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.
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.
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.
BIRN’s documentary The Majority Starts Here was screened for the first time in the United States on Thursday, at Columbia University in New York.
Over 40 representatives of the media, non-governmental organisations and partners attended the official launch of BIRN Albania’s news website Reporter.al on October 3.
The biggest issue local media in Serbia are facing is a lack of knowledge about project financing and lack of budgetary transparency in allocating money to media outlets, two debates held by BIRN Serbia in Nis and Kragujevac heard. Media representatives said they hoped that some of the problems would be resolved by full implementation of new Media and Public Information Law.
Four men were sentenced to prison terms on September 18 for their role in a kidnapping of a woman in a case that BIRN Kosovo reported on even before Kosovo’s prosecutors did.
Money is a big driver in getting Kosovars to join Islamic militant groups such as an ISIS fighting in Syria and Iraq, Jeta Xharra, the director of BIRN Kosovo, told the Los Angeles Times recently.
The screening of BIRN’s road-movie documentary The Majority Starts Here in Mitrovica was followed by a debate examining how transitional justice can address the grievances of the wartime past.