Fostering improved media standards

The overall aim of this project is to boost civic engagement and increase government transparency. Donor: National Endowment for Democracy

Overall Objective:  

The overarching goals of this project are to improve media standards and combat disinformation in Southeast Europe.


Southeast European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM)


  1. To build the skills of journalists and media professionals in Southeast Europe to counter disinformation; and
  2. to raise awareness about the quality of media reporting in the region.


  • Provide approximately 40 young journalists and journalism students with needed skills and tools to understand and counter disinformation, which they will use to produce 74 articles exposing and challenging distorted media content.
  • To raise awareness about the quality of media reporting, the program will engage senior journalists to produce 72 media reviews analyzing and highlighting significant examples of good and bad journalism in six target countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
  • Organize a two-day workshop in each of the target countries, which will refresh the skills of a select group of journalism students and young journalists who had participated in the project’s earlier training. During the second part of the workshop, the trainers will identify, discuss, and assign topics for stories that the trainees will produce within the project.
  • Following trainings, two local trainers will mentor trainees as they refine story ideas. National coordinators based at SEENPM member organizations will oversee this work. TOL expects to receive seven mentored stories per country, all 42 of which will be published on SEENPM member organizations’ websites and in a dedicated section of SEENPM’s media literacy website,
  • TOL will adapt the ten best stories for publication in English in its online magazine,
  • In the second stage of this activity, 20 participants judged most promising by the mentors will pursue additional investigative stories independently. Mentors and the project manager will offer editorial support as needed. SEENPM will publish the 20 stories on its media literacy website, while TOL will republish the ten best in English.
  • Furthermore, the mentors will select the most outstanding participants to form teams of two or more journalists from different countries to work on six topics of cross-border significance, such as the refugee crisis, the worsening bilateral relations in the region, trade issues, or tensions stemming from the legacy of the recent conflicts.
  • Finally, the project will aim to revive media criticism as a genre, thereby generating critical thinking about news and journalism among the general public and helping to raise journalism standards across the region. Starting in the project’s fifth month, TOL will engage senior independent journalists and media analysts to write media reviews twice a month. The pieces will highlight and analyze examples of good and bad journalism while paying close attention to both the technical and ethical aspects of reporting and editorializing. SEENPM and its member organizations will publish 72 pieces, 12 per country, and will make efforts to secure their republication in other outlets. TOL will adapt the nine best examples for publication in English.

For more information about TOL’s other current projects, please click here.