Global Shining Light Award Judges Honour BIRN

The judges of the prestigious Global Shining Light Award have honoured an investigation by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network with citations of excellence.

BIRN’s investigation “Making a Killing” received special recognition – certificate of excellence – at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017 in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Making a Killing”, which was jointly produced with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, uncovered how billions of euros of arms from the Balkans and Eastern Europe are illegally ending up with Syrian rebels, including Islamic State, ISIS.

In July this year, the story was shortlisted for the Global Shining Light Award, an award sponsored by the Global Investigative Journalism Network, GIJN, an association of 155 non-profit organisations in 68 countries.

The story was produced as part of “A Paper Trail to Better Governance” project supported by the Austrian Development Agency to promote rule of law, accountability and transparency in six South-Eastern Europe countries.

Global Shining Light Award Judges Honour BIRN from BIRN on Vimeo.

UNDP

DONOR
UNDP works in some 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion.

The organisation helps countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

UNDP provides technical advice and assistance for sustainable human development and supports Serbia in joining the European Union. UNDP operates in Serbia since 1952 through the Country Office in Belgrade.

UNDP objectives are outlined in the Country Programme Document (CPD 2016-2020), rooted in the overarching goals of the United Nations Development Partnership Framework, which centers the work of the entire UN Country Team in Serbia on supporting Serbia to achieve goals in the areas of:

  • Governance and Rule of Law
  • Social and Human Resources Development
  • Economic Development
  • Growth
  • Employment
  • Environment
  • Climate Change and
  • Resilient Communities and Culture and Development

Web: http://www.rs.undp.org/content/serbia/en/home/

The Office for Cooperation with Civil Society

DONOR
The Office for Cooperation with Civil Society was established in 2011 by the Government of the Republic of Serbia. After years of advocacy by civil society, the Office has been established as an institutional mechanism to support the development of a dialogue between the Serbian Government and CSO’s.

The importance and role of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society is reflected in the coordination of Government and CSO’s mutual cooperation, regarding the process of creating and establishing accurate standards and procedures for including the CSO’s at all levels of decision making process.

According to its mandate, Office should provide the support to the CSO’s in the process of the defining and implementing legislative procedures altogether with public policies, and thereby contributing to a positive pressure on the governmental institutions.

Office for Cooperation with Civil Society should play an active role in creating and establishing a cooperation platform in the Western Balkans regarding overall linking in the successful implementation of political, social and economic reforms in the region.

Web: http://www.civilnodrustvo.gov.rs/home/home.1.html

Freedom House

DONOR
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world. Founded in 1941, Freedom House was the first American organization to champion the advancement of freedom globally.

The organisation analyzes the challenges to freedom, advocates for greater political rights and civil liberties, and supports frontline activists to defend human rights and promote democratic change.

Freedom House acts as a catalyst for greater political rights and civil liberties through a combination of analysis, advocacy, and action.

In addition, Freedom House empowers frontline human rights defenders and civic activists to uphold fundamental rights and to advance democratic change.

Web: https://freedomhouse.org/

Open Society Foundation Serbia

DONOR
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.
‘maatschappelijke transformatie’.

The organisation seeks to strengthen:

  • the rule of law;
  • respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions;
  • democratically elected governments and
  • a civil society that helps keep government power in check

In addition, Open Society helps to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights, and implements initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.

The Open Society Foundation Serbia supports a broad range of activities that contribute to the development of a functioning democratic state in Serbia. The foundation supports associations of lawyers and judges to protect the independence of the judiciary.  The organisation also protects important public agencies from government interference by supporting efforts to strengthen the independence and integrity of the freedom of information commissioner, the ombudsman, and the anticorruption agency.

Web: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/

Embassy of the Netherlands to Serbia

DONOR
Matra is a major program run by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through which the
Netherlands supports countries of the Southeast Europe with their EU accession
prospects. The name Matra derives from the Dutch words for social transformation –
‘maatschappelijke transformatie’.

The overall goal of Matra is development of a plural democracy, grounded in the rule of law, with room for dialogue between the government and civil society; building capacity and strengthening the institutions of civil society and government, and strengthening bilateral relations.

Under the auspices of MATRA framework the Embassy of the Netherlands in Belgrade supports activities of civil society organizations, government institutions and non-profit educational institutions in Serbia and Montenegro that promote transformation process in following areas:

  • Legislation and justice
  • Public administration/ public order/ police
  • Human rights and integration of minorities

Juzne vesti

PARTNER
Juzne vesti is the first regional info portal, which raises the level of awareness of the citizens of southern Serbia and understanding of current issues in this part of the Serbia through the collection and dissemination of information, research and analytical journalism.

Portal Juzne vesti is member of the Local Press and ANEM, and it is the first portal that has recognized the jurisdiction of the Press Council.

Juzne vesti portal covers news from the cities of Leskovac, Nis, Pirot, Prokuplje and Vranje.

Most of its activities are realized thanks to the journalists and associates enthusiasm.

Web: https://www.juznevesti.com/

Istinomer (Truth-O-Meter)

PARTNER
Istinomer (Truth-o-Meter), launched in 2009, is fact-checking mechanism for monitoring of local and national politicians’ work from accountability and anti-corruption perspective. It was the first project of such type in the region.

Truth-O-Meter allows citizens to assess public officials’ accountability based on what they are saying and promising to their constituents, how much are they consistent in their work and how do they actually perform.

As a result of the ongoing research, analysis and accountability journalism, Truth-O-Meter database reached more than 3.000 accountability fact-checks, and 1.000 comprehensive analyses, investigative stories, blog posts and videos on most relevant accountability issues.

All the results of this monitoring are available online, but they also cooperate with the “offline” media.

Web: http://www.istinomer.rs/

Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia

PARTNER
The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (IJAS) is an independent citizens’ organization of 3060 freely associated professional journalists and other media professionals.

IJAS was established on March 26, 1994 and officially registered as a civil organisation. The Association was set up by a large group of professional journalists, most of them left jobless due to the political purge and repression imposed on media by the authorities.

IJAS mission is to protect the rights of journalists and other media professionals in Serbia, systematically improves professional standards and promotes ethically responsible journalism through powerful and proactive public actions.

Over past years IJAS has actively worked on it by encouraging and promoting professional standards of accurate and honest reporting, defended human rights based on freedom of information and public right to know, protected its members, other media professionals and media from political and other forms of pressures in order to improve position of media professionals in Serbia.

IJAS is member of International Federation of Journalists, Brussels (IFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). It has intensive co-operation with a number of media organizations, non-governmental organizations and international bodies involved in media issues.

Web: http://www.nuns.rs/