Central and Eastern Europe

SERBIA 2019

Challenging the Culture of Impunity for Past Atrocities

Humanitarian Law Center

 $50,000

To raise awareness about war crimes committed during the 1990s by high ranking public officials, journalists, and military leaders from Serbia, and contribute to the process of holding the perpetrators accountable. The organization will continue to gather information and evidence about individuals who have committed war crimes and use a variety of media – including reports, an interactive website, and documentary films – to pressure relevant state and international institutions to initiate criminal proceedings against them.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Open Debate

Njuz.org

 $40,000

To raise public awareness of and debate on key issues facing Serbia’s democratic transition. The media organization will expand its popular multimedia portal that provides a forum for open discussion in an increasingly restricted media environment. The portal’s nonpartisan videos and news pieces on political developments use humor and satire to reach and inform mass audiences. To encourage offline engagement with readers, the organization will hold debates on rule of law and democracy topics.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Open Debate in Media

Hourglass

 $20,000

To foster public debate on key social, political, and economic topics related to Serbia’s democratic transition. As part of a popular multimedia program providing a forum for open discussion and commentary by prominent policymakers, civic and political leaders, journalists, and academic experts, the organization will produce video clips, radio shows, and original articles for the region’s leading political e-magazine.

Encouraging Debate on Euro-Atlantic Integration

Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies

 $50,000

To encourage debate on the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration and advocate for comprehensive security sector reform. The think tank will monitor the drafting, adoption, and implementation of Serbia’s new security strategy. It will convene consultations with officials to discuss possible amendments to the strategy, including provisions on democratic governance, transitional justice, and regional security cooperation. The think tank will produce a policy brief and promote its findings through consultations, media appearances, and an international event.

Encouraging Professional Media Reporting

Novi Sad School of Journalism

 $50,000

To encourage professional media reporting. The media organization will monitor prominent print, online, and televised media outlets. The nonpartisan project’s related website will publish articles and analytical reports on false reporting and disinformation in the media to generate public discussion regarding media standards. The NGO’s media team will also train young journalists in fact-checking, media literacy, and ethical reporting.

Fostering Local Participation in Political Processes

Group for Conceptual Politics

 $26,000

To foster civic engagement in political processes and promote the accountability of local government institutions in Vojvodina. The group will hold community forums to encourage participation in local government and workshops to engage citizens in the oversight of public institutions. It will increase the impact of its activities through a multifaceted public outreach campaign, and will disseminate a report addressing recent government closures of spaces for civil society and civic activism.

Fostering Objective and Professional Reporting

Bureau for Social Research

 $50,000

To raise awareness about the quality of key media outlets’ coverage of political affairs. Using a proven methodology, the media watchdog will carry out a comprehensive monitoring program and raise awareness about the objectivity and any political bias in key national outlets. The watchdog’s team will track six broadcast outlets with national coverage and produce a comprehensive monitoring report on their behavior, with particular emphasis on monitoring the coverage of current political affairs.

Fostering Quality Reporting on Public Spending

Business Info Group

 $35,000

To foster improved reporting on public spending and promote fiscal transparency and accountability. The independent media group will produce in-depth investigations and analyses of accountability issues related to public financing and the economy. The group will feature the findings in articles written for its monthly print and online magazine, videos produced for its web and social media platforms, and public debates with experts and decision-makers.

Fostering the Accountability of Public Officials

Proactive

 $40,000

To foster greater public demand for the accountability of elected officials in south Serbia. Utilizing its interactive online platform, the organization will improve communication between parliamentarians and citizens, and strengthen the public’s role in decision-making processes. The multifaceted project will include an upgrade of the platform, a media campaign, video production, social media outreach, an awareness-raising campaign, and civic engagement activities.

Fostering Youth Engagement in Vojvodina

Youth Center CK13

 $30,000

To promote civic education and youth engagement in fostering the accountability of public officials in Vojvodina. The multifaceted program will provide a forum for public dialogue on sensitive issues facing youth in Vojvodina and will organize workshops, lectures, events, public debates, and other activities introducing young people to pro-democratic ideas. The group will also provide young people with the skills to engage constructively with the public officials in their local community.

