FACT SHEET: Media Engagement Activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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USAID’s Media Engagement Activity provides tools, training, and small grants to help a selected group of media outlets strengthen the overall information space in BiH.

Through this project, USAID works to improve the quality of media content, increase the availability of credible, professional reporting to the public, improve media business and editorial practices, strengthen media security and resilience to cyberattacks, and expand cooperation among media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A polarized political climate marked by hate speech and nationalist rhetoric has created a hostile environment for press freedom in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Editorial policies reflect the ethnic divisions and prioritize sensationalism over factual reporting. Legal persecution of journalists is persistent. Politicians and other corrupt actors use defamation lawsuits to intimidate journalists and deter them from pursuing the truth. Faced with constant political interference in editorial policies and impunity for attacking journalists, the media sector struggles to thrive. As a consequence, the public suffers from a lack of quality, diverse media content.

USAID ASSISTANCE

Launched in November 2021, USAID's Media Engagement Activity provides tools, training, and small grants to help a selected group of media outlets strengthen the overall information space in BiH. With this USAID assistance, they are working to increase the availability of credible, fact-based, professional reporting to the BiH public, particularly to audiences who have traditionally had limited access to such information. 

USAID’s implementing partner for this five-year, $10 million project is FHI 360, in partnership with Internews Network and the Association of BiH Journalists.

IMPLEMENTATION AND EXPECTED RESULTS

USAID’s Media Engagement Activity is implemented through three complementary objectives:

Objective 1: Enhance the operational capabilities of media outlets in business management and strategy, resource mobilization, cybersecurity, and legal protection

Activities implemented under this objective will:

  • Increase the quality, quantity, and appeal of content produced by selected media partners throughout BiH
  • Increase their use of innovative and multimedia formats and tools in producing and disseminating  media content
  • Expand and diversify their audiences

Objective 2: Improve the quality and reach of an expanded and diverse set of media partners/outlets, particularly in the digital space

Activities implemented under this objective will:

  • Improve strategic planning and business practices of selected media partners
  • Improve their use of audience analysis and market trends
  • Increase their access to and generation of resources for improving content, staffing, and/or infrastructure
  • Increase their resilience to cyber attacks
  • Create mechanisms for legal protection of journalists

Objective 3: Expand collaboration and networking among media outlets

Activities implemented under this objective will:

  • Improve the selected media outlets’ joint development and exchange of content
  • Improve the sharing of lessons learned and best practices
  • Expand networking and exchange visits of journalists between organizations/regions of BiH 

 

 

Last updated: May 24, 2022

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