"Reporting on the situation of journalists, including press freedom violations or abuse of rights of journalists, SEEMO has been a stable point in the rapidly changing media environment of the region. SEEMO brings together media professionals at annual conferences to talk to each other, get inspiration and build solidarity."
Ilona Móricz, Director, Center for Independent Journalism, Budapest, Hungary
“SEEMO denounces abuses and violence against journalists who spread information that is uncomfortable for those in power. It shows what others do not want to see, helps victims of censorship, and suggests that even in South East Europe, there is no democracy without freedom of information. Its role is essential for achieving a Europe which shares fundamental rights.”
Alberto Spampinato, journalist and coordinator of "Ossigeno per l’Informazione", Roma, Italy
“During last 15 years, the situation of the media in South East Europe changed more than ever, more than everywhere. SEEMO had to exist to connect leading media representatives to debate and understand where we are and where the media is going. Plenty of meetings and opportunities to exchange opinions and experiences was the best book to learn about performing the craft of journalism under specific conditions. However, the changes are ongoing, so SEEMO has to connect more, to encourage more, to keep media leaders communicating in this way to confront challenges.”
Alina Radu, director and owner, Ziarul de garda, www.zdg.md, Chisinau, Moldova
“SEEMO is a good memory. Never forget how we have discussed and finished all complex procedures and published Kemal Kurspahic’s book Prime Time Crime, a chronology of media in Bosna-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia between 1945 and 2000. From that point I always understood Oliver Vujović and SEEMO as a one of the most valuable media organizations in the region.”
Boro Kontić, director of the Media center, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
“Oliver Vujovic is doing a very important job. The energy he has, shows how much he belives in press freedom. SEEMO is his project, but today we can not think more about press freedom and human rights without SEEMO. He organised in 2003 the first meeting of journalist from Kosovo and Serbia after the conflicts. With this meeting and support of cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia, he started the normalisation between Pristina and Belgrade”
Wolfgang Libal (1912-2008), former DPA South East Europe correspondent and former president of the Foreign Press Association of Austria, Vienna, Austria
“SEEMO not only rewards journalists' courage but also functions as a perfect tool to remove obstacles impeding their progress. It soothes the loneliness which we feel in our own country on another scale, and significantly increases the motivation of young journalists. I want to end my words with a slogan that has been etched in people's memories in my country since Gezi protests: This is just the beginning. Don't give up fighting!”
Bülent Mumay, digital media coordinator, Hürriyet, Istanbul, Turkey
“SEEMO has in all its years of vigorous activity contributed to conciliation in the region, supported and initiated quality journalism and the awareness of the need for independence and proper standards in the media. With its inclusive orientation, SEEMO has established not only a precious network of its own, but also alliances of different independent organisations and movements, establishing a ‘together we are stronger’ force for a better media environment.”
Boris Bergant, president of the SEEMO Board, former EBU deputy president and former deputy director of Radio Television of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia
"SEEMO is the watchdog for media in South East Europe. It fights for freedom of expression and the rights of journalists to exercise their profession without fear and pressure. It plays an important role for the democratization processes in South Eastern Europe".
Radka Betcheva, Head if Partnership Programme at European Broadcasting Union (EBU); Geneva
“I now Oliver for more than 20 years and I would like to thank him for all supports he gave for my projects. He was supporting the magazina Balkan Dialogue and the work of our Kulturzentrum in Vienna. As a journalist and as founder of SEEMO Oliver always used his power to support democratic developments in South East Europe. He is for me one of the leading fighters for human rights”. (Quote given during the presentation of the Human Rights Award in 2002)".
Christine von Kohl (1923-2009), long year supporter of Simon Wiesenthal and of the International Helsinki Federation, former South East Europe correspondent and co-founder of BALKAN Südosteuropäischer Dialog (Balkan anders)
"SEEMO has a very important role in promoting quality journalism and defending journalists".
Adrian Mogos, investigative reporter, Bucharest, Romania
"The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is one of the closest partners of the Media Program of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). For many years we have been working together in order to spread the idea of media freedom as a basis for the democratic development of the region. SEEMO has become one of the most important non-governmental organizations which are fostering the dialogue on independent media in South East Europe".
