Training Enhances Balkan Journalists’ Skills in Data Analysis and Visualization

Journalists from six Western Balkan countries participated in a specialized training session on Data Analysis and Visualization led by regional and international professionals.

On June 10 and 11, 23 journalists attended an online training on Data Analysis and Visualization, part of the Western Balkans Media for Change project’s learning circle.

Representing media outlets from six countries – Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo – the journalists acquired skills essential for contemporary newsrooms.

Data analysis is a cornerstone of investigative journalism, enabling journalists to uncover hidden stories. In today’s media landscape, data visualization is equally critical.

The online training was led by Jonathan Stoneman, a journalist and trainer with extensive experience at the BBC, where he served as a researcher, producer and director for the Macedonian and Croatian language services. Following his tenure with the BBC World Service in Zagreb, Stoneman dedicated his expertise to training journalists, with a focus on data analysis.

“Think about your data like interviewing a person,” Stoneman advised the trainees. “If you think of data as a source, you ask it questions.”

The first day concentrated on data analysis techniques, including filtering, sorting, summarizing, and refining data, using accessible tools like OpenRefine. The second day shifted focus to data visualization and producing stories from data using different angles and types of information display. Participants were introduced to various user-friendly tools suitable for any newsroom.

In addition to the primary trainer, investigative journalists from BIRN Serbia and BIRN Macedonia presented case studies. Goce Trpkovski and Miodrag Marković showcased how utilizing tools can facilitate in-depth exploration and presentation of investigative topics in the region. Complementing the training, Fokus from Sarajevo demonstrated their own example of effective data visualization.

The training underscored the importance of incorporating diverse communities and gender-sensitive data into analyses. This learning circle is part of a broader editorial and mentoring support initiative for journalists and media outlets. The project also provides financial assistance to enhance operational capacity, business sustainability, and innovation potential. Its goal is to equip media professionals with the skills needed to produce high-quality, diverse, fact-checked, and gender-sensitive content that engages wider audiences.

The Western Balkans Media for Change project is funded by the UK government and implemented by the British Council in partnership with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Thomson Foundation and The International NGO Training and Research Centre, INTRAC.

It supports the work of media outlets and individual journalists from the Western Balkan countries.

Open Call: Sub-Grants to Support Local Media Outlets in Albania

BIRN Albania is launching an open call for sub-grants in support of local media outlets in Albania (NGOs), which will provide them with technical, editorial and financial resources to report independently, ethically and in a gender-balanced way.

The three-year project: “Strengthening Media Freedom, Professionalism and Journalists’ Safety in Albania” is implemented by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania (BIRN Albania), in cooperation with Science for Innovation Development Centre (SCiDEV) and Qendra Faktoje.

The project is awarded within the EU funded Call: “Civil Society Facility and Media Programme 2022 and Thematic Programme for Human Rights and Democracy 2022-2023” with a reference number: IPAIII/2023/451-708.

In the framework of this project, BIRN Albania has opened a call for 3 (three) Sub-Grants to support local media outlets in Albania (NGOs) with technical editorial and financial resources in order to report independently, ethically and in a gender-balanced way. The objective of this call is enhancing local media outlets (NGOs) production, targeting specific audiences, particularly youth, women and minority/ vulnerable groups, through technical, editorial and financial support.

BIRN Albania will grant EUR 8,000 – 15,000 to three successful applicants interested in this open call, with duration of action from 10 months to 12 months. Any grant requested under this call for proposals must cover 100% of total eligible costs of the action.

Expected results for each grant:

  • Media articles, fact checking and other multimedia content (video, visualizations, podcasts, etc) on human rights abuses, fundamental rights violations, local government accountability and underreported topics relevant to local communities, will be produced and published by the grant beneficiaries.
  • Freedom of Information requests to relevant public bodies will be submitted by the grant beneficiaries
  • Joint meetings with local representatives (CSOs and community member) conducted by the grant beneficiaries.
  • Active participation of the grant beneficiaries on networking and exchange meetings, training and mentoring activities, organised by the contracting authority.

