After the election of new Board members in November 2011, BIRN’s new Board and Steering Committee met for the first time in Belgrade from July 6 to July 8.
The new board is composed of Tim Judah, author and Balkan correspondent for the Economist, Wolfgang Petritsch, Austria’s Permanent Representative to the OECD, Steve Crawshaw, international advocacy director at Amnesty International, Stefan Lehne, former Austrian diplomat and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Europe in Brussels, and Per Bymon.
Previously head of Humanitarian Assistance in the Swedish SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency), he is now secretary general of Swedish Radio and Television’s humanitarian foundation, Radiohjälpen.
Ana Petruseva, representative of BIRN members, previously a long-time president of the board, also now joins the board.
The Board was presented with BIRN’s organisational structure, its on-going charitable and commercial programmes, and the organisation’s current success as well as plans for the future.
BIRN’s Statute was put before the members for consideration and, following further input from the team, will be finalised by the end of September.
“It was important for Board members to understand the depth and breadth of what BIRN is, and also to see that each of the local BIRNs can do different things,” Judah, the president of BIRN’s Board, said.
“It was also helpful for people from the local BIRNs to get together and understand what everyone else is doing and share experiences, as well as discuss how to exploit the network’s strength for their mutual benefit,” he added.
BIRN’s staff used the opportunity of the meeting to vote for a new visual identity for the whole organisation, as well as on the new layout of the organisation’s website.
The new visual identity and website will be implemented by the end of the year.
Local BIRN Directors concluded that an internal exchange of personnel should be put into practice, so that BIRN staff members can become better acquainted with their colleagues’ work.
It was also decided that in 2013, the next BIRN annual meeting should be held for the whole organisation.
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 road-movie documentary ‘The Majority Starts Here’ will have its US premiere on October 16 at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights and the Harriman Institute. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Columbia University professors and representatives from BIRN and the International Center for Transitional Justice.
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.
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.