Supporting Quality Journalism to Safeguard Democracy
Are journalists still the fourth branch of power, or have they become vicarious agents of the powerful? How should media professionals deal with politics and with politicians when PR is oftentimes perceived to be more important than substance? Is a good story an instrument to transfer a message to the reader, or a goal in itself which brings appreciation and prizes to journalists?
A lot more questions were tackled, and many of them answered, during our first „Regional School of the Quality Journalism – From Story Idea to Content Visualization“ in Crikvenica, Croatia. Fifteen young journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia gathered for four days to learn from the best – Istinomer, CINS (Center for investigative Journalism in Serbia), and Oštro – not only how to draft and visualize their stories, but also why it is necessary to become a herald of good journalism.
“Quality journalism is simply necessary for a functioning democracy”, says Milica Šarić, director and editor-in-chief of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CINS) in Belgrade. “We are witnessing today what we have seen several times in history: that if nobody asks the right questions, the poison of lies, misinformation, and dangerous propaganda spreads like wildfire, and that those accountable are left to rule for their own interests instead of protecting the lives of millions.”
It is up to courageous organizations like Istinomer and CINS in Serbia, or Oštro in Croatia, to defend the society’s right to unbiased information in order to take informed decisions. FNF Western Balkans is proud to support these agents of change to bring progress to a region that deeply needs serious democratic reforms.