The goal of this three-year project, entitled “Strengthening Quality News and Independent Journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey,” supported by the European Union – Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations – is to enhance trust among citizens in the media and create a safe environment for journalists to produce independent news content, through training, mentoring, technical and financial support, and publishing.

The project aims to provide structural support to media freedom and media integrity in the Western Balkans in the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

Core activities

National Training: This is designed to enhance the skills of journalists, both basic and advanced, as well as boost partnerships between trained journalists and stakeholders, providers of professional training for journalists, organisations supporting the media, CSOs and others.

Over 36 months, the 12 national training sessions will be organized, two per partner country, in collaboration with local partner organisations.

Training in investigative journalism for local journalists: This is aimed at enhancing the efficiency and skills of journalists, as well at developing a scalable course curriculum for advanced journalism.

Digital Security Lab: This is planned to serve as a key resource for investigative journalists, providing them with the tools and services they need to bridge the technological gaps between their skills and the production of an investigative story.

Study trips: These will be visits organised for up to 20 editors to observe the work of one of the major media outlets in Europe with a highly developed investigative newsroom.

Production and publication of quality news and investigative stories in mainstream media and in public service media: A strong focus will be placed on involving these media in publication of quality news and investigative reporting.

Cross-border investigations: These are intended to increase cooperation between journalists in the Western Balkans and their knowledge and skills through cooperation on cross-border investigative stories.

Training and curriculum development for investigative journalism in academia: This will include developing a curriculum on investigative journalism for journalism students and for students interested in either investigative journalism or the methodology of investigative journalism.

Training of Trainers: This aims to upgrade the capacities of those who already provide professional training for journalists and improve their editorial standards in terms of producing quality news and investigative journalism.

EU Award Scheme: A continuation of the ongoing regional EU Investigative Journalism Award in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Under the scheme, 63 prizes will be awarded over the course of 36 months, three in each project country.