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.
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.