessary measures in Chapters 5 (Public Procurement), 8 (Competition Policy), 10 (Information Society and Media), 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights), 28 ( Consumer protection and health protection) and 32 (Financial Supervision). The Media Freedom Matrix aims to increase public awareness of the legal framework and practices that protect the freedom of the media and expression.

The matrix also contains a database of all steps in these areas, done by the state, as well as other media actors. In addition, the Matrix in one place collects all specific cases of violation of media and freedom of speech in Serbia, making a unique platform, which will serve as an advocacy platform and as a tool for calling the state accountable. The platform will be constantly updated with new and relevant data.

Specific objectives of the project were improving government measures, better policies and actions in the area of freedom of expression by the involvement of wider civil society and journalist associations and providing monitoring of existing and needed measures, improving dialogue, coordination and information sharing among government, civil society and media regarding freedom of expression and increasing public awareness of the laws and practices that protect freedom of expression.

Civic Initiatives (CI) is the leading organization in Serbia in civil society development, with focus on supporting and strengthening democratization and good governance through greater participation of citizens in decision-making processes at all levels in Serbia. CI is the major resource and knowledge centre for civil society in Serbia.

FoNet is the oldest operating private news agency in Serbia with independent editorial policy. As a pioneer of multimedia production, FoNet in past 12 months established CITIZEN news services covering activities of CSO’s in Serbia, then specialized multiplatform production PRESS EXTRA focused on fake news and post-truth phenomenon, as well as “GLOVES OFF” production dealing with Serbian EU integrations.


Find the Media Freedom Matrix  – Online Monitoring Tool 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.