Promoting Civic Oversight of the Security Sector

Belgrade Center for Security Policy

 $45,000

To promote civic oversight of the security sector and foster coalitions with other civic activists that advance the country’s democratic reforms. The think tank will monitor Serbia’s security reform process and document the ways in which political interference impedes the country’s democratic transition. To foster greater cooperation among democracy defenders, the think tank will host consultations with civil society organizations to develop joint initiatives promoting accountability within the security sector.

Promoting Independent Journalism in Southern Serbia

Simplicity Ltd.

 $43,000

To promote independent reporting and foster greater interaction between citizens, their elected officials, and political party representatives in southern Serbia. The organization will continue to complement the news and investigative reports of its popular online portal with nonpartisan multimedia content, including a video interview program, live debates with local and national officials, and a database featuring the profiles of local political figures.

Promoting Institutional Accountability

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Serbia

 $42,000

To promote government transparency and accountability through investigative reporting. In addition to updating its flagship web platform, which currently hosts over a dozen databases related to monitoring corruption and misuse of official positions, the media organization will develop two new databases tracking the work of the government office responsible for public reconstruction projects in Serbia. It will use the information gathered to produce in-depth investigative pieces and illustrative multimedia programs.

Promoting Professional Digital Journalism

Slavko Curuvija Foundation

 $41,000

To promote professional reporting by enhancing the skills of promising young journalists and building the capacity of local media. The foundation will oversee a digital journalism school for local journalists that will equip them with knowledge and skills needed to produce quality reporting and analysis. The school will include an e-learning platform, in-person workshops, and ongoing mentorships. In addition, the foundation will further develop its web platform that builds the capacity of local outlets.

Promoting Public Debate ahead of Elections

Press Freedom Foundation

 $40,000

To foster open and constructive dialogue on challenges facing Serbia’s democratic transition, with particular emphasis on its northern province of Vojvodina, around the country’s 2020 parliamentary elections. The media outlet will maintain its web portal, podcasts, and print magazine that serve as a rare nonpartisan and bilingual forums for open discussion and leading sources of independent news on political accountability, elections, interethnic tension, nepotism, migration, minority rights, and other key issues.

Promoting Public Debate on Decentralization

Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina

 $34,000

To foster public dialogue on key challenges facing Serbia’s democratic transition, with particular emphasis on the northern province of Vojvodina. The organization will organize public discussions and maintain its web portal that serves as a rare forum for open discussion and a key source of independent news on topics such as political accountability, elections, decentralization, constitutional reform, minority rights, and other issues important to citizens in Vojvodina and Serbia.

Promoting the Accountability of Elected Officials

National Coalition for Decentralization

 $45,700

To promote electoral reform and the accountability of elected officials. Through a multifaceted campaign, the coalition will raise awareness about the need for changes in the country’s electoral system among citizens and decision-makers, and encourage them to support such reforms more actively. The nonpartisan campaign will include debates with parliamentarians and political party leaders, a series of videos, and a countrywide awareness raising initiative to promote public demand for political accountability ahead of the 2020 parliamentary and local elections.

Raising Awareness of State Corruption and Organized Crime

Crime and Corruption Reporting Network KRIK

 $40,000

To raise awareness about links between government corruption and organized crime. The group will conduct investigations into new cases of alleged corruption as well as monitor and produce follow-up articles on previously investigated or ongoing legal cases. The project will trace the connections between corruption in public institutions and organized criminal activity, and partner with other media and watchdog organizations to promote a culture of accountability.

Supporting Youth Engagement in Eastern Serbia

Zajecar Initiative

 $49,000

To promote youth civic engagement in eastern Serbia. The initiative will assist high school student parliaments in advocating for local youth issues and greater youth civic participation at the local level. It will organize civic education workshops and support student parliaments in the Timok region as they assist local youth in becoming more engaged in their communities and more knowledgeable about democratic values and good governance.

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