The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, news agencies and new media in South, East and Central Europe. With its committees, SEEMO aims to create a bridge between international media activities and the media developments in the region.
SEEMO was founded in October 2000 in Zagreb, Croatia, by a group of leading editors-in-chief, media executives and professors of journalism and communications from South, East and Central Europe, in the presence of representatives of international institutions and with financial support of the International Press Institute (IPI).
SEEMO has over 100 editors-in-chief, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe as individual members, and over 100 media outlets and institutions as corporate members.
Between 2000-2012, SEEMO has assembled over 15,000 editors-in-chief, media executives, leading journalists and public persons from the region in various meetings.
Some of these meetings, like the meeting of editors-in-chief and media executives from Belgrade (Serbs) and Pristina / Prishtinë / Priština (Kosovo-Albanians), were the first of their kind in history. No one before SEEMO had managed to gather such high-level media representatives from Belgrade and Pristina in a meeting. Between 2002 and 2004, SEEMO organised 14 dialogue meetings between editors-in-chief, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe.
In October 2005, SEEMO organised the SEEMO Dialogue Conference between editors-in-chief and media executives from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia/Montenegro in Opatija. One month later, in November 2005, a SEEMO Dialogue Conference between editors-in-chief and media executives from Albania, Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia / FYROM / Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), and Serbia/Montenegro/Kosovo was held in Tirana. SEEMO also organised the first meeting of leading media representatives of all important private news agencies in the region in June 2005, and as a result of the meeting the agencies founded a regional organisation of private news agencies (APNA).
SEEMO actively cooperates with international, regional and national governmental and non-governmental organisations and institutions. SEEMO also actively cooperates with other international press freedom and media organisations, and it supports and participates in joint regional and international projects and activities.
Together with partners, SEEMO has organised seminars and conferences promoting European values and ideas (2003, 2004, 2005), ecological philosophy – environment and better transport possibilities in the region (Belgrade 2002, 2004 and 2005, Athens 2003 and 2004, Trieste 2004, Sarajevo 2004 - all conferences in cooperation with City of Vienna and Bohmann publishing group); a regional conference on investigative reporting (2002); a regional conference on minorities (2002); elections (Media and Elections in 2007, together with Radio 101, Hrvatsko novinsko društvo and Guardian Foundation); two conferences for editors-in-chief, media executives and leading journalists of Roma media in the region (2003); two conferences of editors-in-chief, media executives and leading journalists of Vlachian- Aromanian media in South East Europe (2004); several conferences on press freedom, the legal situation of media, relations between media and politicians, the public role of parliamentarians, access to information, the right to secrecy of information sources, tolerance (Media and Tolerance Conference in 2004, together with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and International Center for Education of Journalists (ICEJ)), as well as teaching public relations and communications for governmental officials, etc.
Helping journalists also means furthering their education. Several workshops and seminars were organised in the field of education, especially for investigative reporters (in Opatija in Croatia (2006), in Babe in Serbia (2006), in Tirana in Albania (2007), in Bucharest in Romania (2007), in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2007) and in Sofia in Bulgaria (2007)) and also workshops for representatives of minority media. Some of the minority media workshops and seminars took place at the SEEMO Media Minority Centre (MMC) in Opatija, Croatia.
In June 2008, SEEMO organised the conference Media, Marketing and Business, as well as the regular meeting of the private news agencies in South East Europe. In December 2008, SEEMO organised the conference Public Broadcasting in South East Europe in cooperation with RTV Slovenija, as a meeting of directors of public broadcasting systems in South East and Central Europe.
SEEMO has several international and national governmental organisations and institutions as project partners, like the Austrian Development Agency – Austrian Development Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, and the Central European Initiative (CEI). SEEMO has an ongoing project-cooperation with a number of foundations, universities, media schools and media companies. Over the past few years, SEEMO has coordinated several media monitoring projects in South East and Central Europe, and has also organised several pieces of media research.
SEEMO started, together with the German WAZ Medien Gruppe and Konrad- Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), the South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF). The first SEEMF was organised in Zagreb in 2007, under the patronage of the President of Croatia H.E. Stjepan Mesić, and in cooperation with local media partners: Europapress Holding (EPH), HINA, HRT, Mediaservis, Obiteljski radio and NCL (Nacional) Media Group. The topic of the II SEEMF is “Media and Democracy in South East Europe: Professional Standards and Education of Journalists.” The II SEEMF was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 5-6 November 2008. This II SEEMF is organised by the WAZ Medien Gruppe, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), and SEEMO, with local partners Newspaper Group Bulgaria and the Media Development Centre, Sofia. The welcome was by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria H.E. Sergei Stanishev. The III SEEMF was held in Tirana, Albania, from 4-6 November 2009. IV SEEMF was in Budapest (Hungary), V SEEMF in Belgrade (Serbia), and the 2012 VI SEEMF is in Budva (Montenegro). Today SEEMF partners are SEEMO; SECEPRO, IMC, KAS and CEI, as also Raiffeisen Bank International.
In cooperation with the University of Vienna, since 2004 SEEMO has regularly published a quarterly media magazine for South East Europe called De Scripto. The magazine is published in partnership with South East Central Europe PR Organisation (SECEPRO) and International Media Center (IMC).
Since 2003, the South East Europe Media Handbook (SMH), an annual publication covering media developments in SEE, which includes selected media contacts, has also been published. From 2008, the book is published under the name South East and Central Europe Media Handbook (well known to everyone as the SEEMO Media Handbook (or SMH)), and it is published in partnership with South East Central Europe PR Organisation (SECEPRO) and International Media Center (IMC). The Media Handbook includes media reports and contact details of selected radio and TV stations, newspapers, magazines, media organisations, media schools, journalists’ organisations, and internet service providers and other new media from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Bulgaria. SEEMO, SECEPRO and IMC publish this book annually in cooperation with its partners, and since 2008 the partners are the Central European Initiative (CEI), the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, and the ERSTE Foundation from Vienna (in two volumes, over 2000 pages).
Next to these publications, SEEMO has published some other books in the English language, such as Media and Minorities in South East Europe or the Handbook for Investigative Reporters in South East Europe. But SEEMO also publishes in local languages from the region, for example, the publication Istraživačko novinarstvo u JIE or the editions of SEEMO Media Handbook in Albanian language and in Serbian language. SEEMO is also co-publisher of different books covering media topics. Book on “Media and PR” and a book on Media, Marketing and Business in South East Europe. Furthermore, publications on Public Broadcasting in South East Europe and Women, Men and Media are in planning. SEEMO started also a regional research about Women, Men and Media. SEEMO started also in 2009 the book edition Investigative Journalists in cooperation with Dan Graf in Belgrade.