Small Grants Programme Outputs: Mission Defence – using activism and legal possibilities to resist the pressures on the media


26.12.2018. – 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 “Mission Defence: using activism and legal possibilities to resist the pressures on the media”, implemented by Novi Sad School of Journalism and “Support RTV” movement.

In the framework of the project „Mission Defence: using activism and legal possibilities to resist the pressures on the media“, the Novi Sad School of Journalism published an e-publication “Pressures on the media in Serbia and methods of resistance”. It is dedicated to legal possibilities and activism methods to resist censorship and financial pressures.

After publication of this e-book, NSSJ and the “Support RTV” movement, have organized a two-day training for students of journalism, which was followed by the beginning of the research on local media from Novi Sad, Subotica, Sombor, Kikinda, Zrenjanin and Pančevo that are financially dependent on state money. The training was thematically organized to follow the contents of the guidebook, which means that through four lectures and workshops participants are introduced to the legal aspects of journalism, open and covert forms of censorship, the consequences of self-censorship and financial pressures, as well as to legal and activist possibilities to resist pressure.

One of the outputs was The Financial Analysis of Radio Television of Vojvodina, with a focus on financial pressures on employed journalists.  A special segment of analysis was dedicated to the new, indirect system of contracting, through the external agency, which enables RTV to release journalists without explanation at any time.

Specific objectives of the projects were an analysis of the forms and strength of pressure on media outlets from Vojvodina (local and public service broadcasting) which are mainly financed by state funds and raising the awareness of journalists and public about potential ways of using legal possibilities and activism to resist these pressures.

Novi Sad School of Journalism (NSSJ) is a civil society organization that is dedicated to the development and professionalization of the media scene in Serbia and the region. Project activities of the organization are focused on increasing the professional capacities in the media sector, monitoring and analysis of media content, education of the various target groups about media literacy and advocacy that will contribute to the democratization and development of civil society and the promotion of European values. “Podrži RTV” (Support RTV) movement was created in May 2016 as a spontaneous reaction to the politically motivated dismissal of the director of the Radio Television of Vojvodina and then of a group of journalists/editors of that media house.

Read “The Financial Analysis of Radio Television of Vojvodina” HERE.

Read e-publication “Pressures on the media in Serbia and methods of resistance” HERE.

Read e-publication “Pressures on the local media in Vojvodina” 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.