Christian Spahr, head of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Media Program South East Europe, Berlin - Sofia
"Nothing and no one is perfect. This is also true for the media in South East Europe. So far, SEEMO has expressed numerous concerns about the way in which journalists and media are treated in public, within the political arena and also concerning the security for the journalists. Within Europe, it is a common responsibility to guarantee freedom of expression."
Erhard Busek, President of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, Vienna, Austria and Coordinator of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI).
"I would like to hereby endorse the work of the international non-governmental organisation SEEMO, which has been assembling editors, media publishers, and leading journalists from Southern and Eastern Europe for a number of years. Since one of the priorities of my presidential term has been reconciliation of countries of the region, establishment of cooperation in different fields, and development of friendly relations among our nations, we aspire to the same goals."
Ivo Josipović, former President of Croatia, Zagreb, Croatia
"The main tasks of SEEMO have always been the fight for press freedom and anti-corruption as well as building networks of media representatives from the region with organizations at international level. SEEMO is today respected by media companies and media owners, journalists, but also all other important players in society, including leading political representatives and international organisations."
Dr. Michael Spindelegger, former Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Austria, Vienna, Austria
"SEEMO role is essential in protecting, supporting and guiding journalists in South, East and Central Europe."
Marina Constantinoiu, Editor-in-Chief, Jurnalul National, Bucharest, Romania
"The media community in South East and Central Europe needs an organisation like SEEMO. SEEMO Secretary General Mr. Oliver Vujovic presented the problems that the media in this region face several times in my radio shows, and I support the work of this organisation."
Vlada Vladimir Divljan (1958-2015), radio journalist at ORF, singer, songwriter and frontman for the former Yugoslav rock band Idoli, Vienna, Austria
"SEEMO reactions and support were very significant to me, not only in a moral sense, but they also contributed to quicker reactions by state institutions. That type of pressure from international organizations towards Croatian authorities is very important because it shows that the case is being followed outside of Croatia."
Drago Hedl, reporter, Jutarnji list, Zagreb - Osijek and author, Croatia
"I’ve had SEEMO’s support from the very beginning, when you addressed public letters to Vojislav Koštunica and Dragan Jočić, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior in Serbia at the time. SEEMO is a big source of support, help and comfort that I needed at the time of my attacks. Big thanks to SEEMO, all the colleagues who are a part of the organisation."
Vladimir Mitrić, correspondent, Večernje novosti, Loznica, Serbia
"For news agencies from the SEEMO region, the organisation provides great support and opportunities for networking. Secretary General Oliver Vujovic and SEEMO initiated and organised the first meeting of private news agencies in this part of Europe. SEEMO is also an important fighter for press freedom."
Mehmed Memica Husic (1952-2006), founder and director of news agency ONASA, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
"I can’t overstate the importance of such (SEEMO) support. Visibility – domestic and international – of a case like mine is really very important."
Anuška Delić, investigative journalist of Delo, Ljubljana, Slovenia
"For me SEEMO was very important organisation which enabled my further professional improving on numerous significant subjects, a platform which enabled networking with colleagues in the whole region, sharing of experience and knowledge with others, a help which was most needed when I got sick, but also the maintenance of the space for the work during the time when the isolation and pressure within my own surrounding was most intensive and most dangerous. Oliver Vujovic and his team from SEEMO have always had enough personal interest and energy to develop new forms and content that helped me and my colleagues to persist in our job and continue it."
Esad Hećimović, editor, OBN TV, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
"The great support I received from all relevant international organizations that deal with media rights and freedom meant a lot as pressure on the regime to refrain from more radical moves, and to begin an investigation so the perpetrators could be found. Among them was the SEEMO reaction, which later regularly followed and reported on my case."
Željko Ivanović, founder and publisher of daily Vijesti in Podgorica, Montenegro
"I still remember how we founded SEEMO in Zagreb in the year 2000, after many years of companionship and exchanges of experience through the Radio and Television Commission. I worked then as a reporter and editor at the independent Radio 101 that initiated many social changes and democratic processes in the Republic of Croatia… The establishment of SEEMO at the beginning of the new millennium happened at the right historical moment – in the year marking the shift of authoritarian regimes in the countries of the region which – each at its own pace – started the process of integration into the European Union".