Who will be supported:

In order to be eligible for a grant, the applicant must be:

  • a non-governmental organization registered and acting in the territory of Albania for more than 12 months from the date of application;
  • have an active, periodically updated media outlet;
  • non-profit making;
  • directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action;
  • have previous experience (during the last 12 months) in implementing grants on media sector

How to apply:

Applications must be submitted in one envelope which should contain the following documents:

  • Administrative documents as per list in section 2.1.1. must be sent only in electronic format (USB or CD).
  • Full Application Form (Annex 1), Budget (Annex 2) and Log-frame (Annex 3) must be sent in hardcopy, signed and sealed by the legal representative, and in the electronic version.

On the outer envelope must be written: The name of the applicant organization and title of the project proposal.

Applications must be submitted at the address below:

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Albania (BIRN Albania)
Address: Str. Nikolla Jorga, Apt. 8/8, Tirana, Albania

Applications sent by any other means (e.g. by e-mail) or delivered to other addresses will be rejected.

The deadline for the submission of applications is July 15, 2024, 17.00 hours

For more details regarding the application procedures please see the Guidelines for Subgranting Scheme.

Please find attached the application package:

Annex 1: Application Form
Annex 2: Budget Form
Annex 3: Logical Framework Form
Annex 4: Checklist for the application
Annex A – Annex E: Administrative documents

Vacancy Call: Digital Media Officer

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – BIRN Hub, is opening a call for the following position:
• Digital Media Officer – with at least 3 years of relevant experience.

We are offering the chance to work in a highly interactive and dynamic environment at one of the biggest media and NGO networks in the region. We are looking for a hardworking, dedicated, motivated professional to join our team.

Terms: Full time, 40 hours per week

Working Language: English

Experience Level: Minimum Three Years

Start Date: As soon as possible

Deadline to Apply: 20 June, 2024

Location: Remotely or one of our office space in Western Balkans

Position – Digital Media Officer

The selected candidate will be responsible for boosting the presence of BIRN’s regional, English-language website, Balkan Insight, on various digital platforms (Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube). The post requires a digital savvy creative thinker with media experience to create conversations (engagement) around issues related to BIRN’s mission and engages followers in a dynamic, interactive and meaningful way.

The Digital Media Officer will work closely with other departments to implement the Social Media Strategy through the managing of accounts, creating content including video and suggesting and implementing methods of content promotion. They will also serve as one of BIRN’s key representatives in its regional social media outreach.

Major duties and responsibilities

  • Manage the output of BIRN’s social media channels, including Facebook, X, Instagram, YouTube and other relevant platforms.
  • Work with the Social Media Manager and Communication Officer to maintain and systematically grow BIRN Hub’s current online community, to implement BIRN’s Social Media Strategy and to implement and manage campaigns for BIRN’s various programmes, events and communities.
  • Producing visuals, infographics and video material for use in social media campaigns.
  • Engage in creating a social media presence for BIRN/Balkan Insight on new and emerging social media platforms.
  • Execute digital campaigns, including paid advertising.
  • Obtain appropriate Hub management approval for all social networking initiatives
  • Pitch new ideas and concepts for BIRN’s social media content and presence.
  • Stay informed and keep up to date on latest social media trends, emerging technologies, and best practices in digital media.
  • Create engaging and attention-grabbing written, graphic and video content.
  • Create content that promotes audience interaction, increases BIRN’s audience presence and encourages audience participation/comment.
  • Building online communities around the organization’s brand and engaging with followers, fostering conversations.
  • Uphold BIRN’s standards in all social media coverage.

Other duties and responsibilities

  • Providing regular weekly, bi-weekly or monthly reports on performance in the period being reported, and the plan for the upcoming period;
  • Maintaining appropriate contacts with personnel of BIRN Network, as well as all BIRN country offices and/or personnel, necessary to ensure correct execution of the above duties;
  • Working closely with other departments such as communications, and IT to ensure alignment and integration of digital media strategies with overall organizational goals;
  • Carrying out any other duties that may reasonably or exceptionally be required to ensure the smooth operation of BIRN’s work, such as substituting for absent colleagues, etc.;Perform other duties as assigned to ensure smooth handling of the social media activities;

Key requirements:

