Kosovo Media Institute and Investigative Journalism Center from Croatia join SEENPM at its 11th General Assembly in Skopje

18 May, 2007, Skopje – “While being organizationally restructured, the South East European Network for Professionalization of Media successfully implemented nine regional media research, advocacy, and training projects” – emphasized executive director, Sándor Orbán in his annual report to the Network members at the SEENPM General Assembly meeting held in Skopje on May 17, 2008. He added that the projects tackled public service broadcasting in the digital age, prime time television news monitoring, labor relations in media, the new EU regulation on audiovisual media services, media self-regulation, clientelism in media, the preparation of the media sector for EU accession, and reporting on alternative energy sources. “As an outcome, SEENPM published ten research documents, and over 500 media professionals participated in the conferences, workshops, and roundtable discussions organized by the Network”, said Orbán.

At the Skopje meeting, 14 out the 15 member organizations were represented. After adopting the narrative and financial reports of the Network, the participants discussed the ongoing SEENPM projects on the reporting of food safety, online ethics, and the regional media coverage of the situation in Kosovo. Issues related to fundraising and project development were also on the agenda.

The General Assembly approved the application for membership of two organizations, the Kosovo Media Institute (KMI) and the Investigative Journalism Center (IJC) from Croatia.  KMI, as an association of 33 media outlets provides mid-career journalism training and promotes dialog between media professionals from different ethnic backgrounds. Agron Bajrami, chairman of the KMI Board underlined that his organization intended to intensify the cooperation between journalists from Kosovo and the South East European region by using the capacities of the Network. The five-year-old Investigative Journalism Center supports independent media and investigative reporting through education and regional networking. IJC director Sasa Lekovic offered a partnership to SEENPM members in the field of curriculum development and practical training for journalists.

The recently registered Media Centre Caglavica (Kosovo) was introduced to the SEENPM members by director Budimir Nicic who expressed his organization’s interest in joining the Network. Remzi Lani, president of the SEENPM Board stressed that the door to MCC was open, and the General Assembly would discuss the membership of the Centre at its next meeting.

The SEENPM General Assembly met for the first time after the Network had been registered as an association in Albania on July 18, 2007. As a result, the previously rotating SEENPM presidency was replaced by the office of the executive director, located in Budapest. The Network chose to operate with a permanent staff in order to make the best use of its expertise, be more efficient in project implementation and fundraising, and further cooperation with international and regional donors and partners. The South East European Network for Profession­alization of Media was established in 2000 with the goal of promoting excellence in journalism through policy initiatives, research and training. Its activities are based on the belief that joint commitment and cooperation are pivotal to the development of independent media, the strengthening of relations among journalists, and the overall progress in the region.

Supporters of SEENPM projects in 2007 and 2008:
The Open Society Institute Network Media Program
The Danish Royal Ministry of Foreign Affaires/International Media Support
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/Pristina
The Balkan Trust for Democracy
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation
The Embassy of Switzerland/Skopje

More information on SEENPM projects and publications: www.seenpm.org

List of member organizations represented at the General Assembly meeting in Skopje:
Albanian Media Institute, Tirana
Center for Independent Journalism, Bucharest
Center for Independent Journalism, Budapest
Independent Journalism Center, Chisinau
International Center for Education of Journalists, Opatija
Macedonian Institute for Media, Skopje
Media Center, Belgrade
Media Center, Nis
Media Center, Sarajevo
Media Development Center, Sofia
Media Plan Institute, Sarajevo
Montenegro Media Institute, Podgorica
Novi Sad School of Journalism
Peace Institute, Ljubljana

Absent: 
ACCESS – Sofia Foundation

For more information contact
Sándor Orbán
executive director
director.seenpm@gmail.org

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* - References to Kosovo are without prejudice to positions on status. They are in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the opinion by the International Court of Justice on the Kosovo declaration of independence.