Call for applications for young media players in the digital media sector from the Western Balkans

Do you consider yourself a blogger, podcaster, influencer? Do you produce your own original content on subjects that matter to society? Would you like to develop your platform and strengthen your technical, digital and business skills, while meeting your peers in the region? 

If you answered yes, then this opportunity might just be for you!

Canal France International (CFI), in cooperation with Mediacentar Sarajevo, Albanian Media Institute, Montenegro Media Institute, Macedonian Institute for Media, Novi Sad School of Journalism and Foundation for Information, Media, Dialogue and Education KosovaLive invite you to apply to the “Balkans Voices” Digital Media Program.

Who can apply? 

If you want to participate in the “Balkans Voices” Digital Media Program, you must:

  • Be aged 18-30 years-old;
  • Be a resident of one of the six targeted countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia;
  • Have a basic Level of English (understanding and speaking (minimum B1 level)) in order to be able to communicate with fellow participants and to participate in the activities without issue;
  • Be available to participate in the activities of the program
  • Be able to demonstrate a minimum of three months of active media content production and audience reach through your platform;
  • Be willing to cover social, environmental or cultural subjects such as (but not limited to) :
    • Youth employment and Innovation;
    • Value opportunities for young people from the Western Balkans;
    • Migration and Return;
    • Identities and Minorities (LGBTQ+, Roma, Ashkali etc.);
    • Gender and gender equality;
    • Environment;
    • Human rights;
    • Topics generally linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

About the “Balkans Voices” Digital Media Program

The “Balkans Voices” Digital Media Program is part of the Balkans Voices project, financed by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and implemented by CFI in concordance with Cooperation and Cultural Action Services of the French Embassies in the targeted countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
The program aims to strengthen the skills of the new media contributors among young people aged 18-30 years old in the above mentioned countries. 

Activities of the “Balkans Voices” Digital Media Program

After the selection process, you’ll join a pool of approximately 60 young media content producers from the six targeted countries and you’ll participate in the activities of the program:

  • An online regional conference, to be held on the 3rd and 4th of June 2021, bringing together the 60 young people selected. This will allow you to attend round-table events, debates, keynote speeches, breakout sessions along with contributors to the region’s online media sector. You’ll also have the opportunity to discover other young people’s projects and to interact online.

The conference will cover topics such as:

  • Challenges to being a young media player in the Western Balkans countries
  • Building online audiences
  • Media content promotion
  • Media product monetisation
  • Managing hate speech and hateful comments
  • Using influence to promote social/environmental/cultural issues and to empower vulnerable groups


  • Regional workshops, to be held in September and October of 2021: You will have the opportunity to take part in a 3 day workshop in one of the capitals of the six countries (should traveling be possible at this time) and participate in training sessions with a group of 15 other young people from targeted countries.

Workshops will cover topics such as:

  • New media economics models
  • Using audience data to steer your content
  • Career development tools
  • Photo, video, sound production
  • Staying safe in an online environment

Among the 60 media content producers, a select number of applicants will be chosen to participate in further activities:

  • A one-week incubation program in Paris in November 2021 (approximately 18 young people will be identified and selected from the conference and workshops) and six months of mentorship (12 participants from the incubation session will then be supported through mentorship)[1].

[1] Organised by a French service provider to be chosen later by CFI.

Selection panel and assessment criteria

A selection committee composed of CFI and our local partners will evaluate the applications, deliberate, and decide on the selected young players of the new media sector. Results will be communicated late-May 2021.
The assessment criteria to be taken into account for the selection are as follows:

Applicant’s motivation and ability to participate in the program activities (conference and workshop; incubation session and mentorship if selected) (50/100)

  • Comprehension of the objectives and terms of “Balkans Voices” Digital Media Program
  • Willingness to further develop the platform (blog/podcast/social media profile etc.), nationally and/or regionally
  • Motivation and availability to participate in all activities (including incubation workshop)
  • Readiness to communicate on any progress made regarding the platform, during and after participation to the program
  • Particular interest or previous knowledge in the fields mentioned in the call (see the “Who can apply?” section), and motivation/room for learning, as well as readiness to promote socially relevant issues to their communities

Quality and relevance of the content produced by the applicant (35/100)

  • Relevance of the topic covered regarding the eligibility criteria
  • Technical quality of the content already produced
  • Reach of the platform (#views #followers etc.)
  • Potential for scaling up

Creativity and Innovation of the content produced by the applicant (15/100)

  • Adaptation of the platform to the digital sphere and originality in the way to reach the audience
  • Authenticity of the format and/or of the narrative
  • Added value compared to existing digital media

Specific attention will be brought to women’s applications and to applications dealing with gender equality issues. 

Calendar of the call

  • Publication of the call for projects: Friday, 16th April 2021
  • Application Deadline on the online platform: Monday, 10th May 6.00 p.m. GMT;
  • Announcement of the selected young digital media project leaders: May 25th, 2021.
  • Finalization of the inscription to the program – Signature of participation agreement: May-June 2021
  • A latter selection process will decide on the approximately 18 participants for the incubation program in Paris in November 2021 (should international travel be possible at this time)

Composition of the application FILE

The application form must be completed online in English. Please note that to access the application form you need to REGISTER first.
Only complete files will be taken into consideration.
Please retain a copy of the file submitted.
The file must contain the following:

  • The online form (all fields to be completed)
  • The needs assessment questionnaire (according to the the following template)

About the Balkans Voices project

Financed by the French Ministry of Europe and foreign affairs, the main objective of Balkans Voicesproject is to enable a new generation of young talents to reclaim the language used in media and to express themselves openly on subjects that inspire them in each country.
The project is implementing activities with young people in the fields of media and information literacy, digital media, and audiovisual production.
To learn more about the project activities, visit the dedicated webpage: /

Any questions?

If you have any questions, please email your query to the following address before May 3, 2021 at 6 p.m. GMT: [email protected] and [email protected]

Answers to questions will be published on the call for applications platform.

Reminder: Online conference will take place on the 3rd and 4th of June, workshops will take place for 3 days in September or October in a Western Balkans country (to be determined later on), incubation week will take place in November, in Paris, France (should the circumstances with the pandemic allow it).

In order to apply, click on the following link

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