The Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence has gathered 35 alumni from nine countries of the region in the Macedonian capital Skopje.
The award ceremony, honouring the work of the 2012 fellows, was held on Friday, November 23.
"I will never forget the feeling when I was awarded, it was really special moment for me," said Majlinda Aliu who won the first place in 2011 for her story about the Balkan war widows.
On Saturday the alumni had an opportunity to see the newly revamped Skopje. They were taken for a guided tour to see dozen new buildings and numerous monuments and sculptures, new bridges as well as hear about the controversies related to the costly project that has now put Macedonia on the tourist map.
The alumni also attended a panel with Roberto Belicanec of the Media Development Centre and Xhabir Deralla from the NGO Civil and a discussion about the current political situation in Macedonia, the deteriorating state of media and freedom of speech as well as the fragile inter- ethnic relations.
"I did not know much about the situation in Macedonia before, but now I am inspired to come back here with the TV crew and make a piece about it," said Jelena Kulidzan, a journalist and editor from Montenegro, awarded with the second price in 2011
The same day, the group discussed future alumni activities and models of cooperation, including the joint regional reporting projects.
"It is great seeing all of us together, this network is the biggest asset of the programme and I really enjoy being in touch with the likeminded group of professionals," said Nenad Radicevic, a fellow from 2007.
The idea to hold annual alumni meetings came about as a result of interest by former fellows to continue to jointly contribute to the goal of promoting excellence in journalism in the Balkans.
The alumni initiative is supported by Erste Stiftung and the Robert Bosch Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.
The non-governmental sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina should not be alone in carrying the weight of post-war trauma, it was said at the premiere of the film, “The Silent Scream”, in Mostar on Friday, November 21, 2014 .
BIRN Serbia and CINS (Center for Investigative Reporting of Serbia) are organising a conference entitled ‘Curbing Power’ about partnership and cooperation opportunities between investigative journalists and non-profit organisations in the oversight of public finances.
A BIRN Serbia debate was told that the Business Registers Agency must do more to protect the identities of investigative journalists using its archive to prevent them from being tracked and targeted.
BIRN Macedonia, together with Centre for Investigative journalism - SCOOP Macedonia and the Centre for Civil Communications launched the fifth call for investigative stories on November 25th.
‘The Silent Scream’, a documentary dedicated to the victims of wartime sexual violence, produced by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH) premiered on Wednesday in Sarajevo.
The International Protocol on Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict was launched today in Sarajevo. The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in BiH, a partner in the project, presented several testimonies of sexual violence survivors.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH) will on November 19 premier its latest documentary film dedicated to the victims of wartime sexual violence in Sarajevo, at the Business Center Unitic.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina held the second of its annual countrywide round of meetings with representatives of the media and judiciary in Travnik on Wednesday.
For the eighth year in a row, 10 promising journalists from across the region will present the investigative reports they developed at part of BIRN’s annual Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence scheme.
“Civilsed Monotony,” a new report on the implementation of Kosovo-Serbia agreements was launched today in Prishtina.