BUCHAREST, Nov 5, 2015
The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is pleased to announce today’s opening of the IX South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF), bringing together regional media CEOs, editors-in-chief, leading journalists, business professionals and governmental and NGO representatives to discuss the topic “Media in South East Europe – the Struggle for Success on the Web”.

The forum runs from Nov. 5 to 6 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Bucharest, Romania. SEEMO is an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI) and works in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), the Central European Initiative (CEI), the South East and Central Europe PR Organisation (SECEPRO), the International Academy (IA) and the International Academy – International Media Center (IA-IMC).

Welcome speeches to open the forum will be delivered by Margot Klestil-Löffler, alternate CEI Secretary General; Sven-Joachim Irmer, head of the KAS Offices in Romania and Moldova; Christian Spahr, head of the Media Program South East Europe at KAS; Marina Constantinoiu, president of SEEMO Romania; and Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General.

A welcome address by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will be presented by presidential counsellor Laurentiu Stefan, while a welcome of the Romanian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, will be presented by Alexandru Ene, CEI coordinator in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“We are meeting in Romania in a period when many political things are happening in this country,” SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic noted. “It is important that the media, especially in days like these, respect professional standards. Such standards will be one of the topics discussed during SEEMF, especially in the introduction panel during which leading Romanian media representatives will speak about the media situation in the country.”

Ambassador Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri, CEI secretary general, commented in relation to this year’s SEEMF: “The European perspective of its Member States is the core mission of the CEI. That’s why we are committed to supporting the non-EU CEI countries in order to come closer to EU standards in terms of media legislation, digitalisation, public broadcasting, free movement of journalists and quality journalism. The SEEMF offers an exceptional platform to tackle these key issues!”

Christian Spahr, head of the Media Program South East Europe at KAS, added: “The South East Europe Media Forum fosters the topical professional exchange between journalists, media, experts and politicians on an international level. It is a great encouragement for the development of an independent media landscape. For this reason, the KAS Media Programme South East Europe is pleased to be a co-organiser of this biggest annual meeting of media professionals in the region.”

Joining the opening panel on the situation of press and media freedom in Romania will be Adrian Ursu, editorial director at Intact Media Group; Dan Tapalaga, editor and coordinator at Hotnews; Denise Rifai, presenter at Realitatea TV; Mihai Radulescu, presenter at TVR Romanian Television; Ion M. Ionita, senior editor at daily Adevarul; and Ioana Avadani, executive manager at the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ).

During the event, Freedom House Romania and KAS will present the award “The Young Journalist of the Year 2015” (TJA) as well as the annual CEI-SEEMO investigative journalism award. The forum will also include the following discussions:

-“News content – competition on the Web. Who can cash in on it, and what kind of regulation is necessary?”

-“Future of the media business – the vision of CEOs and directors. Which directions are media landscapes taking in Southern and Eastern Europe?”

-“Journalists and their audience – a new relationship. Is a true dialogue through the Internet possible, and how can it be successful?”

-“Innovative business models in times of change and crisis. How can traditional media survive and start-ups become prosperous?”

The annual Commission on Media Policy will follow SEEMF on Nov. 7. The event is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom in Leipzig, the Media Foundation of the Leipzig Sparkasse and the European Commission. During the event, the annual Dr. Erhard Busek SEEMO Award for Better Understanding will be presented to Radomir Licina, co-founder of the Serbian dailyDanas, and the International Academy. The latter, a sister organisation of SEEMO, will be holding a press conference about persons with disabilities and the media on Dec. 4 and 5 in Belgrade.