Zrinka Vrabec-Mojzeš Adviser to the President of the Republic of Croatia for Social Affairs 2010-2014, anchor, journalist and editor of Radio 101 in Zagreb 1984-2010, Editor-in-chief of Radio 101 in Zagreb 1995-1998
"I have worked with SEEMO and his head, Mr. Oliver Vujovic, for more than a decade and I must say that SEEMO is not only an influential and successful protector of press freedom in the region but also an excellent motivator for a qualitative journalism by organizing seminars, round tables about specific issues concerning problems in journalism in various countries".
Mitja Meršol, journalist, former editor-in-chief Delo, Ljubljana and former member of the Parliament of Slovenia
"SEEMO partnered with STINA to organise a very successful meeting between the cities of Split and Vienna, it showed the huge potential for what activities of this organisation can be. It is nice to be member of SEEMO."
Goran Vežić (1953-2010), Director, STINA news agency, Split, Croatia
"All of the organisations that have in common characteristics such as helping journalists and media to perform their duties, are welcomed. To me,SEEMO was that and more as from the very beginning I have realised that this organisation can do more than solely protest, it is an organisation that can make changes. And this, to me, makes them leaders in this field. I am happy to be part of SEEMO and contributor to the SEEMO activities in the region."
Shpresë Mulliqi, Lecturer at the University “Hasan Prishtina”, Prishtinë, Kosovo
“In the times of widespread authoritarian pressures on the freedom of the press and freedom of the media industry around the various South-East European countries an organization like SEEMO proves to be indispensable: to support, to co-ordinate and to give voice to journalists, editors and other media workers in keeping democracy live and kicking as professional and moral challenges face SEEMO’s members on a daily bases.”
Dr. Saso Ordanoski, journalist, former Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the national public broadcaster MRTV; former Managing Director of the national TV station Alsat-M; founder and owner of the weekly newsmagazine Forum; Skopje, Macedonia
"Meanwhile, the support of my colleagues in Turkey and international organizations kept my hope alive. The prison taught me the importance of telling the truth to the public at all costs, as well as the honour of resistance and solidarity".
Nedim Şener, journalist, Turkey
" I find organizations such as SEEMO very important because they start public debate on important topics like freedom of speech, media professionalism and their importance in the society".
Štefica Galić, editor-in-chief, news portal Tacno.net, Bosnia and Herzegovina
" Regardless of the troubles a journalist is confronted with, if his colleagues are with him, he feels stronger. SEEMO fought for me in public on several occasions. It certainly helped to resolve some cases or caused competent authorities to pay more attention to them. So please bear in mind that I'm still in need of your help".
Olivera Lakić, journalist, Vijesti daily, Podgorica, Montenegro
"In 2004, the support from international human rights and press freedom organizations helped end the case with the removal of the head of POA from his position. Some of these organizations were IFJ/EFJ, CPJ, IWPR, HRW, Freedom Forum, and of course SEEMO".
Helena Puljiz, commentator Tportal, Zagreb, Croatia
" SEEMO is a longstanding partner of the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and it plays an important role for the development of free media in South Eastern Europe".
Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Vienna, Austria
"SEEMO is an important media watchdog that helps the exercise of the right of freedom of speech and media freedom in the young democracies in South and Eastern Europe. Its role is even more significant as it promptly addresses all the cases of abuse or media freedom, thus becoming a whistleblower while documenting the process."
Goran Mihajlovski, Editor in Chief, VEST daily, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia / FYROM
"South and Eastern part of Europe for a long while certainly is not particularly bright and safe place for the professional journalists to live and work in, but without SEEMO certainly it would be much gloomier and more stern space for the pure existence of the media and the newsmen in general. Since its foundation in October 2000, SEEMO was not only the regional beacon of press freedom, but a ray of hope for those fighting for the independent, professional and dignified journalism".
Radomir Ličina, Senior Editor of Danas daily, Belgrade, Serbia
"As one of the SEEMO founders I feel good for everything SEEMO has achieved during these 15 years. It is certainly much more than we imagined the day we started it in Zagreb. SEEMO has been a powerful voice in defense of freedom of expression in our region. SEEMO has been a firm advocate of journalists' rights and a persistent critic of those that have violated these rights. SEEMO is more than a formal network of journalists in the Balkans, it is a common cause that unites them".
