DW Akademie began projects in Serbia shortly after the collapse of the Milosevic regime ten years ago. Some 300 Serbian journalists, broadcast technicians, and media managers have participated in workshops since then.
Ten years of media development in Serbia - a good reason for DW Akademie and former participants to take stock of the work achieved so far and to look ahead. At the end of November the Europe and Central Asia Division invited alumni to a conference in Belgrade. The goal was to combine an informal get-together with a one-day workshop involving groups and discussions on DW Akademie's performance. "What are we doing well and what can we do better?" were the central questions posed to twenty Serbian journalists from all regions in the country.
The alumni gave top praise to DW Akademie's advanced training in areas such as interview training, environmental reporting and online journalism. Additional plus points were given for discussions with German experts and networking with other participants. Starting in 2011, a new, regional DW Akademie blog will support this exchange online.
The alumni also had suggestions for future projects. One participant proposed the joint construction of an exchange platform for radio and television reports. Others hoped for more involvement of upper management in the projects to help overcome management's reluctance to work with new ideas. Participants mentioned other barriers making it difficult to implement what they had learned including a lack of finances and time, as well as political pressure.
"We really appreciate the feedback and now have new ideas which we'll include in our upcoming projects," says Filip Slavkovic who coordinates DW Akademie projects in southeastern Europe. Further workshops together with the OSCE Media Department are planned for Serbia starting at the beginning of 2011.