CBM projects: AIM

An independent information agency in former Yugoslavia and in the Balkans

Creation of the AIM network

In October 1992 thirty professional journalists from the different republics of former Yugoslavia participated in a conference organised by the European Civic Forum in Uzhgorod (Ukraine). They all refused to accept the nationalist propaganda of the state-controlled media and were aware of the disastrous role which the press had played in fanning the flames of the conflict. They decided to establish an independent information network based on a specifically developed electronic communication system with a central computer in Paris.


  • break down the barriers to communication between communities and countries, thus contributing towards the promotion of greater understanding between them
  • encourage reliable, objective, in-depth journalism which reflects the complexity of a situation
  • build up and train a new generation of ethically-minded journalists
  • support existing independent media and promote the creation of new ones by providing them with high-quality articles free of charge
  • promote the awareness that the problems of each entity, state or community are shared by all and can only be solved through regional cooperation
  • provide objective information for media, institutions and individuals outside the region.

AIM's editorial boards

AIM now has nine editorial boards (the Editors are given in brackets):

Tirana (Remzi Lani)
Sarajevo (Drazena Peranic)
Banja Luka (Branko Peric)
Zagreb (Zoran Daskalovic)
Pristina (Violeta Orosi)
Skopje (Kim Mehmeti)
Podgorica (Drasko Djuranovic)
Belgrade (Branka Kaljevic)
Ljubljana (Igor Mekina)

AIM also has correspondents in:

Sofia (Georgi Filipov)
Athens (Panayote Dimitras)

Each Editor develops a network of journalists throughout his/her respective state or region and orders articles on subjects of interest to media throughout the region. The Editor is responsible for controlling the quality and veracity of articles. A total of around 120 journalists write for AIM.

The information provided by AIM

AIM's articles are not news flashes, but in-depth texts of an average of two or three pages. Priority is given to questions linked to democratisation and the establishment of an active civil society, human rights, the situation of refugees, the educational system, the freedom of the media, the privatisation of the economy... The Editors offer AIM articles to independent media in their country, especially in the provinces where there is little access to information from further afield. Over 100 in-depth articles are produced every month by the different editorial boards.

Around 90 media, spread out throughout former Yugoslavia and the Balkans, regularly publish or use AIM's articles as source material. Over 12.000 articles have been published by independent media since 1993. The fact that these articles are provided free of charge has helped ensure the survival of many independent media which know that they can count on this source of reliable information.

AIM's training programme

Training has become one of the network's most important activities. The need is particularly strong for young journalists who matured during the war years and were over-exposed to nationalist propaganda.
In Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia "on-the-job" training enables motivated young people to become integrated into AIM's editorial boards over a long period. In Eastern Slavonia (Croatia) and Montenegro three-month courses have been organised.
The aim is to foster a respect for the ethical criteria of independent journalism, explain the need to reflect the complexity of a given situation and write in a way which will foster mutual understanding and regional cooperation.
Priority is given to young trainees from regions outside the capital cities where it is far more difficult to obtain training and where there is a severe lack of independent journalists and media. Many of them are journalists already working in local media who had never received any training. They are selected in cooperation with the Editors of the media they work for.

AIM's Internet site

About a third of the network's production is translated into English for the international public. The articles can be consulted on AIM's Internet site in the original language and in English. The site also includes the entire archive of over 20.000 articles written since 1993. These can be accessed thanks to a rapid search mechanism.
In 1999 about 7500 documents were retrieved daily from the site, with strong interest by universities, research institutes, media and other professional users. As from 2000 it will also be possible to consult AIM articles in Albanian, Bulgarian and Macedonian.