Media Partnership

Media outlets in the Western Balkans are in a difficult situation. Financial issues, legal and political pressure as well as shady business structures make it almost impossible for journalists to report on conflicts accurately. These elements contribute to a situation in which the quantity of media coverage on forumZFD, its activities and partners is much lower than desired. This circumstance is being changing through media partnerships.

Public discourses are led in a way which reflects victimisation, neglect of responsibility for own atrocities, denial, nationalism and prejudices. Perspectives on the recent past are shaped by nationalism and hatred, while there is almost no coverage of DwP-related topics to be found in publications throughout the region.

There is no space in the public discourse for alternative cultures of remembrance and/or narratives different from the dominating ones. This situation is perceived as unacceptable by both journalists and civil society actors in the field. Through media partnerships, forumZFD wishes to improve this dire situation. Public discourses are to be led in a way which includes the perspectives of different ethnic groups, allows for a variety of opinions and makes reference to atrocities committed by ones “own people”. A more inclusive culture of remembrance is also to be established and debates on the recent past initiated.

The project was launched in 2015 with a series of panel discussions organised jointly in Serbia in collaboration with the weekly VREME news magazine. Each discussion commemorates the anniversary of a crucial event in the recent history of the Western Balkans. VREME was chosen as the first partner, as it is one of the most relevant actors in the field of DwP (in terms of media work on such topics). This ensures sustainability. Other partners include BHRT television network and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) in Bosnia. Partnerships with media outlets in Kosovo and Macedonia are currently being negotiated.


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