I had just begun my career as a journalist in 2021 when I published my first article of investigative reporting. That’s why the Media for All initiative and the chance to take part in it were a major wind in my sails.

Through the mentoring scheme for women in the media, I was able to get to know not just Maša Mileusnić, my excellent mentor, but also other journalists from the entire region. During this programme, I was able to ask my mentor many questions, which was of invaluable importance, because I did not have a journalism degree or a full-time job as a journalist at the time where I could learn on a regular basis.

I also met up-and-coming as well as renowned journalists from other Western Balkan countries, which was crucial for broadening my horizons. We discussed our commonalities and differences, as well as the daily challenges.

The second programme, the Young Journalists’ Competition, provided me with the opportunity to cooperate with colleagues from Montenegro and Albania on research pertaining to the most important current issue, mental health. Researching this topic was very demanding, but also of inestimable importance because we gathered the testimonies of scores of young people from the entire region who are struggling with their mental health. Because of these testimonies, I consider this research to be extremely important for me. I felt that I was exposing the sad reality of young people struggling with this issue. As a journalist, I had the opportunity and responsibility to help get their voices heard.

As a journalist of the Centre for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro, I had the opportunity to receive another kind of support which I wish to commend. As a newsroom, we were specifically trained to use the Engaged Citizens’ Reporting platform/tool (ECR), which was created as part of the Media for All project. Thanks to the ECR platform, I was able to conduct research, which is the most important and interesting research that I have done so far and, as it is relevant to the issue of gender, I will mention it here. The survey looks at births in Montenegro and issues related to practices, specifically how closely they adhere to or depart from WHO criteria. The survey received responses from over 700 women, which was really helpful to me as I pieced together the picture and reported on this topic. Because of this, I would single out ECR as an excellent component of the Media for All support.

I was motivated to learn about all of these programmes and take part in them initially because I was a complete novice in journalism and wanted to explore all the possibilities for improving my journalistic skills and knowledge, as well as for personal growth. I gained a lot of knowledge about the challenges that women in my field face, and I developed an interest in gender issues in general. Currently, writing investigative articles on this subject is one of my main interests.

I believe that the Media for All project can benefit a large number of journalists, depending on their personal requirements and affinities, because it truly offers a lot.