RTV Besa is one of the few local media outlets in Kosovo licenced by the Independent Media Commission to broadcast on terrestrial frequencies covering the entire Prizren region. Along with their mentor and the Media for All project, RTV Besa sought to establish better communication with national minority audiences and especially to engage the Bosnian and Turkish communities in decision-making processes within Prizren Municipality. The team focused on producing and broadcasting shows on TV and social media for the Turkish and Bosnian communities in their respective languages. The shows aimed to address issues of these communities, with particular emphasis on combating fake news and disinformation and shedding light on women’s and youth-related issues. Additionally, RTV Besa aimed to reach out to companies owned by these communities, strengthening relationships with them for marketing and advertising purposes as one of the revenue streams for this media outlet.
An interview with Media for All project leader, Larisa Halilović, in the RTV Besa studio. Source: BESA – Bosanski Facebook page
Pre- mentorship context
RTV Besa introduced new multilingual content in the previous period- media products in Turkish and Bosnian languages. The new extended programme cycle provided an opportunity to strengthen communication and relationships with these communities, which ultimately improved the media environment and content as well as the advertisement revenue stream. While the editorial team had experience creating this type of content and communicating with minority communities, there was a need for a more strategic approach to planning such content. Additionally, a deeper understanding of minority journalistic approaches and the scope of topics in areas such as minority communities, women, youth, fake news, etc. was lacking to some extent.
Initially, RTV Besa faced challenges in defining specific topics and identifying appropriate interlocutors for TV shows in minority languages, particularly those focusing on women and young people. However, through discussions and collaboration, a defined plan and scope of approaches were developed, ensuring that the TV shows addressed the appropriate concerns and interests. The focus of the project was to support and improve good journalistic practice in the newsroom of RTV Besa in the context of the editorial approach to multilingual and minority journalism and its promotion. Also, continuous advertising revenues as part of the media business lead to better financial resilience and sustainability.
“Direct guest in the studio”- The most popular TV show in Bosnian language. Source: BESA – Bosanski Facebook page
The biggest challenge encountered during this project was finding suitable profiles of interlocutors from minority communities to discuss specific topics, such as the position of women and young people in the Bosnian and Turkish communities in Kosovo. This was partially addressed by creating a plan, including a list of topics and potential interlocutors. However, it remains an ongoing challenge for the newsroom, as the mentioned communities have a limited number of experts and public figures willing to speak publicly on TV shows. All minority and multilingual media whose audiences or communities are relatively small are facing this issue. Additionally, the relatively short period for implementing project activities posed another challenge, as sometimes members of the editorial were unable to devote themselves to all activities due to objective reasons.
“LIVE”- The most popular show in Turkish language. Source: BESA – Türkçe Facebook page
“The best part of our mentorship is the open and sincere relationship, along with mutual trust, which has been instrumental in achieving great results during the project. The mentor’s support and practical advice were essential in overcoming project obstacles.” – RTV Besa Team