South East Europe Media Organisation
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South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, news agencies and new media in Southeast Europe. With its committees, SEEMO aims to create a bridge between international media activities and the media developments in the region. It has headquarters / national committees in several countries.
SEEMO was founded in October 2000 in Zagreb, Croatia, by a group of leading editors-in-chief, media executives and professors of journalism and communications from South East Europe, in the presence of representatives of international institutions.
The Secretary General of SEEMO, who initiated the founding, is since 2000 Oliver Vujovic, a former journalist and expert in public relations, political relations and business in South, East and Central Europe.
One of SEEMO’s main activities is protecting press freedom by helping journalists and media outlets in South East Europe. Over 60 per cent of SEEMO’s press releases and letters of protest to governmental and other officials have had positive results in the past. Every SEEMO protest is distributed to leading regional and international media, national and international governmental and non-governmental organisations, politicians, and also public persons and institutions.
In the past, SEEMO has provided direct help to journalists in the region by giving them technical equipment and other assistance. SEEMO also provided the necessary aid to journalists, who received death threats.
SEEMO has over 1000 editors-in-chief, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe as individual members, and over 100 media outlets and institutions as corporate members.
SEEMO monitors press freedom in South East Europe and responds to threats and attacks on journalists and media outlets by sending protest letters to governments, inter-governmental organisations, but also companies or some political or other groups. These threats are often brought to SEEMO's attention by its members, many of whom experience such difficulties first-hand while carrying out their profession.
Press Freedom Missions
SEEMO leads missions to countries where press freedom is under threat, meeting with government officials, diplomats, journalists and non-governmental organisations, and providing legal representation and support in court cases. In 2009 SEEMO organised a press freedom Mission to Serbia, where the delegation met with Serbian Minister for Internal Affairs Ivica Dacic, as also more than 70 media representatives. In 2011 SEEMO organised a press freedom Mission to Croatia, where the group met with Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and more than 60 media representatives from Croatia, a press freedom missions to Montenegro (meeting with prime minister Igor Luksic and over 30 media representatives), Macedonia (meetings with president Gjorgje Ivanov and prime minister Nikola Gruevski and over 40 media representatives) and Kosovo (meetings with president of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga and prime minister Hashim Thaçi and more than 50 media representatives). Missions in 2012: Serbia (in February 2012, meeting with Minister of Internal Affairs Ivica Dacic) and Bulgaria.
Press Freedom Webpages
SEEMO started in 2010 the webpage Hungary Press Freedom (www.hungarypressfreedom.org) that follows the developments connected to the media regulations in Hungary, and in 2011 Turkey Press Freedom (www.turkeypressfreedom.org) that follows the media developments in Turkey, especially the state pressure on journalist in Turkey, as also www.macedoniapressfreedom.org (for Macedonia) and www.belaruspressfreedom.org (for Belarus).
SEEMO undertakes extensive research on issues relevant to the media.
Between January 2000 and 2010 (October), SEEMO has assembled over 9,600 editors-in-chief, media executives, leading journalists and public persons from the region in various meetings. Some of these meetings, involving participants from Belgrade (Serbs) and Pristina (Kosovo-Albanians), were the first of their kind in history.
Between 2002 and 2004, SEEMO organised 14 dialogue meetings between editors-in-chief, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe.
In 2005, SEEMO organised the first meeting of private news agencies in SEE and a meeting of editors and media executives in Opatija, Croatia, in October, as also in Tirana, Albania, in November.
In 2006, SEEMO organised a regional conference of media representatives from SEE in Vienna, and initiated regular meetings of investigative reporters (first meeting in Opatija, June 2006).
SEEMO organised in 2006 and 2007 eight conferences-workshops for investigative journalists in different countries in SEE.
SEEMO organised several conferences for editors-in-chief and managers of minority media, like the Conference of editors-in-chief and managers of Roma media in South East and Central Europe in 2003 (with over 70 participants), Vlachian (Aromanian) media in Sofia (2004) and Tirana (2005), Minority media in SEE in Belgrade in 2007.
SEEMO organised in June 2008 the conference Media, Marketing and Business in Belgrade (Serbia). In December 2008 SEEMO organised the conference Public Broadcasting in South East Europe in Ljubljana (Slovenia), where general managers of the public services and the chairpersons of the boards of public services took part.
In May 2010, SEEMO organised the first South, East and Central Europe Investigative Journalism Days in Montenegro. The second South, East and Central Europe Investigative Journalism Days will take place in Serbia in May 2011, and the topic will be corruption and media. The third South, East and Central Europe Investigative Journalism Days should take place in Moldova, in April 2012. [dated info]
SEEMO is organising with WAZ Medien Gruppe and Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Stiftung) the South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF), as a meeting between journalists and political representatives. The first SEEMF was in Zagreb, Croatia in June 2007, with the participation of the Croatian President Stjepan Mesic and 200 journalists from South East and Central Europe. Second SEEMF was in Sofia, Bulgaria in November 2008, with the participation of the Bulgarian prime minister Sergej Stanishev and 250 journalists in South East and Central Europe. Since 2008 additional regular partner is the Raiffeisen International Bank from Vienna. The third SEEMF was in Tirana in November 2009, and the event was opened by the Albanian President Topi. The IV SEEMF took part, with the Central European Initiative (CEI) from Trieste as additional new regular partner, in Budapest on 2 and 3 December 2010. The V SEEMF will take place in Belgrade, Serbia in November 2011.[dated info] More on www.seemf.org.
SEEMO founded in 2010 the International Media Center in Slovenia (IMC), together with several leading media representatives in Slovenia, and in cooperation with Prof. Thomas Bauer from the University of Vienna and Prof. Marko Milosavljevic from the University in Ljubljana. The Chairperson of the IMC is Mitja Mersol, the former editor-in-chief of the leading Slovenian daily Delo. More on www.imc-slo.org.
