The Balkan Transitional Justice team held a meeting in Belgrade on February 7 to present the project’s first year activities and results to donors.
At the close of the project’s first year, the BTJ team presented to its donors what had been achieved in terms of editorial coverage, online publishing and radio and television production. The team also outlined the project’s future targets and plans, among them a series of major regional investigations and the release of a documentary film and television series.
Lode Desmet, the director and producer of the upcoming film, in which six young people testify about their lives in the Balkans, showed sequences from the documentary for the first time. During the afternoon session, there was a debate on current transitional justice issues and in-house briefings from six BTJ reporters across the Balkans who explained the major themes and challenges for journalists working on the subject in their respective countries.
"Despite various challenges, we managed to reach the public in the region and provide crucial information. Twenty years after the wars in the Balkans, people still need answers and the public is entitled to receive information about war crimes trials. BIRN's aim is to distribute necessary information supporting reconciliation among communities, but also to raise questions related to facing the past in the Balkans," BIRN Project Manager Anisa Suceska Vekic said at the meeting.
During the first project year BTJ has achieved the following results:
• Established, trained and developed a regional network of six transitional justice reporters
• Developed a unique online written and audio archive of war crimes trials and analysis, with 1,160 published articles on transitional justice issues
• Attracted more than 300,000 page views for the BTJ website
• Gathered more than 13,000 followers on social networks
• Finished filming the TV documentary
• Released nine episodes of the ‘Roads to Justice’ radio programme
• Recruited 100 radio stations in the region to broadcast nine episodes of the radio programme
The meeting was also attended by experts from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe OSCE, who actively contributed to the debate.
The Balkan Transitional Justice programme is funded by the European Commission, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Silent Scream, a documentary about survivors of wartime sexual violence, produced by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH), was screened at The New School for Public Engagement, in New York.
Past participants in the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence from all over the Balkans came to Belgrade from November 28-29 for the annual BFJE Award Academy and to take part in parallel alumni sessions that enabled them to exchange experiences, discuss new ideas and present their latest projects.
Journalists from across the Balkans gathered in Belgrade from December 5 to 6 to discuss the contemporary Balkan art scene and have their stories commissioned for BIRN’s ‘Invisible Art’ project, supported by the Prince Claus Fund.
BIRN journalists Parim Olluri and Petrit Collaku were awarded the first prize for an online story by the United Nations Development Programme and the Journalists Association of Kosovo.
BIRN BiH’s new documentary "The Silent Scream" was screened to a group of students studying human rights in the western Balkans at the Harriman Institute at the Columbia University in New York.
‘Invisible Art’, a new project from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, will be launched with a regional meeting of participating journalists in Belgrade.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH) in co-operation with the Centre for Post-Conflict Research, the OSCE Mission to BiH, and the British Embassy presented the International Protocol on Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict, and 'The Silent Scream' documentary to stakeholders in Brcko District and Zenica last week.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH) held the last of its annual countrywide round of meetings with representatives of the media and judiciary in Banja Luka, Brcko and Sarajevo last week.
The top prize in the 2014 Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence has been awarded to Jeta Abazi, journalist from Kosovo at a closing ceremony held in Belgrade, on Friday.
The premiere of “The Silent Scream” documentary produced by BIRN BiH, provoked debate at the screening in Banja Luka on Monday, November 24 2014.