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"Aspiration to picture latest media developments in South East Europe"

by Benjamin Gaul, Christian Spahr

Christian Spahr about the new platform "Balkanmedia" in an interview with

The Media Program South East Europe of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) has launched its new online platform "Balkanmedia" – a website which addresses journalists as well as media experts from the politics, universities and the non-profit sector. Christian Spahr, head of the Media Program, gives more information about the project.

Freedom of the press, diversity of media, free expression – those are the crucial topics that constitute the work of the Media Program South East Europe. Media play a central role in the region, "because they lead citizens towards democratic procedures and offer a platform for dialogue," says Christian Spahr. Numerous influences on the media exist, as their independence is not self-evident, yet. "This is where our engagement starts, for example by offering advanced trainings for journalists or public discussions on the challenges in the media landscape." The state constitutions in South East Europe guarantee media freedom, but still theory and practice are not always congruent.

This is why the staff of the Media Program asked itself a year ago, how its regional work – and the professional cooperation with partner organisations – could be represented online in a better way. "In order to make this broad network of journalists, media specialists and experts of political communication more present in different countries, we invited partners of the region to start this common portal with us." Initiated by the Media Program, contents of different sources run together on


Though it is not a general news portal for South East Europe, "we have the aspiration to display current media developments for journalists and experts." Moreover, the size of the partner network makes it possible to provide a whole spectrum of functions, starting from an event calendar and latest media news through scientific publications up to country specific "media map".

Studies conducted by the Media Program South East Europe have shown that traditional media in the region are still strongly shaped by dependences towards politics and economy. This is why independent internet platforms are important sources of information for a growing part of the population, says Spahr.

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October 17, 2014
KAS startet neue Online-Plattform zur Medienszene in Südosteuropa (30. Oktober 2014)

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