Building a New South East Europe – Role and Potential of the Media

Regional workshop, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 15-16 October 2009

Objectives

To discuss the role and responsibility of the media in South East Europe (SEE) and to encourage them to promote the concept of Trust Based Societies as a tool to build trust, promote inter-cultural dialogue, and mutual understanding among the people in SEE; to bring the EU ideas closer to the people of the region through the work of journalists; to promote journalistic ethics and media independence, as well as to stimulate networking as an important tool to counter prejudices and increase regional cooperation.

Workshop sessions

The two-day workshop envisages an opening session and three thematic sessions, each being introduced by experts in the field. The thematic sessions’ topics are as follows:

  1. Role and responsibility of the media in South East Europe
  2. Bringing EU ideas closer to the South East European public
  3. Regional cooperation through promotion of Trust Based Societies concept and media independence

Outputs

  • Increased awareness of the media in SEE of their pivotal role in promoting trust and communication among the people, and creation, through dialogue and cooperation, of conditions for overall progress of the region and a climate of tolerance and encouragement.
  • Increased knowledge and understanding among the journalists, and through them also the general public, of EU ideas and their benefits for the people of the region;
  • Greater responsibility and independence, and higher ethical standards in the work of media professionals;
  • Increased networking among SEE journalists and creation of a pool of prominent SEE journalists to follow RCC and OSCE activities on a regular basis.

Background and justification

A large part of the SEE region has been struggling to catch up with the rest of Europe and the developed world ever since the difficult transition of the 1990s destroyed a lot of economy, infrastructure, mutual confidence and communication, social and human ties in many of the SEE countries. With the aim of contributing further to the integration of SEE into the European and Euro-Atlantic structures and aware of the need to restore the broken ties of communication and cooperation, the RCC Secretariat and the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina intend to gather prominent journalists from SEE in a two-day workshop called “Building a New South East Europe – Role and Potential of the Media”.

The RCC and the OSCE recognize the indispensible role that journalists, as a distinctive public, but also a channel to the wider, general public, as well as to governments, civil society, international and business community, play in shaping public opinion and in raising awareness of the importance of establishing Trust Based Societies in the region. Moreover, building trust, promoting dialogue, mutual cooperation and understanding are preconditions for sustainable economic and social development of the SEE societies, with an ultimate goal of improving lives of the people in SEE and making them full-fledged members of the European family.

The idea of this project is to invite two-three prominent journalists from each RCC SEE member to the workshop in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, provide them with an opportunity to discuss topical regional issues, interact and exchange views on those issues, so that the workshop results in a greater understanding and awareness of the SEE journalists of their own role in their respective societies and of the need to build better societies to the benefit of the people in the region.

Workshop documents

The workshop programme can be viewed HERE.

Conclusions of the workshop in English are available HERE, and in Croatian HERE.  

Press release is avilable HERE.

Speakers’ interventions

Acknowledgements

The workshop has been financially supported by the Federal Republic of Germany.