Small Grants Programme Outputs: Supporting media freedom and freedom of speech through increased watchdog monitoring of media-related matters

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14.12.2018. – 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 “Supporting media freedom and freedom of speech through increased watchdog monitoring of media-related matters”, implemented by NGO Democracy Plus and Insajderi. 

D+ and investigative portal Insajderi, jointly implemented the project “Supporting Media Freedom of Speech Through Increased Watchdog Monitoring Media Related Matters “ with the purpose of supporting freedom of the media and freedom of expression through investigations and publications.

In the scope of this project, D+ and Insajderi have investigated and published analysis on safety of journalists in Kosovo “Viti i mbrapshtë dhe dështimi i institucioneve në mbrojtjen gazetarëve” and the analysis “Sfida kryesore e gazetarëve kosovarë – raportimi nën kërcënimin e dajakut’.

Additionally, D+ and Insajderi have also investigated and published the analysis on journalists access to information and level of responsiveness of public institutions “Raporti i gazetarëve me institucionet- qasje shpërfillëse, tërheqje zvarrë e kërcënime nga truprojat e politikanëve”

D+ has tested the level of responsiveness of public institutions regarding contract of marketing and advertisements in the media as well as brought together all relevant institutions of the field to discuss problems and challenges in a roundtable of discussion. This was done through submitting official requests for access to documents to 20 public institutions, including municipalities, ministries, public enterprises and independent agencies. Out of these, D+ received answers in 80% however the quality of the answers was superficial.

Specific goals were to encourage public pressure on the prosecution to conduct a more thorough investigation on those threatening or attacking journalists and to increase the responsiveness of public institutions to the official request for public documents by media and civil society.

Democracy Plus is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, officially registered in March of 2016 by a group of activists who believe in further strengthening democratic values in Kosovo. The main objective of D+ is to foster democratic values and practices that will further strengthen the voice of the Kosovar society. D+ aims at contributing in establishing good governance practices, strengthening the rule of law, assisting political parties and the process of free and fair elections, and fostering respect for human rights and social issues.

One of the outcomes of the project is The rapport of public institutions with access to public documents.

The report in English is HERE.

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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.

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