  • Relevant university degree or at least three (3) years of relevant experience instead of a degree
  • Proven experience in digital media, social media or related role.
  • Knowledge of photo editing programs (Canva is a must; basic Photoshop knowledge is an advantage)
  • Knowledge of video-editing programs (Capcut, Premiere, Resolve or similar)
  • Proficiency in using digital media tools and platforms, including social media management tools, content management systems.
  • Deadline-oriented with strong follow-up.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with a keen eye for detail.
  • Creative thinker with the ability to generate innovative ideas and solutions.
  • Ability to work with cross-border teams consisting of different nationalities and different profiles.
  • Strong written and oral skills in English and at least one of the regional languages.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

Please submit a detailed CV, a letter of motivation (no more than 1 page) and list of professional references, ncluding a portfolio demonstrating their visual skills with existing work, with subject Digital Media Officer, not later than 20 June 2024, to our regional operations unit, at [email protected]. Only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The selected candidate should start work as soon as possible.

BIRN Hub is a nongovernmental organisation, secretariat of the BIRN Network, working in the field of media production and media development, promoting freedom of speech, human rights and democratic values in Southeast and Central Europe. BIRN has local organisations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia, while the Network is editorially also present in Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Turkey. More information on www.birn.eu.com and https://balkaninsight.com.

BIRN encourages applicants of from individuals of all genders, and offers an equal chance to all interested persons, without any prejudice based on any grounds.

Meet the People Behind BIRN: Gordana Andric

Gordana Andric is executive editor at BIRN Serbia.

She first joined BIRN as a journalist in 2010 and later worked as the managing editor of BIRN’s flagship English-language website Balkan Insight.

Before embarking on a journalistic career, she was preparing for university entrance exams to study history and psychology. She says she doesn’t know why she eventually opted for journalism, but is glad she did. Recently, she won the prestigious Dejan Anastasijevic Investigative Award and received a special commendation from the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia.

  1. Did you always know that you wanted to be a journalist?

You caught me off guard – I can’t even remember why I decided to study journalism. I remember I was also preparing for entrance exams in history and psychology, but I don’t know how and why I eventually opted for journalism. I am, though, glad I did.

  1. You and our colleague Aleksandar Djordjevic were recently awarded first prize at the prestigious Dejan Anastasijevic Investigative Awards for your reporting on a network of fake NGOs that got millions of euros from the state budget that were supposed to help vulnerable groups in Serbia. Can you tell us more about this investigation, which you worked on for years?

Yes, it was literally years in the making, as my colleagues from BIRN and our partner organization, Civic Initiative, have been monitoring state transactions to civil society for years. About three years ago, they were alarmed to see that unusually high amounts were being awarded to the same group of completely anonymous organisations over and over again. We started writing about them soon after and eventually, last year obtained reports and uncovered data revealing that a network of fake NGOs that got millions of euros from the state budget, envisaged to help vulnerable groups in Serbia, was linked to Aleksandra Camagic, a senior Belgrade official and close associate of the Belgrade mayor, for almost a decade. The network was submitting fabricated financial reports and pretending it had organised mass lectures across the country, mainly on school and domestic violence. The story is based on an enormous amount of data that we have been sorting for quite some time with colleagues Lada Vucenovic, Tara Petrovic, Dejana Stevkovski and Ivana Teofilovic. Although we spent an unhealthy amount of time in Excel sheets, I really enjoyed working on this one, because I was spending all this time with some of the funniest and wittiest women I‘ve met.

  1. This investigation’s publication had a major impact on the Serbian public, but the government has still not responded. Did you expect this lack of reaction by the Serbian authorities? How does it make you feel?

The instances when someone either took political responsibility and resigned or has been prosecuted are almost non-existent, so I knew this would not be an exception. While two prosecution offices have opened some sort of investigation into the case, I do not have high hopes someone would actually be held responsible. But I am ok with writing simply to expose wrongdoings; it’s like a testament of time – regardless of how politicians are trying to paint themselves and our reality, we are here to show and preserve how people actually lived and what this state really was.

