Media 2040

In October 2023, a project “Media 2040: Empowering Young Advocates for Media Freedom in the Western Balkans” was launched as a network of six public universities in the Western Balkans. Our network gathered a group of 40 journalism and communications students from Novi Sad, Podgorica, Prishtina, Sarajevo, Shkoder, and Skopje. Together we worked on envisaging a future of the media— a future for the year 2040 in which young people would like to work as experienced media professionals.

To reach our vision, we conducted horizon scanning – a process of mapping the current situation and trends in the media sphere. In specific, we observed what is happening in relation to five key dimensions of media systems. During this process we organised an online forum with journalists and experts in media policy, media technology and media business. The findings of horizon scanning are formulated as key takeaways related to:

  • Journalists,
  • Media institutions,
  • State and politics,
  • Market and economy,
  • Technology.

Once we had a good overview of the trends, we gathered for a five day workshop in Shkoder to formulate a joint vision for the Western Balkan region. Through an interactive and inclusive process, with professional guidance, we formulated a vision statement, and discussed the challenges we need to overcome and enablers that can help us build the envisioned future.

Although similar trends are observed across the Western Balkan region, each media system has its own specificities and the issues do not have the same level of urgency. For that reason, this vision should be taken as a general framework that needs further elaboration to account for specific local trends and stakeholder competences.