The US State Department intends to promote the creation of “alternative sources of information” for native speakers of Serbian in Kosovo, as well as help “independent” media to combat “disinformation” and work to strengthen cybersecurity. For these purposes, the department has allocated three grants. RT got acquainted with the documents.
The first grant from the State Department concerns the Kosovar media working in the Serbian language.
“Develop sustainable practices and establish strong partnerships between independent Serbian-speaking media partners in Kosovo to create alternative sources of information for native speakers of Serbian in Kosovo and the region as a whole” is one of the objectives of the program.
To expand the reach of such partners, as well as find new ways to interact with young people, it is planned to forge links with local technology startups.
The Foreign Ministry notes the need to increase the media literacy of the partners of such media outlets in order to help them avoid the spread of misinformation created by “malicious actors”.
The second grant concerns work with the Albanian-speaking media in the region. The program is supposed to, among other things, improve the fact-checking ability of Kosovar journalists and help them gain a better understanding of the impact of “malicious disinformation” in local media.
The State Department expects to find ways to use existing automated computer technology to verify information and sources. In addition, the program will train Kosovar journalists to identify and prevent the spread of false information.
Also, the United States plans to improve the security of the online infrastructure of the “independent media” in Kosovo, for which it is supposed to attract “ethical hackers”. As noted in the State Department, strengthening the cyber defense of the media will help expand their freedom.
For all these projects, the State Department is ready to allocate up to $ 500 thousand.
In February, it became known about Washington’s plans to provide about $ 2.5 million for the development of civil society and the media in the Balkans.