Mission

The Slavko Curuvija Foundation works to promote and support the development of free, independent, and accountable media and the advancement of investigative journalism in Serbia.

Context

Serbia’s process of transition to democratic and modern society after the social changes in the year 2000 was marked by slow but continuous work on the social and economic reforms. Media in Serbia are struggling with political and economic pressures, shrinking revenues caused by the lasting economic crisis, and poor financial conditions. Many of them have non-transparent ownership and funding structures, and are used as tools for political battles. Instead of holding the government and politicians to account, the media became overwhelmingly driven by tycoons and politicians’ voices or by pressures to create profits in the completely new media environment, thus leaving citizens without important vehicle for democracy oversight. In political and media climate dominated by tabloid approach and sensationalism, with political and economic pressure on media outlets and threats to journalists, these efforts require strong support and recognition that will allow for further development of independent journalism in Serbia. The free development of independent, professional media and the media system is to ensure the widest satisfaction of the needs of Serbia’s citizens for information and content from all walks of life without discrimination: politics, economy, culture, art, education, environmental protection, sports and entertainment.

Areas of work

CSF has tree areas of work: Local Media Development, Supporting Investigative Journalism and Education Programs and Scholarship.

1. Local Media Development – Goal of this area of work of SCF is to increase the ability of local media to be independent and sustainable and to produce quality local content. This will be achieved through:

1) Grant-making – Grant giving for projects that should help them cover stories they would not be able otherwise, or to fund part of organizational costs;

2) Community media pilot projects – Unlike most other donors present in Serbia, SCF intends to offer support to still unregistered media outlets. They could include, but are not limited to, web portals, online and FM radio stations, blogs, print media, etc.

3) Education/learning and leadership and management training – SCF will help newsrooms in managing their resources better and in finding new ways of achieving sustainability in challenge financial and media market circumstances. SCF will also help in organizing, or funding education of journalistic and editorial staff in issues most relevant to them;

4) Providing technical support – SCF developed program aimed at helping media outlets buy necessary equipment, pay services, or train/hire people who would create or administer web site or social networks presence;

2. Supporting Investigative Journalism – Goal of this program area is to improve the quantity and quality of investigative journalism in Serbia. This goal will be achieved through:

1) Grant-making – Grants are intended for helping investigative journalists to organize their research and cover necessary costs in the process (travel, use of archives and databases, to fund various technical services (e.g. TV story production);

2) Awards – Planned as a way of promoting investigative stories already done and the work of journalists who reported them;

3) Raising public awareness about importance of investigative journalism – support for publishing or airing investigative stories, PR activities (in media and elsewhere), and networking with various stakeholders in the country and abroad, organizing promotional events, etc.

3. Education programs and scholarships – Scholarships will help primarily young journalists to get in contact and cooperation with experienced investigative reporters from the country and abroad, and to learn in hands-on manner techniques of quality and investigative journalism.

1) Training – SCF will organize lectures and workshops with distinguished professionals in the field at journalism departments within various Serbian universities, followed by small-group work for best students on investigative stories.

2) Scholarships – The most successful trainees will get the scholarship for internship in a foreign newsroom, followed by an internship within a newsroom in Serbia;