Journalists in the Western Balkans have been given access to free resources and training in their own languages thanks to a unique platform launched by Thomson Foundation.
Journalift is a multi-lingual, digital platform providing up-to-date news on the latest media developments in Albanian, Macedonian, the Bosnian-Serbo-Croation-Montenegrin languages as well as English. It has enabled journalists to participate in webinars, access free courses, read the latest industry research and interact with their peers about common workplace struggles and potential solutions, without the foreign language barrier. “I think it is the best website covering the media industry that I know of “, says Igor Stojanov, editor-in-chief of the Macedonian youth media portal, Goce.mk.
“It feels like my whole journalism studies are inside that website.”
Many media workers in local and small news outlets in the Western Balkans are often not fluent in English. This can be an obstacle when it comes to accessing further training and prevents them from upgrading their knowledge in areas such as business development, audience engagement, newsroom management and safety. So Journalift has played a vital role.
Since its launch, Journalift has published more than 150 original articles written by more than 60 international and regional experts. With many media outlets in the region struggling to achieve financial sustainability, it’s no surprise that the platform’s most-read stories focus on ways media can monetise their communities and crowdfunding campaigns for media, and also training courses on e-payment solutions and newsroom management.
Vladimir Trkulja, who is a trainer on the Business models and monetisation for media outlets course, says it’s not just professional journalists who are benefitting from what’s on offer. “The platform provides a range of very useful online courses for everyone who is considering a media career,” says Vladimir, who has also written several articles for website.
“It’s a great starting point, not least because it’s free.”
Journalift will continue to grow in 2023. A new course is planned on newsroom innovation, with training on digital security being adapted and translated.