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British Council

‘I learned a lot about the younger generation of journalists and activists, using Tamara's website’s fresh new approach and format to attract Zoomers and Millennials. My mentees challenge me in many ways, so I tried to be the best possible opener of some new doors in their lives’. 

Mentor - Marina Riđić

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Life cycle

2020-2022

Country/Region

Western Balkans

Client/Partner

British Council; Conflict, Stability and Security Fund - UK Government

Vision

To contribute to greater gender equality in the Western Balkans through the programme’s actions and interventions.

Situation

Based on an early project literature review of primary and secondary research into gender and media, it became evident that there is a gender gap in news reporting around the world.

 Women in the media should be invited to express their views as experts, active members of society and as members of the audience. Gender inequalities affect women and minorities and have a negative impact on the media`s capacity for change and growth.

Implementation

In the Media for All programme, journalists and editors engage in discussions and peer-to-peer learning on gender equality, equity, work parity, representation and the safety of men and women in the field. They then share the knowledge, tools, and skills needed for addressing these gender inequalities.

The first programme of its kind in the region, the mentors offered advice on any challenges but also shared their knowledge, experience and networks to support their mentee. This provided an opportunity to learn, ask questions and experience different points of view. The mentees participated in workshops and consultations to exchange their experiences, reflect on the mentoring process and to network with each other.

Impact 

One way the project is creating impact is through its women in media mentoring programme. Mentoring is not well-known in the region outside of the traditional academic model of a student and professor. A two-month pilot, which matched fifteen women at the start of their media careers with more experienced mentors, was so successful that a six-month programme is now running with women from twelve of the grantee outlets. These outlets comprise over 100 independent media organisations from across the Western Balkans, whereby two mentees were selected from each of the participating outlets.

The scheme also enabled connections between the participants as well as strengthening the community and collective identity of the women. It has helped expand their network of professional contacts, created opportunities for cooperation and exchange of ideas and both mentors and mentees learnt from each other. 

The mentees scored the mentoring programme 100 per cent and were also unanimous in recommending it to others. 

The UNESCO Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media Study (GSIM) are being used as part of the project’s evaluation process.

Mutual benefit

By paving the way for mentoring and regional networking and exchange for women in media in the Western Balkans for the first time, the UK Government has the opportunity to stand out from the donor community as the leader in making a difference in this important area. We hope to potentially inspire and bring others along to join the transformative approach to programming.