Astrit Perani joined the BIRN team in January 2008 as a cameraman and video editor for the Life in Kosovo and Justice in Kosovo TV programmes.
He is currently a student at the AAB-RIINVEST University, where he is studying Mass Communications with a focus on production.
Having fostered a passion for Information Technology since the age of nine, Arian Hyseni is accustomed to putting to use the latest innovations in the field.
Arian joined BIRN in February 2008. He is responsible for maintaining the overall network, ensuring the online presence of BIRN products, as well as managing daily tasks in the office.
In 2009, he received the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) accreditation. He is currently enrolled at the University for Business and Technology, UBT, reading Management, Business and Economics.
Gordana is an experienced journalist with in-depth knowledge of the politics and economy of the Balkan countries.
Gordana serves as the managing editor of BIRN’s Belgrade Insight, a twice-monthly newspaper that covers the Serbian capital. She also writes news stories, analysis and investigations for both the newspaper and BIRN’s website, Balkan Insight.
Gordana first joined BIRN in August 2010 as a journalist for Belgrade Insight.
Before joining the BIRN team, Gordana worked for two years as a news programme reporter at Serbia’s flagship broadcaster B92. With NGO Serbia on the Move, Gordana took part in an anti-corruption campaign in the Serbian health sector in 2010.
Gordana studied journalism at the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Political Sciences.
Besar has extensive experience in journalism, having worked in print, television and electronic media in both the US and Albania since 2003.
Besar has been the editor for BIRN Albania since 2007, and serves as the country correspondent for Balkan Insight.
Besar started his career reporting for the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville, Florida. He moved to Albania in 2005 where he worked as a features editor for the Tirana Times, and a world news editor for the 24 hour news channel TV Ora News.
He has also contributed stories to various publications including The Christian Science Monitor, Global Post, Transitions Online, The Diplomatic Courier and World Politics Review.
In 2009 Besar received the CEI/SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism and in 2010 he was runner up to the Global Shining Light Award, presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Geneva. Besar studied philosophy at the University of North Florida.
Founder of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and Regional Network Director until May 2018.
With her Balkan colleagues Gordana helped establish, manage and develop the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN. Through her dedication, engagement and careful planning of network establishment, programme objectives and strategies for further development, the organisation has continued to grow since its inception.
Gordana began her career as a journalist in Belgrade in 1981. She reported from Bosnia and Kosovo during the wars that followed the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. From 1998 to 1999, she worked in the field of human rights as Director of Research for the Humanitarian Law Centre (Belgrade), and Kosovo Researcher for Human Rights Watch (New York).
She has received several journalism awards, including the 1998 Overseas Press Club (USA) Award for Human Rights Reporting and a Human Rights Watch Hellman Hammet award in the same year for her research into war crimes in Foca, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Gordana was Balkan project manager at the Institute of War and Peace Reporting, IWPR, from 1999 until August 2005, during which time IWPR’s Balkan reporting received numerous press awards and media citations.
Gordana graduated in 1983 from the University of Belgrade’s School of Political Science, Department of Journalism.
Drawing on the experience she gained in several large international organisations, Dusica contributes to the smooth operations of BIRN’s regional organisation.
Dusica joined BIRN in 2006 as Regional Operations Coordinator.
Drawing on her previous professional experience, she quickly deployed her organisational and executive skills to ensure the regional activities of the organisation run smoothly.
She manages the operational budget of the organisation, assists the development department and joyfully participates in the organisation of BIRN’s events.
Dusica previously worked with several leading EU and UN institutions and donor groups. She worked in administration, programme management and PR, starting with the UNHCR as a Programme and Field Assistant.
In 1996 she joined ECHO, the EC’s Humanitarian Aid Office, in the Administration, Programme and Visibility departments, where she stayed for seven years, working in Tuzla from 1996-2000 and in Skopje from 2000-2003.
Dusica also worked as a television reporter from 1992-1993, but later moved to radio to run talk shows on the edge of provocativeness, tackling taboo topics in society. She still occasionally appears on talk shows, and sees this as a good way to share her concerns about society and ways of life with the world.
Dusica L. Stilic was born in 1971 in Tuzla. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature and graduated from a 19-week course at the London School of PR as best in class 2003/2004. She is also a certified court interpreter, registered with the Ministry of Justice of the FBIH, but always emphasises that her main profession is being a single mother.
Dusica’s awards include Best in Class, London School of PR 2003/2004 and a Certificate from the Director of ECHO for dedication and commitment to the provision of humanitarian aid. She was also one of eight winners of the Business Plan Competition in 2005 at the Tuzla University Business Start-up Centre.
Marija Ristic is the regional director of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, a network of seven non-governmental organisations promoting freedom of speech, human rights and democratic values. Ristic oversees the activities and communications within the Network and represents it publicly.
As regional director, Ristic also leads the BIRN Hub, which coordinates the BIRN network, dealing with editorial, training, operations and development, as well as developing, fundraising for and coordinating core regional projects.
Ristic started working for BIRN in 2011 as a journalist, contributing to the regional Balkan Transitional Justice programme. Topics related to facing the past, reconciliation and transitional justice have been at the core of her professional development. After becoming the programme’s director, Ristic was responsible for building the capacities of local media and civil society in order to promote reconciliation and intercultural dialogue.
In 2015, she produced the award-winning documentary ‘The Unidentified’.
She also made BIRN one of the first media organisations in the Western Balkans to initiate regular reporting about violent extremism, populism and propaganda under the regional Resonant Voices Initiative, which also involved training journalists to cover these topics.
Ristic has significant expertise and knowledge related to media, transitional justice, human rights, democratic processes and EU integration.
She has also been actively involved in organisational development, fundraising and expanding the organisation’s influence regionally and abroad over the past several years.
Ristic is a graduate of the Geneva Academy for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She has received numerous awards and scholarships from the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the OSCE, the Zoran Djindjic Foundation and the Research Council of Norway. She is also a fellow at the Free University in Berlin researching universal jurisdiction.
Maida has years of experience in commercial business and financial work.
Maida joined BIRN Hub in January 2008. As the financial officer, she is responsible for cash flow management, accounting and financial operations, drawing up budgets for specific projects, record keeping and regular financial reporting to the executive and management staff.
Maida’s educational background is in economics, and she has worked for three decades in commercial business, finance and administration.
Slobodan Georgiev is Belgrade based journalist and he serves as programme coordinator in BIRN Serbia.
He works as a journalist in Vreme weekly from 2001 covering organised crime and sports. He participated in UNDP’s programmes of transitional justice an justice sector reform in Serbia.
Slobodan is contributor to balkaninsight.com and Belgrade insight. Also he is editor at Javno.rs.
He lives and works in Belgrade