Ten fellows from the region met in Skopje for the final seminar of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.
Following the opening dinner on Wednesday night, on Thursday the agenda included a panel on social networking and the media with Filip Stojanovski, program coordinator at the Metamorphosis Foundation for internet and society.
Stojanovski gave the fellows valuable insight as well as practical tips into how journalists can use social networks to promote their work, but also how they can gather information and double check on facts. The fellows exchanged views and examples of journalists' use of social networks throughout the region.
The second panel on the state of media in Macedonia included Goran Mihajlovski, editor-in-chief of Vest daily, Tamara Causidis, president of the Journalists' union and Petrit Saracini of the Macedonian Media Institute. The panelists discussed the deteriorating state of the media and of journalistic standards in the country, and other challenges that journalists face.
The panelists and the fellows discussed issues of media freedom, the media's struggle to survive in the market and alternative ways for the media to survive and resist pressures coming from political or business interests.
On Thursday the fellows had a guided tour in the centre of Skopje and visited all the new building and monuments erected as part of the Skopje 2014 project, a government project to revamp the city.
The Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, has been running since 2007. Each year, ten Balkan journalists are competitively chosen to receive funding and professional support to conduct their own research projects.
Selected journalists receive a fellowship of 2,000 euro, a travel allowance of up to 2,000 euro and a chance to participate in a seven-month programme for professional advancement. In addition, the independent Selection Committee awards bursaries of €4,000, €3,000 and €1,000 to the authors of the three winning articles.
This years award ceremony will take place on November 23 in Skopje.
BIRN Macedonia, together with Centre for Investigative journalism, SCOOP Macedonia and the Centre for Civil Communications launched a call for investigative stories on May 17.
Quality of life was the subject of a debate in Skopje on May 15 organised by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Macedonia in partnership with the Centre for Civil Communications, part of the USAID programme for strengthening independent media in Macedonia.
The 2013 Reporting Europe Prize has been handed to Sorana Stanescu for her story about the exploitation of migrant workers in the UK, produced under the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Kosovo and ARTICLE 19 have welcomed the draft law on the protection of journalists’ sources which was sent for its first reading by the Kosovo assembly’s media committee on April 19.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Macedonia in partnership with the Centre for Civic Communications organised a debate on May 13 in Skopje entitled ‘Detecting common issues as a basis for cooperation between journalists and non-governmental organisations about the inclusion of marginalised groups in society’.
BIRN Serbia journalist Slobodan Georgiev has won the 2013 National Investigative Journalism Award, a prize given by the Independent Association of Journalists in Serbia.
The ten reporters chosen for this year’s Balkan Fellowship of Journalistic Excellence have planned their assignments over the course of an intensive three-day seminar in Vienna.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network - Macedonia in partnership with the Center for Civic Communications, CCC, organized a debate on April 29 in Skopje entitled “Detecting common issues as a basis for cooperation between journalists and non-governmental organizations about environmental issues”.
BIRN Serbia, part of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, held a conference on April 26 to discuss its portal Javno.rs, an open and fully searchable database containing thousands of documents on public expenditure (see http://javno.skockajtebudzet.rs/index.php).
BIRN Serbia journalists Aleksandar Djordjevic, Ana Novakovic and Slobodan Georgiev have been named as finalists for the National Investigative Journalism Award 2013 by the Independent Association of Journalists in Serbia.