In Serbia, DW Akademie gives children and young people the opportunity to be heard in the media. It helps the media reach young audiences, thereby repositioning themselves on the market.
In Serbia and the western Balkans, freedom of information and the press have deteriorated in recent years. Various media organizations and companies are put under political pressure and thus struggle to survive financially. Under these circumstances, many are lagging behind digital trends. As a consequence, national media have failed to reach younger generations in recent years.
Young people in particular have ceased to search for information on national television, radio or in print media, but - even more than in Western countries - on the internet, especially social media. And because national media often fail to provide suitable content for young audiences, young people frequently turn to websites and social media networks produced abroad. Furthermore, domestic media offer young people little opportunity to express their concerns and problems, opinions and views.
DW Akademie backs traditional media and young media initiatives in the Western Balkans. Together with local partners, they run future oriented and informative projects for children and young people. Many of these services are purely digital, for example a news website in southern Serbia where teenagers write for teenagers; or a YouTube project run by young people who are supervised by experts from the public radio station in Montenegro. DW Akademie also supports formats like a multicultural, youth TV program in Vojvodina or a young, multimedia editorial office at the public broadcaster in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The impact of these pilot projects is evaluated in focus group discussions.
DW Akademie in Serbia supports the media and youth associations by giving young people a stronger voice in society. DW Akademie trains media makers who work as consultants for media companies trying to tailor their services to suit young audiences. These organizations also help children and young people, especially disadvantaged groups, like the Roma or the unemployed, to improve their level of education in journalism workshops and to give them a voice in the media.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country coordinator: Klaus Dahmann
Locations: Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš, Skopje, Sarajevo, Podgorica, Prishtina
Local partners: Several Serbian media associations (Asocijacija medija, LokalPress, Asocijacija nezavnisnih medija), Youth Umbrella Organization Serbia (Krovna organizacija mladih Srbije)
Main focus: Societal participation of young people, digitalization, Media and Information Literacy (MIL), professionalization and viability of the media sector, transnational networking of media and NGOs.