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).
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.
KALLXO.com presented findings of a monitoring report from the second round of the 2014 National Matura Exam, held on June 28 in Kosovo.
The three best stories proposed by participants in this year’s Summer School were selected by the jury and will get financial backing from BIRN’s investigative reporting fund.
As the internet and technology become more and more important in people’s lives, security looms an ever larger concern. That’s why this year during the documentary film festival Dokufest devoted a separate arena for “Doku:Tech” covering technology, the internet and innovation.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania has launched a new website designed to bring its award winning news, analysis, features and investigations to local audiences, and strengthen the cooperation between journalists and civil society.
Social media can be an important tool for investigative journalists, the fourth day of the BIRN Summer School in Montenegro heard.
Undercover policing, FIFA corruption and drug cartels were among the themes explored by award-winning journalists at the BIRN summer school of investigative reporting.
The UK riots, legal leaks, how to protect sources and tracking money abroad were all explored in the second day of BIRN’s summer school.