Develop partnerships that expand local outlets’ access to wire stories and brings under-reported stories to U.S. outlets that lack foreign coverage in the area.
As the number of international correspondents shrinks, global media outlets in the United States lose the ability to report on stories from small countries absent major headlines. As one media executive in Serbia says, “The international news will only report if there is a revolution.” However, a responsible media should be reporting on developments before a major crisis or global shift occurs. There are a few reputable and independent media outlets in the region like the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network that can be a source of information for resource-strapped outlets in the United States.
In addition, with Russia dominating foreign reach in the media in Serbia, and Voice of America having a hard time attracting listeners, wire services like the Associated Press and ThomsonReuters should find ways to make their stories more cost effective with competitors like Russia’s RT or Sputnik that make their content available for free. This could be an area where foundations and other civil society actors can make a difference by funding the translation and licensing of wire service content for local media outlets. Allowing local news outlets to translate stories available from reputable sources in English would increase the clarity, and therefore reach, of those stories.
Philanthropists and educational institutions can help develop the IT sector.
The potential for the IT sector to become a significant contributor to the economy is strong. However, as one IT entrepreneur says, there needs to be more development of education in the field. Creating centers of training and certifications to complement the work already being done would help the region yield enough trained IT specialists to become a destination for capital and business.