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The Media for All programme is supporting independent media outlets across the Western Balkans to develop their business models to become more financially resilient and create a diverse range of content to engage better with their local citizens.

Mentors and trainers from our partner, the Thomson Foundation have been working intensively with 55 media outlets over the past six months to help them realise their business ideas. 

The outlets are halfway through the project and are already reporting increased audience engagement and positive reactions to the new videos, podcast and services they are providing. Here we highlight the different activities, products and services being created by our grantees across the region. 

With job sites, improved websites, and shows being broadcast nationally, our Media for All grantees are reporting increased audience engagement and greater awareness of the stories they are covering both in their own local area and nationally. 

The Media for All programme is funded by the UK Government and delivered by the British Council with its partners, BIRN, Thomson Foundation and INTRAC.



Celebrating Albania’s culture through podcasts and videos

The online media outlet, Amfora.al, is producing a series of short videos called ‘Culture in One minute’ about the ancient history and cultural heritage of the Durres region. As part of their Media for All grant, they plan to produce twenty episodes. 

The first three episodes have been so popular that the team at Amfora.al has been invited to talk about the project on several national television shows. 

As well as videos, the team are producing podcasts, the “Voice of Culture”, where experts talk about different cultural topics and are designed to encourage discussion amongst the public.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

New website for Radio Osvit significantly increases audience size

More people access news through social media or through a mobile device so it is important that media outlets have a modern and accessible website. As part of the Media for All programme, fifteen media outlets have been able to update or replace their existing websites to create new, modern and easy to navigate sites.

The team at Radio Osvit have already seen an increase in their audience with the number of visits and followers constantly growing since they launched their new website. They do see this as the first step in reaching their ultimate goal, which is to generate income from the content they produce. 


RTV Puls – Elo Nas Kod Vas

Local station RTV Puls have produced five television shows from five Kosovo municipalities through the Media for All programme. You can watch the show "Eto nas kod vas" here, which explores the history, culture and heritage of the different regions. However, what makes the programmes different is that this small station broadcast them live using their own reporting vehicle. 

The remote program making by RTV Puls was made possible through the support of Media for All program. RTV Puls media van was equipped with necessary recording equipment and antennas that enabled recording and broadcasting of the program from the field. In this way, this local media outlet got literally closer to communities whose stories were covered by the Tv program Eto Nas Kod Vas. The same communities are at the same time the target audience of this media outlet.  

Eto Nas Kod Vas or Closer to You program reports on different local communities, their history and current developments. It also covers stories about local businesses, like agriculture, local tourism, trade and through which contributes to local economic development and promotion of the same communities beyond their immediate region.

Through these programs, RTV Puls is also raising awareness on local community issues, on local government functioning and the challenges that communities face on daily bases. By speaking with municipal authorities and making them part of these programs, RTV Puls is raising the awareness of municipal authorities as well on challenges that their citizens face.

You can read the full story of how this small, family-owned station grew its business from reporting on local stories to now covering large scale events across the region using specially adapted reporting vehicles. Discover how Nenad Milenković, a young owner and director of RTV Puls, who took over the job from his recently deceased father, developed this innovative approach in this article in Journalift


Boka News: Local solutions for local problems builds trust and grows audience

Boka News from Tivat,has been one of the most active and successful media outlets using the Engaged Citizens Reporting tool, an online platform that connects citizens and the outlet to share ideas, information and data about local issues.  

Guided and mentored by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), and using the ECR tool, Boka News managed to produce eight engaging articles with solutions for local problems stemming directly from their local audience. When researching a topic, Boka news would issue a questionnaire or ask their audience to respond. On average, 200 citizens took part each time and provided their insights and useful information. 

The topics covered were relevant to the local community such as the devastation of architectural and cultural heritage, environmental protection, legal problems over the ownership of coastal property (beaches and piers),and creating a strategy for cruising tourism development and the land restitution of Tivat Airport.

As result of this activity, the number of web users increased from 66,049 in November 2020 to 95,058 users in August 2021. The trend of growth was evident on social media as well gaining more than 2,500 new followers on Facebook. 

North Macedonia

KumanovoNews: From local to regional outlet

KumanovoNews is a small online news portal that is becoming a regional outlet with the support from the Media for All programme. They now use multi media journalism techniques, using text, images, sound, video clips and graphics to tell stories in an engaging way. The stories are now also shared on social media as well as their website. They have increased daily readership by 25 % compared to the period before intervention. 

Since March 2021 they have been working with mentors from the Thomson Foundation, an independent charitable organisation that trains journalists around the world, to develop their business ideas. Kumanovo News now has a new website and equipment, has hired new staff and has a network of correspondents across the region. The mentors also helped them develop a content and marketing strategy to expand their coverage and reach new audiences. 

The outlet is now producing multimedia content on significant topics and events from the North East region of North Macedonia. Since March 2021, KumanovoNews has produced around 1,000 short news, 1,060 photos, six multimedia video stories, and illustrated six stories with infographics and graphics. Some of these stories were also republished in national media outlets. 


Three media outlets sharing newest job opportunities on their sites

As well as catching up on the latest news, audiences of three online outlets in the Western Balkans can also search for new job opportunities. 

Two online portals from Serbia, Ozon press from Čačak and Pressek from Kragujevac, and Nezavisen Vesnik from the North Macedonian capital, Skopje, are introducing separate websites dedicated to the job market. As well as providing a service for their readers, the outlets can gain income from employers advertising their vacancies. The team at Pressek have already seen around 20,000 visits from job seekers each month. 

The job sites are still at the pilot stage but the initial results are encouraging an the outlets will continue to work with their business mentor to develop them further and to promote this service to their readers and potential advertisers. 

Családi Kör: Bigger circulation through discount coupons

Hungarian language weekly Családi Kör has introduced money saving coupons in a supplement that is issued every three months. The aim is to increase paid circulation and attract new advertisers to increase their income but also to further develop contact with their audiences.

 Journalift reports that since the first supplement was published in August, sales increased by 14% and circulation overall was 4% higher. The outlet has also received positive feedback from stores offering the discounts.