On-line non-profit media is still developing in Croatia

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Ms. Sesar, Mr. Bergantino and Mr. Gillmor — Photo: Oriana Španović

The second panel on the Conference was about non-profit media. Non-profit media are mostly on-line media, struggling with funding and other organizational issues.

The first presentation by Dan Gilmor, famous American technology writer and columnist, gave us an overview of the U.S. non-profit media and non-profit journalism.  First of all, there are all kinds of non-profit media and organizations in U.S.  trying to do new forms of presenting news and issues that are often neglected or completely ignored by mainstream media. Mr. Gilmor pointed out that non-profit journalism is simply different kind of journalism, but it is still journalism with its own rules.

Joe Bergantino shared with guests at the Conference his personal experiences and lessons learned in the not-for-profit organization.  Thinking about how he had started New England Center for Investigative Journalism, he remembered how it was to talk with people who are experts, then about being financed by radio stations, how TV stations had sent their producers and journalist to help new center.

It is important to know, according to Mr. Bergantino, that foundations love when journalists collaborate, for example when five centres are working on the same project. After hiring experts and trainers, New England Center for Investigative Reporting came up with one great idea. It was summer camp of investigative reporting which helped Center to collect money to organize themselves. Another way of collecting money was selling good ideas to universities.

Mr. Berganitno advised us to startup step by step because often organizations have problems when they become too big too quickly. He concluded that the most important task of non-profit media is to build a web presence.

The next speaker was Janja Sesar, project manager at Kulturpunkt.hr, presenting an overview of the on-line non-profit media sector in Croatia. She highlighted the big importance of non-profit media sector, but in Croatia the main problem is there is still no regulation of financing for that sector. „We are witnessing the devastation of media in Croatia“, she said. Especially when it comes to theme of culture which is neglected in Croatian media and have little place in private and public media. On-line non-profit media introduced something new, according to Ms. Sesar, and that is the fact that they don’t mind logic of the owner and logic of the company.

She pointed out that Croatian Minister of culture recognized the importance of non-profit media sector. As an example, H-Alter is the most influential non-profit website in Croatia. For the end of her presentation, Ms. Sesar told us about her website Kulturpunkt.hr, a website established in 2005 because at that time there was no sites or cultural columns in Croatian media environment. Kulturpunkt.hr started journalism school that lasts for three months.

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