The initiative for setting up Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation (SĆF) was started by Jelena and Rade Ćuruvija, daughter and son of Slavko Ćuruvija. Together with friends from the Serbian non-government sector and support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund from New York in November 2013, Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation began its mission aimed at raising the quality of journalism in Serbia, offering support for local media, and investigative journalism, as well as providing training for students of journalism.
SĆF tends to support and develop free, independent, and responsible media in a situation where media in Serbia are facing systematic challenges.
Instead of holding responsible the politicians and the government, media in Serbia are mostly directed by the centres of power, gathered around oligarchs and/or politicians.
By doing so, the media in Serbia left citizens without help and support, that is, they gave up on their role as a democracy watchdog.
Efforts to establish independent media in Serbia, that would hold accountable powers, were sporadic, unsystematic and inconsistent, with few bright exceptions.
Media in Serbia, either frightened by those funding them or due to the low level of professionalism and journalistic integrity, failed to unite themselves and are easy to fall under political influence. They became passive and prone to corruption.
In a situation such as this, SĆF considers as its primary task support for this small number of dedicated and independent media working to improve themselves and trying to act in the public interest, and not in the interest of the centers of power.
On a political and media scene dominated by the tabloid approach and sensationalism, together with political pressure on journalists, still acute economic instability, and continued threats to journalists, we want to support any effort towards creating independent media.
Our aim is to encourage journalists and media to support their work in local communities through grants, programs, and projects, and by doing so to strengthen them in the role of a democracy watchdog, on all levels of power from local to national.
What we also see as missing in the Serbian media scene is the support for citizens to get involved in the process of decision-making, to get out of their passive roles and take responsibility and get involved in the process of decision-making through the institutions of system designed for that.
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