The Independent Media Empowerment Program (IMEP) is USAID funded five-year program implemented by the Center for Civil Society Promotion (CCSP). IMEP supports media independence and freedom of expression in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Three interconnected components form the core of IMEP support
IMEP activities are aimed at strengthening the sustainability of independent media, enhancing the quality of their content, strengthening the capacity of journalists and interested citizens, and providing legal support to media and journalists. During the IMEP program, journalists have at their disposal a fund for legal representation and protection of journalists and a team of experienced lawyers and attorneys with extensive experience in court proceedings.
In addition to professional media and journalists, IMEP provides an opportunity for interested citizens to actively participate in the process of creating news and information. This activity supports new trends in the media space and represents a significant source of information, strengthens social activism, and provides a moderated space to hear new voices. The program also aims to encourage critical thinking and dialogue and to provide space for free expression of views and value judgments.
We, at CPCD and IMEP, believe that the issue of sustainable independent media and journalists cannot be achieved without cooperation with citizens and civil society organizations. That is why they consider this program as an investment from which the wider community will benefit.
The project plans to award four types of grants (New Voices, Media Mixer, Media Production, and Ad Hoc) with a plan to support the media, journalists, interested citizens, and informal groups of journalists. The IMEP program supports media creation projects, that result in the production of content such as articles, blogs, vlogs, videos, columns, and photos. Users of IMEP funds intended for the media are portals, TV, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, etc. Having in mind the possibility of unforeseen issues that need to be addressed in BiH society, special Ad Hoc support is planned for media initiatives that intend to deal with this type of reporting.
For the beneficiaries of the program, special educational modules have been designed to strengthen the capacity of the media, journalists, and citizen journalists. Education takes place in two basic areas: law and the production of multimedia educational content.
Legal education focuses on legal provisions relevant to the media and journalists and the creation of media content that will greatly reduce the risk of possible lawsuits. The main goals are to transfer knowledge and improve self-advocacy skills to reduce the possibility of filing defamation lawsuits as the most common form of punishment of journalists and the media.
Within the second educational area, the IMEP creates multimedia educational content in the form of guidelines, tutorials, documents, videos, leaflets, and infographics. The goal of content creation is to improve the skills of journalists, trainees, citizen journalists in creating good quality media content using professional and modern journalistic and editorial techniques.
All educational content, in the form of YouTube tutorials and brochures, will be publicly available and free to download. This gives all those interested a useful tool for developing their skills in creating media content.
Within this component, a media manual is developed: How to implement a communication and marketing strategy.
In collaboration with experts, the CCSP developed a specific methodology for measuring the level of media sustainability that will serve as a basic tool for measuring the progress of 30 media over the life of the project. The methodology is based on the CCSP’s many years of experience in assessing the organizational capacity of civil society organizations and quality systems.
In addition to professional media and journalists, the IMEP program, through its website, provides an opportunity for interested citizens to actively participate in the process of creating news and information. At www.imep.ba they will have the opportunity to download educational content and the mobile application objavi.ba.