Building peace in the minds of men and women

Legal Leaks: Enhancing media accountability in South East Europe

UNESCO is starting the second year of implementation of the EU-funded project “Media Accountability in South East Europe”, which aims at strengthening ethical and professional standards in journalism in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, as well as in Kosovo (administered by the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244).

In the framework of this project, UNESCO will continue efforts to support the reinforcement of media accountability mechanisms in the region, in particular codes of ethics, press councils and news ombudsmen. Improving skills of newly created press councils and news ombudsmen, adapting the self-regulation mechanisms to the digital era and raising awareness about them will be at the heart of the project’s activities in 2014.

In addition, journalists in the region will be trained to exercise their right to access information in their country and thus improve their investigative skills while respecting ethical and professional standards. Legal Leaks trainings, organized by Access Info Europe and the South East European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM), will empower journalists to use their national freedom of information laws as a regular part of their work and to protect the security of their data and confidential sources of information. At the same time, journalists will be trained on ethical dilemmas regarding access to information.

All participants will receive a national version of the Legal Leaks Toolkit, which provides guidance on how to file freedom of information requests and how to appeal refusals.

Legal Leaks training for journalists in South East Europe will be held in June 2014:

  • Pristina: 2 and 3 June 2014
  • Tirana: 4 and 5 June 2014
  • Sarajevo: 10 and 11 June 2014
  • Podgorica: 12 and 13 June 2014
  • Belgrade: 16 and 17 June 2014

A regional conference is also foreseen to take place in Skopje on 16 and 17 October 2014.