22.06.2009 -

UNESCO supports public service broadcasters from South-East Europe

Professionals from public service broadcasters in South-East European countries received two-day training on investigative reporting, which took place in Split, Croatia, on 4 and 5 June 2009. The training, supported by UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), was organized in collaboration with the Eurovision News Exchange for South-East Europe (ERNO).

The workshop gathered some 16 participants, documentary programme producers and editors to discuss the possible ways of cooperation in the exchange of programmes and the best practices of the investigative journalism. The participants came from news and documentary departments of public broadcasters in Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo (as understood under UN Security Council Resolution 1244), Macedonia, Hungary and Albania.

The main aim of the gathering was to develop investigative reporting initiatives amongst the participants and to fill an important need for enhancing co-produced investigative stories on essential topics, such as minority rights and return of refugees. This kind of stories need to be shed on with a regional light perspective.

On the first day of the meeting participants presented the documentary production structure, organization and staff involved in this process at their respective television stations. Nordvision network experience in documentary programme cooperation among Nordic public service broadcasters opened up communication in the discussion groups, and the benefits of such cooperation were recognized by all attendees.

Principles of investigative journalism in documentary production were illustrated by concrete examples and screening sessions. This gave the participants an insight to the work of their colleagues from the neighbouring countries, as well as the space to share their ideas and experiences, and the possibility of an interesting brainstorming.

The attendees discussed next steps to be taken for the future cooperation and determined the appropriate strategy for the upcoming six months. They reached the final agreement on the establishment of a new network, as an extension of ERNO news exchange activities, to organize joint co-productions and to re-establish personal contacts between journalists and other media professionals in South-East European region.

The good spirit and will for cooperation continue in post-conference networking and will certainly lead to joint future initiatives. According to one of the participants, the exchange of ideas and plans for future cooperation are the most valuable aspects of the meeting.

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