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

#SustainMedia PROGRAMME


GIZ invites independent media organisations, regional, national and local media outlets, operating in the region of Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo *, Montenegro, North Macedonia  and Serbia), to apply for Grants on Media Business Ideas in the framework of the Programme “Sustain Media: 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 Call is targeting visionary media organisations that are eager to pioneer new business ideas and are open to cooperate with other businesses/organisations and the digital sector. 

We believe that fostering partnerships and embracing innovative business strategies of independent outlets are essential for the continued growth and sustainability of the media industry.


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


The primary goal of this Call is to increase economic sustainability and enable growth of independent media organizations.  

The Call aims to identify and support media organizations that propose creative business ideas, emphasizing collaboration with other media entities, businesses, and the digital sector.

The support would enable the media organizations to design and pilot a concrete business idea they would want to experiment with, or to develop further any new initiative (related to business model/revenue diversification/audience engagement, etc.) they might have started and need to follow on.

We are seeking proposals that showcase a clear vision for mutually beneficial partnerships, revenue generation, and digital innovation.

Focus Areas:

  1. Digital Integration: Proposals showcase innovative approaches to digital integration, including leveraging emerging technologies, data analytics, and digital platforms to enhance content delivery and audience engagement.
  2. Cross Sectoral Partnerships: They highlight potential cooperations with innovative businesses and/or specialised organisations in diverse sectors (i.e IT and digital sector;  digital marketing and e-commerce; human rights; arts&culture; science; climate and energy; multimedia, etc), outlining how these partnerships can contribute to revenue generation, audience engagement, and innovation.
  3. Collaboration with other Media Organizations: Proposals should outline strategies for collaboration with other media entities to amplify content reach, optimising costs through sharing resources, and enhancing journalistic impact. Collaborations between national and local media are particularly encouraged.

The call is aiming to support the media organisation to: 

- Test or develop further innovative and/or experimental business strategies in media.

- Design and develop collaborative approaches and partnerships between media organizations in the region and beyond, aiming at increased media business sustainability. 

- Establish cooperation between media outlets and actors from the tech and digital ecosystem to develop or introduce new business ideas.

- Make the most of the technological development to better measure, analyze, and understand the audiences, aiming to maximize reach and engagement.

- Establish cross-sectoral cooperation with other businesses and organizations specialized in sectors relevant for the media outlet work. 

- Find alternative ways to generating revenues.

- Find digital solutions to media development challenges related to their daily operation, media production and distribution, audience reach and monetization.

- Other ideas related to testing, consolidation and promotion of sustainable media business models.


Independent media organisations, regional, national, and local media outlets, 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 20.000

Grant Duration: up to 1 year 


The interested media actors can apply using the templates provided below, until April 28th, 2024

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

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

  • Supporting Documents:
    • Certificate of legal registration of the applicant
    • Certificate of registration/licence from Media Authority (if applicable)
    • CVs of the staff that will be involved in the implementation of the Project 
    • CV of the partner, if relevant (If there is a partnership proposed, please include a CV of the partner organisation)
    • Official Financial Reports of the applicant for 2023/previous accounting year

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 - Quality and professionalism of the Media Outlet.

II - Relevance and quality of the application. 

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

IV - Potential for economic growth and revenue diversification. 

V - Innovation of the proposed idea.

VI - Budget clarity and relevance.

The maximum grant amount per grantee will be up to 20,000 EUR and will be paid in tranches, depending on the delivery of the outputs and the achievement of the expected results.

The Application Form

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 independencee