Life in Kosovo TV Programme

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BIRN Kosovo produces a weekly current affairs programme ,Life in Kosovo”, which is the most watched current affairs program in Kosovo broadcast on Kosovo public television, RTK.

The programme includes TV reports from the field on current issues, direct questioning of decision-makers and other individuals, and studio debates. It covers the most important political and social issues unfolding on a weekly basis in Kosovo.

”Life in Kosovo” addresses political, economic and social issues, with a special focus on rule of law institutions, corruption, conflict of interest and accountability of public institutions. Top leaders from the government and the opposition take part in the debates, often challenged by civil society activists, analysts, university professors and other stakeholders. The debates are interspersed with field reports which are used as a reality check to bring issues from outside Pristina onto the agenda of daily politics in the capital.

So far, BIRN has produced about 470 debates, which have become a powerful tool for enhancing transparency and the accountability of the key players in Kosovo and decision making processes. This is the only Kosovo-produced programme that has managed to get prime-time broadcasting on B92 TV in Serbia when topics of Serb communities are discussed. This happened as a result of the fact that ,Life in Kosovo” was the first programme on Kosovo TV to invite the Serb community and political representatives to speak on the programme without voicing-over them, i.e. only subtitling them in Albanian. This was a small revolution back in 2005 when speaking Serbian on prime-time TV was controversial as it was assumed that only Albanians watched Kosovo national channels.

BIRN debates have a weekly viewership of more than 350,000 viewers, who watch the action on RTK terrestrial and satellite. Every debate can also be viewed online at
www.rtklive.com, which is the webpage of RTK.
A comprehensive archive is also available on the show’s official website:
www.jetanekosove.com.

The debates generate a lot of comments and response from viewers. In addition, the
Life in Kosovo
TV programme has an established presence on Facebook. Viewer feedback is one way that BIRN monitors the impact of the debates. The biggest success of the TV programme to date has been the number of viewers who send information about suspected corruption or an injustice that affects them, prompted by a story they saw or a topic raised in a debate.

These televised debates have also been enriched in content with the production of in-depth televised reports and analysis conducted by BIRN investigative journalists. The TV reports have added real-life examples to the debates and served as a means to challenge the panelists with the realities in the field. The TV field reports have contributed considerably to enhancing the transparency of the institutions covered, as well as fighting misconduct and corruption within institutions. Since 2005, BIRN Kosovo has received 10 anti-corruption prizes and ,TV story of the year” awards, awarded every year from the Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo, the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency and the UNDP.

In addition to covering stories on the ground in Kosovo, BIRN has interviewed high-profile international diplomats and politicians and remains the only programme to have hosted Borislav Stefanovic, the former chief of the negotiating team of Serbia in the dialogue with Kosovo.