OpisMEDIJavanje: Minority media in Kosovo are important but financially vulnerable

Local media hold particular importance for the communities in which they work. For these media outlets, local topics are more important than national ones, the editor of Radio Gorazdevac, Darko Dimitrijevic told KoSSev.

In the latest episode of an educational media literacy project “OpisMEDIJavanje”, the editor of Radio Gorazdevac, Darko Dimitrijevic spoke about work challenges and the role of local media in non-majority communities in Kosovo.

„Due to the current situation – the fight against COVID 19 – large media outlets have little space to deal with local stories. Actually, this is one of the great advantages of local media. In this way, we also contribute to this fight through truthful, timely and accurate reporting on all local activities, which are much more interesting to citizens than what is generally happening,“ he said.

According to Dimitrijevic, media outlets reporting from multi-ethnic areas should include stories and reports on events related to interethnic cooperation and present examples of „good practice“ in their news programs.

„Unfortunately, in some places, they aren’t any (cf. interethnic cooperation events and examples). However, in places where there are, they are certainly much more appealing to the local media than the sensational news that media at a national level report about.“

Despite the importance and power to turn „small“ stories into big ones, local media in Kosovo reporting in the languages of minority communities face a lack of financial resources, which is why they are constantly battling for survival, Dimitrijevic warned.

Simply, the media are at the mercy of institutions or certain organizations that often open competitions, which are often not transparent

He also stressed that, in addition to financial difficulties which are a key issue, these media outlets face a systemic disregard of language rights, as in the Serbian language, despite being one of the official languages in Kosovo, is not treated as such.

„In many Kosovo institutions, the right to use official languages, one of which is Serbian, is still not respected. This represents a problem, especially when some institutions send press releases that have not been translated. And the media outlets, which have restricted budgets, are not able to pay and hire a translator who would bear some sort of responsibility for what was translated. Therefore, small media outlets cannot shoulder this major responsibility,” he concluded.

The KoSSev portal, in cooperation with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, launched a media literacy campaign. See what other journalists have had to say in the previous episodes of “OpisMEDIJavanje”:

OpisMEDIJavanje: Even-steven, only in the interest of truth

OpisMEDIJavanje – A guide to the news you release into your world!

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