SEE Youth Newsroom in Action: more than 50 articles published in 2021
In March 2021, UNESCO supported the establishment of a Youth Newsroom for South East Europe and Turkey to boost the reporting and cooperation of young journalists of the region on issues related to freedom of expression and the curbing of disinformation.
Established by UNESCO’s partner, the Centre for Development of Youth Activism (CROA), the newsroom gathers a dynamic network of around 40 young journalists from the whole region, aged between 17 and 30, who have received training, mentorship and hands-on journalistic experience. To date, the newsroom has produced more than 50 articles in all local languages of the region and covered at least 15 international and global events, notably the Global Media Information Literacy (MIL) Week and World Press Freedom Day.
“Working with young journalists across the region with different perspectives and a strong commitment to the newsroom makes me proud of our project with UNESCO,” said Alma Fejzic, one of the coordinators of the newsroom from CROA.
The journalists have been mentored by Asim Beslija, a journalist from Sarajevo, who mentors the group and edits most articles published on their platform. “I believe that the SEE Youth Newsroom platform provides an important space for critical thinking and an opportunity to self-develop to this group of young journalists, as well as a closer understanding of the media scene and the responsibility of public work,” Asim Beslija noted. “They grew a lot, and I believe that they managed to understand that with freedom also comes responsibility, especially in terms of distribution of information.”
“For me, the main motivation to be a part of the SEE Youth Newsroom is the opportunity to network with my peers from the region. Getting a chance to meet some of them in person in Sarajevo and work with them in covering the UNESCO MIL regional conference last October was an unforgettable experience,” said Zikica Stevanovic, a young journalist from Serbia.
For others, the SEE Youth Newsroom is a tool for gaining professional experience. “Thanks to this project, I wrote and published my first news in English, which was truly important to me. I now feel more knowledgeable and resourceful as a young journalist,” said Melike Pala, a young journalist from Turkey. For Elma Tahmaz, a young journalist from BiH, the SEE Youth Newsroom is a means of deepening some of her media and information literacy skills.