BIRN’s regional director Gordana Igric spoke in Berlin on February 25 on a panel about reporting in south-east Europe and the pressures on journalists that exist in all the countries in the region.
Igric talked about political pressures on the media in the Balkans, noting that political parties try to influence the media elsewhere too but the phenomenon is more pronounced in countries which are suffering economically.
“I don’t see any sources for mainstream media to be independent,” she said, referring to a discussion about the impact of financing on media independence.
Igric also said that one of the problems of the media in the Balkans is ownership, which is often not as transparent as it should be.
Ljiljana Zurovac of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Press Council said that the media laws in her country were very good, but what was lacking was their proper implementation. She agreed that one of the problems for the media in the Balkans is the lack of money.
But Goran Milic of Al Jazeera Balkans said that the lack of money is not always a problem because a large number of media have managed to develop strong audiences.
The panel was a part of an alumni meeting of past participants in Economic and Political Reporting From South-East Europe journalism training courses organised by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The three-day meeting brought together six groups of journalists who had been on the course at different periods for panel debates, discussions and workshops.
Project financing is the way best way to distribute budget funds for the media – but the task will be a tough one, a BIRN conference on the New Media Economy heard in Belgrade on October 31.
An investigation by BIRN Editor Lawrence Marzouk and local journalists in Albania and Serbia has received widespread republications and praise in the Albanian press and broadcast media.
BIRN journalists Nektar Zogjani and Tinka Kurti were awarded the first prize for online investigative journalism about poverty by UNDP and the Journalists Association of Kosovo.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania launched a call for investigative stories on October 23rd.
The call is part of the program ‘Exposing Corruption in Albania,’ supported by th Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA), the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Power Games, an unprecedented investigation into the murky world of energy deals in the Balkans, has been launched by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Albania organised a roundtable on October 21st in Tirana, bringing together journalists with civil society organisations working in the field of education.
BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina will hold the US premiere of its latest documentary, ‘Missing You’, on Thursday October 23 at Columbia University in New York.
The German government organization GIZ awarded Gazeta Jeta në Kosovë for investigative journalism about education.
BIRN Serbia held a public debate on the prospects of new models of budgetary financing for the media with NGO and media representatives in Novi Pazar, southwest Serbia.
The key conclusion from the debate in Belgrade on Tuesday was that the recently-published EU Progress Report on Serbia was not too hard on the Serbian government, but it does not mention many problems and some of the conclusions and recommendations are identical to the 2013 Progress Report.