Mat Wright

Our partner, Thomson Foundation, provide expert mentoring, training and support to media outlets across the Western Balkans. Based on their experience, working with over 130 media professionals and nearly 60 outlets across the region, through the Media for All project, they have developed the Journalift website. It is a free online resource hub, designed for journalists, media professionals, media owners and media experts to support business development, growth and sustainability of their media outlets. 

The website offers e-learning courses and seminars covering media business operations and development, editorial tools and techniques, case studies, online digital tools and hands-on knowledge and experience sharing, covering both successes and failures. Journalift is available in Albanian, Bosnian, Serbian, Montenegrin Macedonian and English. 

News from our outlets

Thomson Foundation is working with 55 outlets across the region. They regularly showcase the different approaches the media outlets are taking to grow their audiences and develop new products and services. New websites, podcasts, videos, documentaries, job boards and live streaming, are just some of the different activities that the British Council is delivering in partnership with Thomson Foundation, BIRN and INTRAC on the Media for All programme funded by the UK Government.

 You can find out more on the Journalift platform but you can also read some of the local success stories from the Media for All project here as well. 


Training the next generation of journalists, ‘At the Square’

Citizens Channel from Tirana has introduced its own e-learning platform called Sheshit (“At the square” in the  Albanian language) which is aimed at young journalists, students, activists and citizens interested in reporting on what is happening in their local communities.  The long term plan is for the outlet to create a ‘Citizens Reporter Kit’ to empower activists and young journalists to produce high quality visual material.

“Sheshit aims to bring together the communities around Citizens Channel. By providing them with the knowledge, tools, and equipment to effectively advance their activism on issues related to democracy, environment, rule of law, and human rights,” said Lorin Kadiu, Executive Director of Citizens Channel.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Podcasts about Tuzla connect the diaspora

About 100,000 people originally from Tuzla now live outside the region, mainly in other European countries. Tuzla-based, RTV Slon, started producing podcasts, focusing on local rarities that are unique to Tuzla – people, events, objects –to bring the town closer to the diaspora and vice versa. 

So far, more than 10 episodes have been aired online and initial reactions from the public very positive.  The podcasts have been published on the RTV Slon YouTube channel and the aim is to attract more viewers from the diaspora. 

 First regional podcast focused on Roma issues

Portal Udar, known for promoting and advocating for rights of Roma people, has started to produce a series of podcasts. In the first edition, guests were: Selma Selman, a visual artist, Medina Spahić, youth activists, Hedina Tahirović-Sijerčić, a journalist, writer, and activist, Draško Ignjatić, journalist, and Kristina Ljevak, human rights activist.

Udar aims to present itself, along with being an information media outlet as an information hub, which will be a place where the Roma diaspora, non-governmental and international organizations and state institutions will be able to receive and exchange information and ideas on improving the position of the Roma population.  The focus will also be on human rights. An example of how the portal is making significant social impact in the community is their successful effort to make popular music band ‘Dubioza kolektiv’ change the lyrics of their song due to insulting connotations

Portal Udar started in 2017, and publishes in Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian, while some of the key outputs are also translated in Romani language.


Documentary series promotes tourism to Ferizaj

Ferizaj-based TV Tema produced the first episode of their documentary series 'Discovering Dardania' exploring the creation of five new murals by local and international artists for ‘Mural Fest’. Now in its sixth year, the theme was ”Home” portraying the exodus of the civilian population from Kosovo in 1999. 

The “first episode covers the work of the international artists: Slim Safont, Zabou, Pablo Astrain, Guido Palmadessa, Vicente Macellari, and Mateu Targa, and it highlights their vision of “Home” and their impressions of the visit to Kosovo", said Visar Hoti, director of TV Tema. 

The TV station intends to use high quality production to contribute to tourism promotion and therefore the overall economic development of the community where they operate. This is a significant role for a media outlet to promote their local community and foster its development. 

Website created for Romani language outlet

For the first time since they were established in 2010, Romtegra, a Romani language outlet from Pristina, now have their own website. They used to share their news and information through social media channels. 

Romtegra is a non-government organisation which focuses exclusively on the improvement of Romani language and the needs of the Romani community in Kosovo.  With the new website, not only will they be able to share information about news, events and products more easily, Romtegra will also be better able to connect with their audiences. With another grant from the Media for All project, the outlet will be able to interact more with citizens by using the Engaged Citizens Reporting tool. 


New website for Radio Titograd

Radio Titograd celebrated its fifth birthday in July by launching its new website. Broadcast on 101, Mhz, it covers the towns of Podgorica, Danilovgrad, Spuž, and Cetinje. 

As well as broadcasting on the radio, the programmes are also streamed online so people across the world can listen to it. Radio Titograd has listeners in 34 countries but with the new website it is now fully accessible for people with visual impairments. The outlet expects the numbers of daily visitors to rise and is now working with TV Titograd to produce stories and videos together.

TV station offers live streaming service

Local tv station, RTV Nikšić has started live streaming events – from municipal assembly sessions to sports and cultural events – on their web portal, Facebook pages and YouTube channel. Viewers have reacted positively to this pioneering new service which makes events easily accessible. 

As well as increasing the outlet’s audience online through its web portal, RTV Nikšić has been approached by new and existing clients asking them to cover their events. 

North Macedonia

Mobile friendly website increases readership by one third

We created a new website for news portal Duma from Veles. They have already seen an increase in their daily readership by 30% but their readers are also spending a third more (35%) more of their time on the site. With a mobile friendly website that is easier to use, the outlet is also reaching more readers on social media.

Duma now has a live streaming service so they can cover public events like municipal sessions, arts, business and sports events. They can also offer this service to their clients and it is already proving to be very popular. 

Electronic payments make business easier for media outlets 

Several media outlets in North Macedonia will be able to offer and charge for their content, goods and services electronically through e payments. 

Aleksandar Birovljev, a project mentor and leading expert in e commerce and e payments in the region, worked with the national banks and WSPay to create the system. Four media outlets will implement this e payment system, Radio Kanal 77, OhridNews from Ohrid, Nezavisen vesnik from Skopje and TV Kiss i Menada from Tetovo. 


Illustrated articles help outlet flourish

As part of the Media for All programme, media outlets are offered specialist training on new tools and ways of reporting online. Data visualization allows outlets to tell stories that are driven by the facts and improve their credibility and trustworthiness. Data visualization can also be effective for both breaking news and feature stories. By going deeper into a topic and offering a new perspective, it helps you to see something familiar in a completely new way.

After intensive training on data visualisation, journalists from Lozničke novosti started publishing articles in a more interactive and engaging way. They recently published their first fully illustrated article with interactive graphics using the Flourish tool.   

Data visualisation training, which was held in June this year, has been attended by more than 50 participants from 19 outlets from WB countries.