SEEMO also founded in 2010 the South, East and Central Europe PR Organisation (SECEPRO), as a sister regional organisation for PR experts in more than 20 countries of South, East and Central Europe, as also from Germany, Austria, Russia and Italy. The first SECEPRO meeting was in Ljubljana in May 2011 with leading PR representatives from the region. More on www.secepro.org.
2011 SEEMO started with the annual Istanbul Media Days, as a meeting of media experts from the region in Istanbul. More on www.istanbulmediadays.org. In 2012, SEEMO will start with Belgrade Media Days, as meeting of media experts from Former Yugoslavia in cooperation with University Singidunum in Belgrade and leading media from Serbia, as also Roma Media Days, an annual meeting of representatives from Roma media.
SEEMO actively cooperates with international, regional and national governmental and non-governmental organisations and institutions. SEEMO also actively cooperates with other international press freedom and media organisations, including IPI, and it supports and participates in joint regional and international projects and activities.
Helping journalists means also furthering their education. Several workshops and seminars have been organised for investigative reporters and representatives of minority media. The minority media workshops and seminars took place at the SEEMO Media Minority Center (MMC) in Opatija, Croatia.
According to the interview given to Bulgarian radio by SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic, this organisation will start with two education centers for journalists in 2009: one should be in Portoroz in Slovenia, the other in Greece.
Since 2004, SEEMO has been publishing De Scripto, a quarterly media magazine for South East Europe.
SEEMO also produces the South, East and Central Europe Media Handbook (till 2008 South East Europe Media Handbook), an annual publication covering media developments in the region, which includes selected media contacts. Editions 2003/2004 in Albanian, Serbian / Croatian / Bosnian / Montenegrin, English, 2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. The 2009 edition was in two volumes over 2,500 pages.
Other Books: 1. Zlocin u 19.30 by Kemal Kurspahic (published in 2003 in Sarajevo and 2004 in Belgrade by SEEMO), 2. Media and Minorities in South East Europe (published in 2006) 3. Handbook for Investigative Journalists in SEE 4. Media, Marketing and Business 5. Women, Men and Media
Other publications: 1. Istrazivacko novinarstvo 2. Public Service in South East and Central Europe.
SEEMO also gives awards for outstanding achievements in the field of media.
The "Dr Erhard Busek SEEMO Award for Better Understanding" honours journalists in South East Europe whose work promotes a climate of better understanding among peoples in the region and strengthens efforts to end ethnic divisions, racism, and xenophobia.
Winners of the award include:
- Denis Latin, Latinica, Hrvatska Radio i Televizija, Croatia (2002)
- Kemal Kurspahić, former editor-in-chief, Oslobodjenje, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2003)
- Brankica Petkovič, Peace Institute, Slovenia (2005)
- Danko Plevnik, Slobodna Dalmacija, Croatia (2006)
- Milena Dimitrova, Trud, Bulgaria (2007)
- Brankica Stanković, B92, Serbia (2008)
- Boris Bergant, EBU, Slovenia (2009)
- Omer Karabeg, Radio Free Europe, Czech Republic (2010)
- Dragutin Drago Hedl Drago Hedl, Jutarnji List, Croatia (2011)
- Jeta Xharra, RTK, Kosovo (2012)
The "SEEMO Award for Mutual Cooperation in South East Europe" (SEEMO Human Rights Award) is awarded on 10 December, International Human Rights Day.
- Christine von Kohl, Human Rights fighter, Austria (2002)
- Nebojša Popov, founder Republika magazine, Serbia (2003)
- Fatos Lubonja, journalist, Albania (2004)
- Abdulhalim Dede, media-owner, Greece (2006)
- Seki Radončić, investigative journalist, Montenegro - Bosnia-Herzegovina (2007)
- Spomenka Hribar, writer, Slovenia (2008)
- Pavol Demes, Marshal found, Slovakia (2009)
- Christo Komarnitski, cartoonist, Bulgaria (2010)
- Veton Surroi, Koha Ditore Group, Kosovo (2011)
The SEEMO - CEI Award for Investigative Journalism
- Drago Hedl, Croatia (2008)
- Beser Likmeta, Albania (2009). A special mention to Esad Hecimovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina and to Stefan Candea from Romania, in recognition of their valuable contribution to investigative journalism
- Adrian Mogos, Romania (2010). Special mention to Iryna Khalip from Belarus and Lydia Pavlova from Bulgaria for their valuable contribution to investigative journalism.
- Kalicki Włodzmierz, Poland (2011). Special Investigative Journalism Diploma to Artan Hoxha (Albania), Dijana Subotički (Serbia), Matej Šurc and Blaž Zgaga (Slovenia)
- Matej Šurc and Blaž Zgaga, Slovenia (2012). Special Investigative Diploma to Albanian journalist Telnis Skuqi from Gjirokastra. A Special Mention was given to CIN Sarajevo
The SEEMO Photo Award for Human Rights
- Maja Zlatevska, Macedonia (I) and Marko Djurica, Serbia (special) (2008)
- Nebojša Radosavljević Raus, Serbia (2009)
- Mahir Vranac, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2010)
- Janko Petkovic, Serbia (2011)
- Igor Pavicevic, Serbia (2012)
1. Medien in Südosteuropa: Interview mit der SEEMO http://www.medienheft.ch/de/nc/14/date/0000/00/00/medien-in-suedosteuropa/article/8.html
3. Beate Ursula Joseph: Journalism Education in Countries With Limited Media Freedom page 243-244
5. Katerina Balabanova Media, Wars and Politics: Comparing the Incomparable in Western and Eastern Europe, Page 74