Vienna, 11 October 2012

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), the Central European Initiative (CEI), Trieste, Italy, and Media Program South East Europe of the German Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) announce that the VI South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF) will take place in Budva/Becici, Montenegro, from 22 to 23 October 2012. This year’s forum will analyse multifaceted challenges of journalism in the age of new media. Special panel discussions will be dedicated to social media and blogging, digital games as well as the use of new media to combat corruption.

The conference will be inaugurated by Montenegro’s president Filip Vujanovic. His welcome speech will be followed by an interview.

During the two-day conference, to be attended by more than 150 participants from 20 countries, Slovenian journalists Blaz Zgaga and Matej Surc will be presented with the CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism 2012. The jury also awarded a Special Investigative Diploma to the Albanian journalist Telnis Skuqi, a correspondent for Albania’s Telegraphic News Agency (ATA) in the town of Gjirokastra and a Special Mention was given to CIN Sarajevo for their remarkable contribution to investigative journalism in the region.

The evening discussion on 22 October will focus on media in Montenegro: “The Role of the State, Ownership Structure, Market Forces and Journalism.”

On 23 October, there will be four panel discussions:1) Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, You tube, Apps – Future of Media;2) Bloggers – Journalists or not? ; 3) New Media, Web Portals, Media Market, and 4) Journalists and Citizens: Online partnership against corruption. In addition, Emre Kizilkaya, editor of the Turkish daily Hurriyet, will have a presentation on Digital Games / New Games and Influence on Media.

SEEMF aims to promote exchanges and networking among media executives and leading journalists in South East and Central Europe. Previous SEEMF events took place in Zagreb (2007); Sofia (2008); Tirana (2009); Budapest (2010) and Belgrade (2011).

“I am very happy that this year’s SEEMF is taking place in Montenegro, one of the youngest European states. We chose Montenegro in order to give clear support to the country’s media and press freedom, “said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General.

CEI Secretary General Gerhard Pfanzelter stated: “Freedom of expression and of the media is one of the fundamental elements of our democracies and the European Union. Accurate and reliable information is vital in our societies, especially in the phase undergoing political and economic transformation. This is why the CEI supports activities such as the SEEMF and the Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism, which highly contribute to protecting and enhancing freedom of the media.”

Christian Spahr, head of the Media Program South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, stated: “The Internet is a strong challenge for all journalists and publishers. It continues to change our media landscape rapidly, which brings new opportunities and risks for quality journalism. It is meaningful that the South East Europe Media Forum focuses on the contribution of the Web to a free and pluralistic media landscape. One of the aims of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Media Program is to support independent online journalism.”

In addition to SEEMO, CEI, KAS the partners for the VI SEEMF are: the OSCE Mission to Montenegro; the OSCE Mission to Serbia, the South, East and Central Europe PR Organisation (SECEPRO), the International Media Center, Vijesti daily and Raiffeisen Bank International.

For more details, see: https://seemf.org/

Journalists interested in following SEEMF panel discussions can register at: info@seemo.org