Smiling man and woman looking at computer tablet

Our partner in the Media for All programme, Thomson Foundation, is working with 55 media outlets across the Western Balkans to develop their business ideas into business plans through intensive mentorship, online tools and support. 

Over the past six months the outlets have worked intensively with their mentors, completed e-learning courses and developed new products including podcasts, merchandise, tv documentaries and updated their websites. 

One area of focus for several media outlets has been on creating content that connects with their citizens both at home and abroad:

  • Content is being produced in different languages by several outlets to connect with minority communities
  • Research commissioned by the Thomson Foundation into the Albanian diaspora will help outlets on the Media for All programme to develop content that will interest their audiences who live around the globe but are still interested in news from their home country. 
  • Creating multi-media content and making it available through subscription to reach a wider audience
  • Connecting with local communities to understand their interests and needs and developing different formats including podcasts and videos to reach new audiences. 

The British Council is working in partnership with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Thomson Foundation and INTRAC (The International NGO Training and Research Centre) on the Media for All programme funded by the UK Government.

You can find out more about the activities of our Media for All grantees below or visit Journalift to learn more about our work across the region. 


Research study shows Albanian diaspora keen to support Albanian- based media

Through the Media for All programme, the Thomson Foundation conducted a study into how members of the Albanian diaspora stay connected with their home country through the media.  This data will help the outlets to plan activities and connect with the diaspora. 

The research, conducted by the Science and Innovation for Development Center (SCiDEV) from Tirana, included in-depth interviews with representatives of organisations, associations and media with an online survey of 500 representatives from seven countries - Australia, United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, Greece, and United Kingdom.

The findings show that more than half of the respondents are willing to provide support to local media in Albania that are independent. Many are willing to offer non-financial assistance through knowledge sharing, networking and content production. Membership and subscriptions to news are possible options to develop with some respondents willing to support crowd-funding or offer one-off donations. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina introducing new formats and reaching a wider audience

Sarajevo based is an online platform reporting on various issues related to human rights and equality. The outlet received grants for both business development and the Engaged Citizens reporting tool. Combining the training and learning they have gained from both, they have produced a series of in-depth and well researched stories that have resonated deeply with their audience. 

As part of their business development, they have now established a team of external associates who have expertise in graphic design, video and editing so they can produce multimedia articles. There is now an integrated newsletter on the portal which is released monthly. 

Their ultimate aim is to transform the platform into a form of news agency for civil society in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by providing multimedia content about the activities of civil society organisations that can be used by mainstream media outlets.  


Prizren-based media, RTV Besa, is connecting with two of the minority communities in the city by producing TV shows in the Bosnian and Turkish is also intended that they will translate the Municipal sessions for these two communities in their native languages.

Over the last six months, RTV Besa has produced 36 shows in Bosnian and 38 in the Turkish language. They have hosted distinguished representatives of the Turkish and Bosnian communities and covered topics about politics, culture, art, sports, civil society and business. Additionally, RTV Besa opened Facebook pages in both respective languages, Bosnian and Turkish, which are updated daily. 

In addition to reaching new audiences, RTV Besa is increasing its advertising revenue as several businesses are now advertising their products and services through the outlet. 


TV Teuta significantly increases audiences across their digital platforms  

The Albanian speaking media outlet, RTV Teuta from Ulcinj, is connecting with more people than ever before since they developed their new website and app with the support from the Media for All programme. 

Data from the last six months, since the start of the project, has seen them increase subscribers to their YouTube channel so that they now receive revenue from the videos and the have increased their followers on Facebook by 50%. The reach of TV Teuta page on Instagram increased by an unbelievable 418%.   

Working closely with their mentors from the Media for All programme, TV Teuta now focuses on live streaming and creating content for their website and social media channels. They are also producing documentaries for the diaspora. Their aim is to create a modern, bilingual web portal so that people from Montenegro, whether they are in the country or anywhere else in the world, can connect with the local news and views. 

North Macedonia

TV Kiss i Menada: Targeting diaspora with on-demand shows

Regional outlet TV Kiss i Menada, based in the town of Tetovo, plans to record 24 shows in total, half recorded in Macedonian and half in Albanian and make them available to buy on demand. The outlet along with others in North Macedonia, is working with the Thomson Foundation through the Media for All project to create an e-payment system to allow them to charge for content. 

As part of their business plan, to develop the shows, TV Kiss I Menada have hired a journalist who has Albanian as their mother tongue and an engagement editor who works with the Albanian community so that they are involved in the content of the shows as well as advising on the areas of interest to this group. 


TV Globi: Documentary series focuses on the North Macedonian diaspora

Regional TV outlet Globi from Gostivar is producing a series of documentary shows called ‘DiaSpora’ which features different citizens who have emigrated and the challenges they face in their new countries as well as the ties they have to their hometown. 

There will be ten episodes in total and TV Globi have received high ratings and positive comments from their audience for the first episode which focused on migrants in Switzerland. 

As well as connecting with the wider diaspora, the outlet plans to generate income from making the documentaries available through a media streaming service. They will receive a percentage of the subscription fee. Another benefit that the outlet has seen since working with their mentor on developing their business ideas, they have not only increased their audiences but they have secured more advertising and developed long-term partnerships. 


Portal Magločistač increases audience by over 50% with Media for All support

Portal Magločistač, based on the Serbian northern city of Subotica, has been working with the Media for All team for only three months. With more staff and new formats including Instagram stories, podcasts and video content, the portal has seen impressive results.

In this short period of time, it has already seen a massive 55% increase in its visitors, producing more local content and promoting it through their social networks. Now more than half of their content is produced by themselves.

“When it comes to production of local news, all stories are authentic and produced by ourselves. We do not include press releases that are regularly disseminated by the local government or promo content for different local events. More and more, our community suggests topics they consider to be of the public interest and we follow it”, highlighted Mirana Dmitrović, editor in chief of Magločistač. 

By developing partnerships with local civil society organisations, Portal Magločistač has earned 70% of its annual funds. The team will continue to focus on securing donations from their readers with a fundraising campaign in 2022 to raise money for equipment to produce podcasts and mobile journalism content.