29 November 12

First Culture Watch Award Goes to Vranje

The first ever Culture Watch Award for analytical and investigative reporting on cultural issues in the Balkans went to Valentina Milenkovic from Vranje.

Gordana Igric, Valentina Milenkovic

The award organised by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and SeeCult.org was presented at the regional conference “What is (to be) Done” that took place on November 28 in Dom Omladine in Belgrade.

The jury, consisting of six cultural experts and an internationally awarded journalist, gave the first prize to Valentina Milenkovic, a journalist at “Vranjske” weekly magazine, for her complex investigative piece “How does government entertain people”.

Milenkovic investigated the funding of the cultural event “Cultural-touristic manifestation” in the municipality of Vranje in Serbia over the period of three years.

“For all that time they can only show four or five contracts that prove how the money was spent. Over 50 participants, some of them really famous Serbian singers, took part in the event,” said Milenkovic at the award ceremony.

“This is my first award in 13 years-long journalistic career, and therefore this is very important to me,” she added.

The second prize was awarded to Gordana Popovic from the daily newspaper Politika for her article “Serbia and the EU  - Culture and Candidature” about the reaction from the Serbian officials after the country obtained the EU candidate status.

“I talked to numerous officials and it was really interesting to confront opinions of two different sides in Serbia,” said Popovic.

The third prize went to Pristina to Vullnet Krasniqui, a journalist from the daily newspaper Koha Ditore for the article: “Kosovo authorities risk loosing some clay figures of Kosovar origin”.

Article by Bosnian journalist Irfan Hosic “Departures as a Rule” published in the “Dani” weekly magazine, was given the fourth prize.

“It is an honour for me to receive this award especially for my analysis of art scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the emigration of the artist from the country,” said Hosic.

The Balkan Initiative for Cultural Cooperation Exchange and Development, BICCED, envisages the Culture Watch Award was envisaged as a step towards strengthening the analytical and investigative approach to cultural issues.

The BICCED board decided on Tuesday that the award would become an annual event. This year’s awards were supported by the Swiss Cultural Programme for the Western Balkans (SCP).

Fill out my online form.

Latest News and Events


BIRN Albania Launches Monthly Publication

On September 30th, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania launched the first issue of its monthly bi-lingual print publication Reporter.al, which features investigative reports, features, analysis and news from Albania and the region.


BIRN Serbia Holds ‘Participatory Budgeting’ Workshops

The workshops at the Kopaonik mountain resort were attended by representatives of the finance and PR departments of ten Serbian municipalities.


BIRN Serbia Issues Data Journalism Handbook

BIRN Serbia has published the first handbook on data journalism in Serbia featuring tips, tricks and tutorials all in one place. The handbook offers all the basic knowledge for how to work with data and to conduct journalistic research from start to finish.


Civil Activists Seek Expanded Role in Balkans' Future

Civil sector groups from six Western Balkans countres urged their political leaders to secure freedom of expression and media independence, also calling for more of a role in their countries' EU integration processes.


Sixth BIRN Summer School opens in Albania

BIRN’s summer school for investigative reporting opened in Durres, Albania, with a plea to journalists to channel their curiosity.


BIRN Macedonia Launches “Skopje 2014 Uncovered” Database

On the anniversary of the devastating Skopje earthquake in 1963, BIRN Macedonia published an online interactive database “Skopje 2014 Uncovered” documenting the new classical look of Skopje in the past five years.


BIRN Albania Journalists Win EU Investigative Award

Three BIRN Albania journalists were among the top four winners of a prestigious EU award.


A Unique Voice and an Inspiration

Let me congratulate you on your 10th anniversary and wish you all the best for your next decade and hopefully more years of contributing to investigative journalism and media freedom in the Balkans. 


BIRN Conference Sparks Widespread Media Interest

Several Bosnian TV stations, including the region’s CNN affiliate N1 and over 30 online media outlets, reported on BIRN’s conference on media freedom challenges in the Balkans held last week.


BIRN Serbia, NALED, Run Budget Process Workshops

Nine towns and municipalities in Serbia - Sombor, Subotica, Pirot, Knjazevac, Sremska Mitrovica, Pancevo, Ruma, Zrenjanin and Trstenik - took part in workshops on the topic of involving citizens in the budget process with representatives of BIRN Serbia and NALED in the framework of the project "Participatory Budgeting".