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 Pulitzer Prize-winning US journalist and editor, John Ullmann, was the key trainer at BIRN’s investigative journalism training session in Berovo, eastern Macedonia, at the weekend.
BIRN Serbia and Pro Concept held their fifth national budget forum at the National Assembly in Belgrade on 27 November, where panelists and participants offered their opinions and debated the proposed 2014 budget and the projected outcomes of the Serbian administration’s budgetary policy.
Journalists received bespoke investigative training as they prepared major cross-border stories into crime and corruption in the Balkans.
BIRN’s “Life in Kosovo” has been recognized for reporting on women in a TV programme.
Bardh Shkreli, a journalist for BIRN Kosovo, has won a third-place award in November from the German Society for International Cooperation, GIZ and the Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo for education reporting.
Romania’s national journalistic competition Superscrieri has given awards to Elena Stancu and Vlad Odobescu, both fellows this year of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.
Eight journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIH, Croatia, and Serbia participated in a weeklong study visit to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, in October. The Tribunal's Outreach Programme organised the visit in cooperation with BIRN BiH.
BIRN Macedonia announces a call for journalists for an upcoming training session for investigative journalists.
Participants in this year’s Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence will meet for their final seminar and awards ceremony in Zagreb, Croatia from December 11-14.