Vienna, 20 November 2016

Crisis reporting and media business issues discussed at the X South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF) in Belgrade, Serbia.

The X South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF) will take place on 21-22 November in Belgrade, Serbia. It is expected for over 400 participants from SEEMO region to join the opening of the X SEEMF, followed by a welcome address by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. Opening Speeches will be by Oliver Vujovic, Secretary General, South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), Radomir Licina, Board member, South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), , Christian Spahr, Head of the Media Program South East Europe, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Sofia, Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes, Head of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Offices in Serbia and Montenegro, Philippe Guex, Ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia and to Montenegro, Andrea Orizio, Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri, Secretary General, Central European Initiative (CEI), Trieste.

The event is organized by the Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), in cooperation with the Media Program South East Europe of the German Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the Central European Initiative (CEI), and in partnership with Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of Serbia, Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), South East and Central Europe PR Organisation and International Institute – International Media Center. The main topics of the two-day forum will be: “Media in Europe: Ready for crisis reporting?” “Media business today – in the context of international crises and conflicts”

Secretary General of the Central European Initiative (CEI) Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri stated: “Our region is facing one of the most severe crisis in its history, i.e. the refugee and migrant crisis, involving also a number of CEI Member States. In this context, the media coverage of migration is a big challenge for journalists and media outlets. This year’s South East Europe Media Forum is addressing this very issue providing a remarkable opportunity to all involved actors. It is in line with its traditional goal to promote professional reporting and quality information as well as to support freedom of the press and media ethics.” Christian Spahr, head of the Media program for South East Europe in the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung foundation said: “Europe is challenged by many crises – economy, migration and global pressure on democracy and open societies.

Good journalism is crucial for citizens in South East Europe to make conscious political choices. The South East Europe Media Forum brings all relevant media stakeholders together to discuss how media can do an impartial and professional job. SEEMF plays an important role to assess the relationship between media and politics.” The X SEEMF will also the occasion to present the CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism. The 2016 winners are Lindita Cela from BIRN Albania in the section for Professional Journalists and Artsiom Harbatsevich from Belarus, who won in the category “Young Journalist”. A special mention went to Iurie Sanduta from Moldova, thanks to his investigative work for RISE Moldova and OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) in Chisinau.

The introduction session will be devoted to the media in Serbia and their relationship to politics, offering the panellists an opportunity to tackle issues such as role of the state, ownership structure, market forces and journalism. After the discussion by media professionals and renewed journalists, the participants will be greeted by Franco Frattini, Former Italian Foreign Minister and EU Vice President Commissioner. The Concluding address will be by Roksanda Nincic, Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Belgrade and Erhard Busek, former Vice-Chancellor of Austria, President of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, Coordinator Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI).