SCiDEV mentors media outlets on the Journalism Trust Initiative

SCiDEV mentors media outlets on the Journalism Trust Initiative

SCiDEV mentors media outlets on the Journalism Trust Initiative

SCiDEV is implementing a pilot initiative (Jan – April 2024) to mentor media outlets from Central and Eastern Europe on the Journalism Trust Initiative, an international mechanism rewarding ethical journalistic practices.

This is done in the framework of the project “Deepening Digital IV – Reconstructing the Central European Local Media through Digital Growth Strategies,” with the support and cooperation of the Thomson Foundation. This project is implemented by the Thomson Foundation with financial support from FCDO, the British Government.

Four media outlets have been selected as beneficiaries: 1) Plovdiv Online: A small media outlet in Bulgaria focusing on regional news emphasizing independent journalism. 2) Nowa Gazeta: A weekly newspaper and website based in Trzebnica, Poland, operating under a subscription model. 3) Gipsy TV: A Roma internet television founded by the European Media Center in Slovakia, which aims to provide viewers with current information on social policy, education, healthcare, human rights, and culture. 4) Napunk: A spinoff of Denník N in Slovakia, targeting the Hungarian population and filling the gap left by the discontinuation of Hungarian-language media.

Six mentors from the Western Balkan region are working with these media outlets to host monitoring sessions with the media outlets and support them in their journey with JTI. The mentors bring their diverse experience and expertise in journalism and media development.

About the Journalism Trust Initiative:

The Journalism Trust Initiative is an international mechanism rewarding ethical journalistic practices. It was initiated by Reporters without borders (RFS), developed by a panel of 130  including journalists, institutions, regulatory bodies, publishers, and new technology players under the aegis of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and published as Workshop Agreement CWA 17493 to reward trustworthy journalism and compliance with professional norms.

The mechanism was created as a means to fight fake news. The indicator focuses solely on the process of “making” journalism and not on the individual content. JTI translates existing professional norms into machine-readable code by providing indicators for media outlets to self-assess and comply with.

Journalism Trust Initiative serves to incentivize media outlets, enable consumers to identify and reward trustworthy journalism and contribute to a healthier information space. It offers services to the media outlets their certification through 3 steps:

  • Self-assessment in a dedicated online portal and addresses potential findings (
  • Public Disclosure where media outlets should publish the results in the form of a transparency report that is available to the public.
  • Certification where an independent audit officially certifies the level of compliance with the norm.

The Journalism Trust Initiative has its own campus, which serves as a resource center and a meeting point for those in the journalism industry who want to improve their journalism practices or help others do so. The platform offers media development organization courses, training, and a list of consultants available to help achieve JTI compliance and show funding opportunities as JTI audits grants. The access to the platform is free of charge and all actors in the industry are welcome to contribute to the platform.