But in this specific case, I do believe our work can bring a change in practice. Pressure from the public and international donors – who provide part of the fund to the Serbian government – can enforce the state to award money to proper civil society organisations for projects that can bring change.

  1. BIRN also received special commendations from the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia for the story ‘Domestic Violence Against Children: Invisible Victims’. It was written by Dragana Prica Kovacevic, Teodora Curcic and yourself in collaboration with media outlets 021, Juzne vesti, Bujanovacke, Glas Sumadije and Ozon. What do awards like these mean to you?

It’s nice to get praise from and with people you respect and whose work you hold in high regard. For this specific story, I was quite proud of the whole team – a group of absolutely awesome women – who put it together. What makes this commendation a bit more special than any other is that it went to a story done in collaboration with local media. Dragana, whose byline stands first, is working for 021, local media from the Serbian city of Novi Sad. Journalists from local media and their achievements are often overlooked while facing complex pressures and obstacles in their work.

  1. As we can see, you work on various topics. Which do you prefer? And which of your stories are you proud of?

In the last decade, I wrote quite rarely, as I primarily work as an editor. This also means I work on all the topics my team is interested in covering. As a newsroom, our policy is to cover stories that are in the public interest, so I do believe I am rather privileged to be able to work only on stories both my colleagues and I find important. However, for me personally, the stories of the most vulnerable are the stories I would invest most.

  1. What do you like most in your job, and what is the most challenging thing?

As I mentioned in the previous answer – I think it’s quite a privilege to be able to work day in and day out on something relevant (or at least relevant to you personally), so I would say that privilege and the great people I spend my time at work are what I like most. The most challenging things are all the obstacles we face in obtaining information and answers from people or institutions that are actually legally obliged to provide those answers… One of the rather frustrating things is how normalised these difficulties are – it’s normalised for the institutions to ghost journalistic questions and for politicians to call us liars, disregard our work and ignore findings.

  1. What would you advise young journalists from the region – what is most important when it comes to investigative journalism?

Preparation, pre-research and persistence. In other words, I think it’s crucial to learn and read as much as you can about the topic you are researching, and once you have a rather clear picture, it can take quite some persistence to get all the data and answers one might need. But in our line of work, it’s usually worth it.

BIRN Albania Holds Workshop on Women’s Representation in Online and Social Media in Elections

On Tuesday May 28 the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania held a workshop in Tirana on women’s representation in online and social media during electoral campaigns.

The workshop was held as part of the project “Greater Internet Freedom” founded by US Agency for International Development and Internews.

The project aims to enhance awareness of digital rights, with a special focus on women and vulnerable groups.

The workshop was attended by two dozen students from the communication and political science department of the European University of Tirana.

The workshop was held by Kristina Voko, Executive Director of BIRN Albania, who presented the students with published BIRN Albania research on gender representation on social and online media during election campaigns, both at local and national level.

Voko highlighted the data on the online media and social media coverage of the political discourse and portrayal of women, both as political candidates and as voters during the 2023 local elections.

The presentation follows two major campaigns on social media on online rights abuses and the right to privacy and data protection.

SEE Digital Rights Network Members Meet in Bjelasnica

Network members met in Bosnia to discuss strategic improvements of the network’s activities and its future.

Members of the Southeast Europe Digital Rights Network, SEE Digital Rights Network, met in Bjelasnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, for a two-day retreat on May 28 and May 29, discussing the future of the Network and ways to improve communication and increase its impact and visibility.

The aim of the discussion about shared objectives and effective governance was to enable impactful collaboration on digital rights issues in the region. The agenda was designed to establish a solid foundation for the future operations of the SEE Digital Rights Network, including practical steps for collaboration in the form of a task force that will work on drafting key documents and defining strategic goals.

Orkidea Xhaferaj from the Center Science and Innovation for Development, SCiDEV, who joined the Network’s task force, said: “The task force as a temporary body is charged with providing options for the organisational governance and development of the regional network to support future advocacy initiatives, networks capacity building and increasing the impact of national organisations on the regional level in terms of digital rights protection.”

As digital rights violations increased, more than a dozen rights organisations agreed in 2020 to work together to protect individuals and societies in Southeast Europe. Over time, the SEE Digital Rights Network has expanded, forming a coalition of 39 civil society and media organizations.

