WB6 MEDIA: Support to Media Freedom and Pluralism in the Western Balkans


GIZ invites independent media organisations, national and local media outlets, and other media actors operating in the region of Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia  and Serbia), to apply for Grants on Collaborative Media Projects in the framework of the Programme: Support to Media Freedom and Pluralism in the Western Balkans, co-funded by the European Union and the German Government, and implemented by GIZ, in collaboration with Internews and DW Akademie.


The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in collaboration with Internews and DW Akademie, is implementing a Regional Media Assistance Programme, in the Western Balkans, funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

This Programme is aiming to enhance the Capacities of professional independent media organisations to better adapt to the changing media environment, through helping to create modern high-quality content and appropriate business models thereafter.

The programme is working to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Strengthen capacities of media organisations to improve economic performance
  2. Improve capacities of media organisations for quality reporting
  3. Enhance regional exchange between media actors, tech companies and innovative business actors

This Call for Application falls under the third objective and is aiming to incentivize and support collaborative approaches in media.



Enhance the cooperation between media actors, tech companies and innovative business entities, aiming to strengthen the media sector through networking, regional exchange, and cross sectoral collaboration. 

Specific Objectives:

Incentivize collaborative approaches and partnerships between media organizations in the region and beyond, stretching from content co-production and mutual dissemination to practicalities relevant for running a media organisation.

Support networking, sharing and exchange of knowledge, information, resources, and reporting sources among media outlets.

Initiate and enhance cross-sectoral cooperation between media outlets and actors from the digital ecosystem to develop or introduce new formats and tools.

Develop further the digital and technological capacities of independent media organizations.


Independent media organisations, national and local media outlets, other media actors from WB6: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

No of Grants to be awarded: approximately: 15

Grant Size: up to EUR 25.000             

Grant Duration:  up to 1 year

The proposal may include one or more from the following areas of interventions (but not limited to):

1. Local and regional collaboration Initiatives between media organizations:

  1. Set up of local or regional collaborative mechanisms and tools that would enable collaboration in a systemic way between two or more media organizations (preferably residing in different countries of WBs). These collaborations can focus on the development of content exchange systems, introduction of innovative cooperation mechanisms, development of innovative formats and practicalities relevant for running a media outlet (e.g., common procurement of IT services, bookkeeping, sharing of equipment, etc.).
  2. Establish/consolidate further new platforms and tools by two or more media organizations serving as a hub for quality journalism on issues of specific interest for different communities.
  3. Produce and disseminate jointly, multimedia content addressing a specific topic with joint public interest (two or more media outlets coming from at least two different countries of WBs).
  4. Initiate new or consolidate further networks or coalitions between media organizations within one country or cross-regionally.
  5. Establish connection and exchange of know how and/or content with media organizations beyond the Western Balkans.

2. Media and non-media collaboration (IT sector, business, visual art, etc.)

Initiate partnerships and cooperation between media organizations and stakeholders from broader multimedia and digital ecosystem (such as: innovative startups; game developers; programmers; other tech companies; artists; designers; filmmakers; innovative private businesses, etc.) to pilot collaborative platforms and mechanisms to: 

  1. create and distribute engaging media content.
  2. collect information, data and evidence from the citizens that would feed the reporting.
  3. monetise media content or explore other crowd sourced funding.
  4. reach new and wider audiences and engage with them across multiple platforms.
  5. collect valuable data on the audience's preferences and behaviour, which can help the media improve their content and advertising strategies.
  6. pilot new or develop further sustainable business models.
  7.   introduce new technological trends to the media operations.


The media outlet that is applying is the lead applicant, and the other organisations/s or individuals this media is partnering with, should be considered as partner/s in the project.

Lead applicants should be media outlets established and operating in one of the countries of WBs.

The partner/s can be organisations or individuals:

  • from the same country as the lead applicant; or
  • from a different country within the WBs; or
  • from beyond the region

The interested media actors can apply using the templates provided below, until October 15th, 2023 - 23:59 CEST.

As part of the Application Package, the applicants will need to submit a Project Proposal, containing:

The Application Form (Template - The Application Form) Only the media outlet leading the partnership should fill in the Application Form.

The Activity plan as Annex 1 (Template - Activity Plan)

Budget Form as Annex 2 (Template - Budget Form) One budget form should be submitted per application and should cover the costs for all organizations involved in the partnership. If selected, the partner/s would be considered as a service provider for the lead applicant (no subgrating allowed)

The respective templates need to be downloaded, filled in, signed, and sent via email, in pdf format, to the following address:

  • Supporting Documents:
    • Certificate of legal registration of the Lead organisation
    • Certificate of registration/licence from Media Authority of the Lead organisation (if applicable)
    • CVs of the staff that will be involved in the implementation of the Project (the lead applicant)
    • CV of the partner (CV of the organisation if the partner is a legal entity, and CV of the person if the partner is an individual
    • Official Financial and Audit Reports of the lead organisation for the last year (if applicable)
    • Pre-agreement with the partners on the collaboration.

The supporting documents need to be sent via email to the same address:

The Selection Process will be based on the following eligibility criteria and criteria for evaluation:


  • The applicant should be established and operating in one of the Western Balkans economies.
  • Status of applicant: Independent private sector media company or non-for-profit media outlet/NGO from the Western Balkans. Public broadcasters and state-controlled media are not eligible
  • Proven commitment to professional and ethical standards of journalism (e.g. through membership in press councils; adherence or compliance with other relevant recognized mechanisms, platforms, etc. established to promote professional and ethical standards in journalism)
  • Transparent ownership and/or composition, with no involvement of state or state-affiliated entities; nor of senior political actors or their close relatives

The applicants that fulfil the Eligibility Criteria will be subject to an evaluation process, based on the following Criteria:


I - Relevance of the application with the Objectives of the Call.

II - Quality of the application and of the proposal.

III - Professional and organisational capacities to implement the proposed actions.

IV - Potential of the collaborative approach

V - Innovation of the collaborative approach

VI - Budget clarity and relevance.

The maximum grant amount per grantee will be up to 25,000 EUR and will be paid in tranches, depending on the delivery of the outputs and the achievement of the expected results.

The Application Form

ANNEX 1 - Activity Plan

ANNEX 2 - Budget Form

* This designation is without prejudice to positions in status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence