Name of the project: “Strengthening Media Freedom in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia and Serbia”
Donor: Free Press Unlimited (MATRA)
Time of realization: 01.03.2021- 31.12.2021.
The role of IJAS: project holder
Budget: 28.000 EUR
About the project:
The project “Strengthening Media Freedom in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia and Serbia” is a project funded by the MATRA Rule of Law Program of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project will be implemented by a consortium consisting of the Dutch Helsinki Committee and Free Press Unlimited, in co-operation with local partner organizations consisting of three judicial academies and three journalists’ associations (including the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia). The project will directly contribute to strengthening media freedom and strengthening the capacity of the judiciary. In addition, the project connects Dutch experts with experts from target countries, who strengthen links between various Dutch (semi) government institutions and those from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia and Serbia.
An additional goal is to encourage improved cooperation and exchange between judicial academies and journalists’ associations by closely involving both groups in designing coherent and innovative capacity building. The project partners believe in the importance of enabling journalists and members of the judiciary the opportunity and space to come together and organize in a way that will enable faster, more meaningful cooperation in addressing ongoing issues of freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in the region.
The project is based on the following key assumptions:
– Strengthening the legal and institutional framework that protects freedom of expression and media freedom requires the knowledge and commitment of public officials (law enforcement and judicial authorities) and the media to address existing problems in a timely and effective manner.
– Substantial and sustainable changes can only be achieved through the proper, continuous engagement of stakeholders – journalists, judges, state actors and civil society.
– There is a readiness of “agents of change” on both sides to engage in a discussion on the responsibility of the media and the judiciary in defending the public interest.
Project goal: creating an environment in which freedom of the media and freedom of expression are respected and can be achieved without fear or pressure.
Specific objective of the project: Contribution to capacity building to develop a more effective response to cases of intimidation and threats to journalists.