Our project starts with pilot actions in Poland (2019) and will be continued in Bulgaria and Slovakia (2020). Each time, we begin with a piece of research in order to develop an empirically-led needs assessment – conducting study visits, meetings and interviews with media stakeholders. We engage with representatives from traditional media outlets – print, TV, radio - but also on-line and start-up owners. We are also interested in the academic perspective, as well as in NGOs dedicated to media development and media freedom. We aim to reach to the widest possible group: mainstream and niche, national and local, traditional and new media. We will hear out the voices of the opinion leaders and of those who work far from the front line, voices coming from different, sometimes very polarised, sides of the public discourse. This will allow us to understand the full spectrum and complexity of the media situation in each country and identify core issues regarding professional ethics.
Following the research phase of the project, a conference will take place in each of the countries where key conclusions from the research will be presented in order to initiate a debate on shared experiences, in particular with regards to trust and accountability. During the event, we create a space for dialogue and joint reflection on the most challenging phenomena that might arise from our findings or indeed from the discussion itself. We believe it might be a rare opportunity for cooperation and solidarity within very diverse media community.
In the final step of our project, we will respond to gathered needs and aim to deliver a series of workshops tailored to providing the journalistic communities in each country with professional tools and support. The workshops are delivered by experts from the Ethical Journalism Network who will share their experience and good practices. Depending on the given country’s media situation, the workshops may be dedicated to capacity-building in a number of areas including reporting the elections, self-governance, investigative journalism and data journalism and gender-sensitive reporting.
Through this approach we aim to raise awareness of the importance of ethical professional journalism in building trust in the media and facilitate the crucial role they can play in fostering democracies.
If you are a journalist, media stakeholder, expert or activist interested in participation in the project and/or cooperation – please contact us.
(In the future we are considering developing our ethical media programme in other countries of the Visegrad Group and the Balkans.)