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.
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.
During its EU membership negotiations, Serbia will be assessed on how well it has dealt with war crimes cases, European Commission official Pierre Mirel told a BIRN conference.