Novi Sad School of Journalism (NSSJ) is a civil society organization that is dedicated to the development and professionalization of the media scene in Serbia and the region, which respects the values of truth, knowledge and critical approaches in a multilingual, multicultural and multinational environment and fosters a moderate and tolerant dialogue.
The Novi Sad School of Journalism exists from 1996, but is founded as a civil society organization in 1998.
Project activities of the organization are focused on: increasing the professional capacities in the media sector; monitoring and analysis of media content; education of the various target groups about media literacy and advocacy that will contribute to the democratization and development of civil society and the promotion of European values.
For all of these activities NSSJ offers knowledge and skills that promote the communication, which exclude ethnic, religious, sexual, or racial discrimination.
NSSJ has established excellent cooperation with many local, provincial, national and foreign media, educational institutions, and both governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Novi Sad School of Journalism is one of the founders of the SEENPM network -South Eastern European Network for Professionalization of Media. The network promotes excellence in journalism through policy initiatives, research and training. The SEENPM unites fifteen nonprofit media centers from eleven South East European and neighboring countries. Its activities are based on the belief that joint commitment and cooperation are pivotal to the development of independent media, the strengthening of relations among journalists, and overall progress in the region.
NSSJ is also one of the founders of Media Initiatives, an international consortium founded in 2005, which brings together media experts and activists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. The mission of the consortium is to promote the free flow of information, exchange of ideas and experiences in the Western Balkans media.
From 2006 to 2015, Novi Sad School of Journalism was among the first to implement professional development seminar for teachers and professors called “Journalism Workshop – Media literacy”, accredited by the Institute for Advancement of Education and Upbringing, Republic of Serbia. The seminar has been attended by more than 300 teachers and professors of both elementary and high schools, who were trained to educate children about media literacy through the subject that they already teach in school (above all: native language, civic education, computer science, sociology, arts, etc).
Since April 2014 NSSJ has officially become a member of the International Association of Media and Learning – MEDEA for media literacy. The main objective of the association is to promote and stimulate the use of media as a way to enhance innovation and creativity in teaching and learning across all levels of education in Europe.
In 2015, Novi Sad School of Journalism recognized the need for a broader application of media in education. The new program “Media and teaching – media literacy” encourages the introduction of interactive teaching methods, and the development of competencies for analysis and application of media for educational purposes.
This program, accredited by the Institute for Advancement of Education and Upbringing, has the task to educate teachers and professors for application of mass media content in the classroom and within extracurricular activities (school media), as well as advance their selective and critical thinking of media content and develop the art of communication within mass culture.
In the year 2017 NSSJ launched a new platform FakeNews Tragač (FakeNews Tracer) which is dedicated to fake and manipulative information deconstruction. The FakeNews Tracer editorial board has 10 members including the editor. In the last year and a half, the redaction published more than 150 articles and 5 long term researches.
This online platform includes an online course for general public through which they can step by step become familiarized with the basic tools for fake news deconstruction.
Monitoring implemented by NSSJ is completely different from regular press clipping that is done by many agencies, and that is focused only on gathering and classification of media contents, by topics and persons. The NSSJ monitoring is a process far more complicated than that: here we do in-depth analysis and critical deconstruction of media outputs.
For years, NSSJ has invested a lot in education of their monitoring team. Today, this team consists out of 4 PhDs, two MAs and a dozen of journalists. Our monitors have been trained partially thanks to projects supported by the Council of Europe though the Confidence measure building programme.
Exactly this qualified team of monitors enabled the Novi Sad School of Journalism to implement many projects of this kind, based on scientific methods and techniques of external evaluation (quantitative and qualitative analysis of media content). These projects were aimed at the improvement of professional standards in media. This is certainly the best way to see the extent to which media provide accurate, reliable, comprehensive and balanced picture of relevant events, but also how transparent public institutions are.
Most of these monitoring results have been published in print or in electronic publications, presented in scientific and professional conferences, public meetings and forums. It is important to emphasize, the results were the basis for development of curriculum for education of journalists and other professional staff involved in projects.
Electronic publications can be found on our website.
NSSJ has received several international awards. In 2013 the NSSJ won the ERSTE Foundation special jury award for Social Integration. The Award for Social Integration honors outstanding social projects that show high quality, innovation and sustainability. NSSJ won an award for a project entitled “A Day in your shoes.”