Remzi Lani, Director, Albanian Media Institute, Tirana, Albania
"Since my first meeting with SEEMO in 2003 in Ohrid, I can certainly say that during all this time SEEMO has played a great role in the relationship between media in the Balkans, in increasing mutual communication and collaboration opportunities. SEEMO as well contributed in getting closer news agencies from different coutries and special thanks for this goes to Mr. Oliver Vujovic".
Skënder Krasniqi, Owner of Kosova News Agency, KosovaPress, Pristina, Kosovo
"In these difficult times where critical journalists and media outlets are under heavy pressures by the national authorities, the support from the regional partners is a valuable asset. SEEMO is one of those organisations that shows interest for the critical points and offers support that makes change."
Dragan Sekulovski, Executive Director Association of Journalists of Macedonia, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia / FYROM
"SEEMO is important for us because solidarity between journalists in our region has always been very important not only to improve the press freedom situation, but also to develop peace between countries and cultures. Just like when journalists played an important role in the 1990s to mend fences between Turkey and Greece, they are still being organized around IPI and SEEMO to have a more democratic media environment in the region".
Emre Kızılkaya, journalist and Vice President of the Turkish National Committee of IPI, Istanbul, Turkey
"Regions like the South-Central-East-European one are a special challenge for professional journalism because of its history still continuing to have an effect, because of its difficulties in nation- but also society-building and, last not least, because of its sometimes and somehow contradictory attempts of an European approach. In all that SEEMO is the most reliable and ever present partner. SEEMO does a huge work and irreplaceable support for media quality and journalistic professionalism providing seminars, workshops, trainings, awards, publications and on-site support programs covering all topics you can imagine to be relevant in recent media media change developments. Without SEEMO the media landscapes in South-Central- East European region - journalism, media law, media etchics, media culture, media education and so on - would not have reached the achievments and the standards earning increasing credibility and growing national and international trust. There is still a lot to do since media mirror the status of their societies. But i am sure, as long as SEEMO will be continuing providing the environment for media competence development, the media culture in South-Central-East-Europe will mirror a learning and a more and more self-trusting society. As the society always is, what its communication is like, in a media society there is not any other more important work in progress than media-communication".
Prof. Thomas Bauer, University of Vienna, Austria
"SEEMO is an extremely important organization of journalists' authors that promotes quality journalism and professional solidarity in the region of Southeast Europe. And a highly professional journalism and solidarity are promoting humane and essential social values".
Zdenko Duka, president of Croatian Journalists' Association ( till 2015), Zagreb, Croatia
"South-Central-East Europe is among the most turbulent parts of Europe both in terms of political processes and developments in media. As such it needs a permanent media "watchdog", a professional organisation that provides critical analysis of media in particular countries, developments and situations, as well as enhancing transparency and increasing professional standards and media knowledge. SEEMO fulfills these tasks and continues to be an important part of media ecosystems in the area".
Prof. Marko Milosavljevic, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
"… the two SEEMO awards mean a lot because they are a confirmation that we’ve done our job in a professional and responsible way, as well as a confirmation that we’re doing the right thing…. Speaking about the support of your organization (SEEMO), i would like to underline that you are always active in supporting journalists".
Brankica Stanković, Insajder TV investigative programme, B92, Belgrade, Serbia
„SEEMO, along the other positive roles, plays one especially important to me: supports indenpendent investigative reporting very seriously. That is absolutely needed in the countries in the region with high scale of corruption including the media itself“
Saša Leković, Investigative journalism Center and since 2015 President of the Croatian Journalists' Association, Croatia
"Freedom of the Press and independent journalism are ideals that make the fight a just cause. And this difficult path, I think, SEEMO is following".
Costas Betinakis, General Secretary (2007-2009) of Journalist's Union Of Athens Daily Newspapers, Journalist and Founder of the first Greek web magazine: "www.styx.gr", Athens, Greece
"SEEMO is one of the most important and the most meaningful organisations that have operated in the troubled region of Balkan. For me, personally, it is unique, because, through it, I think, to a significant extent, as journalists, editors, publishers, we have managed to break a host of prejudices that have prevailed among us, which were actually stereotypes of our non-glorious past, but it also enabled us to know each other better by understanding that we are not self-sufficient and that we are in need of each other. For this, I feel good to be part of SEEMO since its early days until now, that I made an effort to contribute to it, and that all our expectations have been turned into a reality by this organization. Thank you SEEMO".
Prof. Haqif Mulliqi, journalist and Professor in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Prishtina