Three project partners - the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe (CDRSEE) in Thessaloniki, the Beta Media Center in Belgrade and KosovaLive agency in Pristina have jointly established an internet based, interactive news resource called, The Albanian-Serb Information Forum. The Forum is locally owned and uses three languages: Albanian, English and Serbian. The actions of the project consist of creating an Internet Forum, providing a news service in three languages, conducting opinion polls, and convening two conferences for journalists. Re-establishing direct information exchange channels between Albanians and Serbs is crucial in the year 2005 and www.kosovakosovo.com will do just that.
The overarching and long-term objective of this project is to broaden and strengthen the common ground between Serb and Albanian media and journalists as well as the respective societies at large. The idea is to help enhance a robust peace process between the two communities which will in one other shape or form inevitably take place in the immediate future. A public support for it could be enhanced through the power of the media.
The specific project objectives are:
- To facilitate and improve dialogue between Albanian and Serb journalists and media and their readers;
- To combat stereotypes that Serbs and Albanians have of each other by providing informed and reliable news;
The above objectives would be achieved through the following time-bound project aims:
- To re-establish direct information channels between Albanians and Serbs;
- To improve the quality and accuracy of the news in the Albanian and Serb communities in the region and in the diaspora;
- To increase the availability to the public of good quality news on the other community;
- To increase the communication and contacts between Albanian and Serb journalists;
- To de-polarise the extreme views that Serbs and Albanians have of each other through conducting and publishing an opinion poll.
CDRSEE: The Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe (CDRSEE) was founded in The Netherlands in 1998 by private citizens from the SEE region, and from Western Europe and the United States . The aim of the CDRSEE is to foster democratic, pluralist, and peaceful societies in Southeast Europe by advocating principles of social responsibility, sustainable development, and reconciliation among the peoples in the region . The CDRSEE currently has six full time staff members, and five interns. The CDRSEE activities raise awareness via publications, workshops, textbook analysis, academic conferences, opinion polls, training sessions, and cultural and artistic programmes. The CDRSEE is currently running four major projects: the Joint History Project, Disclosing Hidden History: Lustration in the Western Balkans, Our Town Our Future, the Serb Albanian Information Exchange Forum, as well as several smaller initiatives.
KosovaLive news agency: Since the end of 2000, when it was launched, KosovaLive has been the main local provider of daily news from Prishtina and Kosova with a focus on grass roots issues of everyday life in English and Albanian. It was established as an unaffiliated nonprofit NGO and supported by contributions from a consortium of donors . The staff consists of 10 journalists and 4 translators, while KosovaLive also employs 15/20 stringers/correspondent throughout Kosovo and in Albania , Macedonia and Montenegro . Starting 2001, KosovaLive provides a subscription paid service to media and organizations. The first category includes print and broadcasters, among them most relevant local radio stations in towns throughout Kosova, for most of which KosovaLive is the main source of information. The other category includes local and international governmental and non-governmental institutions/organizations.
Beta Media Center : Beta Media Center is the not-for-profit arm of BETA news agency, established in 2004. The Center's Council brings together a number of prominent public figures intent on strengthening the freedom and responsibility of the media in Southeastern Europe . The Beta Media Center has taken over the agency's non-commercial activities, which aim at raising public awareness of current affairs and, particularly, of contentious political, economic and social issues. The Beta news agency began operating in 1994 and has meanwhile grown into one of the leading news agencies of the Western Balkans. The agency has over 600 customers at home and abroad, and a staff consisting of 250 journalists, translators, technicians and office personnel. Beta also has a well developed network of correspondents in Southeastern Europe and elsewhere in the world. For more information on Beta visit www.beta.co.yu
Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe
Phone: + 30 2310 960-820/1
Fax: + 30 2310 960-822
9 Krispou St.
Media House Annex, Top Floor
phone : +381 38 248 276, 248 277
Fax: +381 (038) 248 319
Medijski Centar BETA
Srpskih Vladara 4
Serbia and Montenegro
Phone + 381 11 3602 400
Fax + 381 11 687 869