Representatives of TV broadcasters – partners in the Vicinities project — met in Thessaloniki for a two-day gathering where they welcomed another TV station, the Albanian national broadcaster RTSH, which has recognized the importance of broadcasting this one-of-a-kind regional talk-show that brings together guests from different countries to discuss topics that impact daily life in the Balkans.
Representatives from the Vicinities partner TV stations reviewed the recently completed Season 3, assessing it as the most successful so far, and discussed preparations for Season 4.
The Thessaloniki meeting was hosted by Vicinities’ Editor and CDRSEE Executive Director, Zvezdana Kovač. Apart from the editors and executives of the TV stations broadcasting Vicinities, Executive Director of the European Fund for the Balkans Hedvig Morvai and Spokesperson for the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Nenad Šebek also attended the meeting.
The meeting participants, nine TV editors including RTSH, agreed that Vicinities meets the highest professional journalism and production standards. The TV partners also unanimously agreed that ratings should be increased, but without losing the relevant target audience and decision-makers. This will amplify Vicinities’ significance far beyond what is reflected in its actual viewing figures.
The editors also agreed to make improvements to Vicinities based on public opinion surveys that would provide important data for future development. The general view was that in selecting topics and guests, the show has to preserve newsworthiness, competence and personal as well as professional integrity.
This year, in addition to the studio-based programs, several public discussions, i.e. roundtables, will be staged at different locations across the region, which will be broadcast throughout Season 4. These discussions will focus on topical political, economic and social issues, with the participation of reputable guests.
The European Fund for the Balkans and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs have financially supported Vicinities from the very start ,and this year they were joined by the Sarajevo-based Regional Cooperation Council.
The Albanian RTSH will prepare a 15-minute TV feature story on Vicinities, covering also the Thessaloniki meeting of editors.