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Communication and Information Sector's news service

ERNO network reaches ten-year milestone with UNESCO support

28-10-2010 (Sarajevo)
ERNO network reaches ten-year milestone with UNESCO support
TV training on preservation of
cultural heritage
The ERNO news exchange network in South East Europe is celebrating its 10th anniversary on 1 November 2010 in Sofia, Bulgaria, by a UNESCO-supported meeting, where South East European public service broadcasters will discuss and assess the activities and achievements of their network.
ERNO is a South East European TV news exchange network of public broadcasters. It came into existence out of the need to re-establish cooperation that had been cut between the countries in this area after the wars in the Western Balkans. The ERNO network has worked over the years to exchange not only regional news on a daily basis, but also to improve the professionalism of staff of participating public broadcasters, to facilitate the sharing of various programmes, and to encourage co-productions and professional cross-border cooperation.

“We believe that ERNO was a major driving force behind the reconnection of regional public service broadcasters, whose relationships were totally destroyed during the war. Through its various activities, the network contributed to the peace and reconciliation process as well as to progress and development in the region; it also improved the quality of news and documentary programmes, and the professionalism of media staff”, says Željka Lekić, Chief Coordinator of ERNO.

UNESCO’s support has been very important for rebuilding cooperation between public broadcasters. In the beginning, UNESCO provided training and digital equipment with the grant of 300,000 Euros from the European Commission. During recent years UNESCO has continued its support to the network, mainly through the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), for further capacity building and enhanced cooperation between the public broadcasters.

“UNESCO contributed crucially to the development of ERNO. It provided support for documentary co-production, enabled the establishment of the ERNO documentary network and contributed to the increase of the programmes’ quality. Television of Serbia, which started last month a series of documentaries collected through the ERNO network, is an excellent example of UNESCO’s support,” adds Željka Lekić.

During the last ten years more than 10,000 news items, covering various issues in South East Europe (from politics and regional current affairs to culture and feature stories), have been transmitted through ERNO. The network has also expanded its activities in the field of regional co-production with a series of feature stories.

Željka Lekić underlines that ERNO has improved communication between the region's public broadcasters in many ways. Besides the daily news exchange, it organized several trainings and meetings for media professionals from various broadcasters and different areas of competence: news and documentary programmes, management, technical support, etc.

The main achievement of the last decade, however, is the ERNO network itself, which has become a self-sustainable association of media professionals, entirely financed through the annual membership fees paid by 11 television stations. News exchange, coordinated in Sarajevo, covers public broadcasters from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Kosovo (under UN SCR 1244), as well as from Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.
ERNO network reaches ten-year milestone with UNESCO support ERNO biannual meeting, Bucharest, 2005

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