Strengthening Independent Media (SIM) in Bosnia-Herzegovina


USAID’s new media program in BiH is a five-year, $5.7 million project implemented by Internews Network. Officially launched in December 2010, the project strengthens the media environment in Bosnia-Herzegovina by supporting regulatory and self-regulation institutions, improving media legislation, safety and independence of professional journalists, as well as the quality and growth of on-line media and new media technologies and innovation. The project helps media organizations through targeted activities; training and mentoring of young journalists; and internships for students. A $1million small grants program will support investigative reporting, innovative new media ideas; advocacy and outreach; travel/study projects; and fellowships.

SIM Project Description FEB2011.pdf

SIM Investigative Journalism Grant Criteria _FEB2011.pdf

SIM New Media Grant Criteria_FEB2011.pdf


Overall Program Objectives: Promote national cohesion and inter-ethnic trust;
* Create a more supportive environment for the work of journalists throughout BiH;
* Provide reliable information to BiH citizens through both traditional and alternative sources of information; and
* Strengthen the ability of people to hold the government accountable.
Project Components:
1. Improve state regulatory bodies and self-regulation of traditional media;
2. Strengthen media industry associations;
3. Support the quality and growth of new media outlets and sources; and
4. Build the quality of investigative reporting.

Project Activities:
To improve the state regulatory bodies and self-regulation of traditional media Internews, in partnership with University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Global Communications, will work closely with the Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) and Press Council on their capacity, operations, and outreach, to gain effective support and cooperation with stakeholders, media outlets, and the public. SIM will provide technical assistance, hold workshops, seminars, roundtables, summit meetings, as well as administer targeted grants to support these bodies.
The SIM project will also provide support to the CRA for a digitalization plan as part of the BiH EU accession process, through an assessment, study tours to a neighboring country which has undergone digital transition, webinars between EU experts and regulators and Bosnian counterparts, consultations, and targeted grants to support outreach.

The project will enhance media law expertise at universities, associations, and media outlets by developing a media law curriculum and providing opportunities for undergraduate and post-graduate law students to participate in the Monroe E. Price International Media Law Moot Court Competition, as well the annual Annenberg-Oxford Summer Institute in comparative media law and policy. Support will also be provided to BiH media lawyers to examine relevant media legislation.
SIM will strengthen media industry associations by working with them on their advocacy capacities as well as supporting them to improve self-regulation, independence and their ability to protect journalists, through consultations, mentoring, workshops on professional standards and ethics, and study tours.
To support the quality and growth of online media outlets and sources, Internews will provide technical assistance to innovative online projects and administer a small grants fund for eligible media outlets. In addition, Internews will support Mediacentar Sarajevo (MCS) to expand its web portal as an online resource for journalists and media, providing commentary, analysis, examples of good investigative reports, tip-sheets, articles, and educational materials. The SIM project will also establish formal partnerships with BiH universities and provide journalism students with internship program opportunities that will include training in new media tools and multi-media platforms at MCS and placement at leading news web portals around the country.
SIM will support investigative reporting projects through a small grants program in which grantees will receive mentoring and customized support from MCS experts, as well as access to the “Infobiro” resource database.

In partnership with Central European University, Internews will develop a civic media fellowship program aimed at producing a compelling project intended to raise the level of public policy discourse in BiH. With Transitions Online, Internews will organize several social media innovation camps, and with National Geographic – a photojournalism camp for young people from across Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Contact Information

Hamdije Kreševljakovića 50, Sarajevo 71000 BiH, office tel: +387 (0) 33-263-710

Sue Folger, Chief of Party:

Amer Dzihana, Director for Research and Advocacy:

Aldin Arnautovic, Broadcast/Convergent Media Expert:

Vanja Ibrahimbegovic-Tihak, Institutional Development Expert:

Mehmed Halilovic, Media Law Advisor:

Amela Haveric-Imamovic, Financial/Grant Manager:

Stefanie Jaram, Office Administrator/Cashier:



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