On 7 May 2020 the Baltic Center for Media Excellence sent an open letter to the leaders of European institutions turning attention on the state of independent media in the Eastern Partnership countries and calling for support.
The letter is undersigned by more than 30 civil society organisations based in the countries of Eastern Partnership and working on development of independent media. It calls on European institutions not to limit support to political dialog and intensify media development support in the following direction:
- Allocate additional funding for immediate support to cover the gaps caused by the pandemic. External grant support should go to and be accessible to independent media who struggle to survive due to COVID-19 and a national lockdown that restricts media reporting on issues of vital importance to their audience;
- Provide funding and support for robust audience research and media business skills development to help EaP media outlets use their limited financial and human resources to increase their audience reach and financial viability, thinking also beyond the timeline of pandemic;
- Increase support for regional initiatives to improve media literacy, address disinformation and foster critical thinking among the national public.
Full text with undersigned media development organisations from the EaP please find below.