Network members from Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and North Macedonia gathered to help further define the Networks’ mission, vision and values, as well as the structure and decision-making process.

“SEE Digital Rights Network is an important initiative to contribute to advancing digital rights in the region with the ultimate aim of safeguarding human rights throughout the region, considering democratic backsliding and human rights violations both offline and online. The Networks serve as a setting for organisations throughout the region to increase the impact on local and national level and then jointly advocate for regional protection, safeguarding,” said Xhaferaj.

Denas je nov dan is one of the newer members of the Network and the Bjelasnica meeting was their first. Maja Cimerman, their representative, said they saw a benefit in joining the network.

“We joined the network because we follow the work of its members and we think that we can support each other with organizing, and with regional connections our work achieves a greater impact,” Cimerman said.

The Institute for Democracy and Mediation, SCiDEV, Media Development Center (North Macedonia), Politiscope, Mediacentar Sarajevo, Drzavljan D, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Partners Serbia, Youth Initiative for Human Rights Serbia, Denas je nov dan Slovenia, SHARE Foundation and Zašto ne attended the meeting.

Call for Journalists to Participate in BIRN’s Regional Camp on Legally Safe Reporting and Crisis Reporting

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) opens a new call for applications for the three-day Regional Camp on Legally Safe Reporting and Crisis Reporting.

Given the delicate state of democracy in the Western Balkans, it is crucial for journalists to possess skills in crisis reporting, which include covering riots, protests, and elections. These skills are vital for upholding professional standards and ensuring the safety of journalists. Journalists frequently face defamation in tabloid media and on social media for their professional conduct. They also encounter challenges in maintaining their digital security and safeguarding their work and sources.

This regional training, within the project “Strengthening Quality Journalism in Western Balkans and Türkiye II,” is tailored to address these challenges through a multi-sectoral approach, engaging experts from various related fields to share their knowledge and skills. The training will include practical simulations to showcase effective techniques for countering attacks and proactive measures.

The goal of the regional training camp is to equip journalists with specialized knowledge that enables them to protect themselves and their newsrooms from various threats, including physical, digital and psychological attacks. The training sessions will be led by a diverse group of trainers and guest speakers, including BIRN managing editors and other distinguished external speakers.

Who can apply?

To apply for the programme, journalists are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a resident of one of the six Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
  • Journalists with at least one year of working experience, or a final-year journalism students, recent graduates, and young and professional journalists from the six Western Balkan countries may apply for the course.
  • Demonstrate a strong motivation and commitment to participation in the exchange programme.

BIRN is dedicated to promoting and achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture, so we encourage individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups, and those with disabilities to apply.

How to apply?

Applicants interested in this regional camp should fill in the Application Form in English language by 24 June 2024.

Selection Criteria

Criteria for Selection of Participants  Scores
Journalists with residency in one of the six Western Balkan countries 10 points
Working Experience 10 points
Demonstration of strong motivation and commitment to participation in the exchange programme. 30 points

Language

The training will be held in English.

Location

The training will take place in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Details about the agenda, travel and accommodation will be provided to the selected participants.

Deadline for applications: Thursday, 24 June 2024, 23:59, Central European Time.

Tentative date of the training course: 8–10 July, 2024.

Remarks

Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by BIRN.

Training participants will have access to a content production fund available through this project.

Call for Applications: Production Support for Western Balkan Public Broadcasters

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) invites teams of individuals, including journalists, editors, producers and other media workers from Western Balkan public broadcasters to submit applications for production support and receive up to €8,000 for production of their TV stories.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION SUPPORT

The Production Support aims to enhance the quality of news and investigative reporting across all public broadcasters in the Western Balkans through supporting teams of journalists, editors, producers and other media professionals from these broadcasters. This call, within the project “Strengthening Quality Journalism in Western Balkans and Türkiye II,” will support the production of at least two television stories in each Western Balkan country, totalling 12 stories across all six countries.

Six Production Supports will be awarded through this call, each for a gross amount of €8,000 for the production of two television stories per country. These funds can cover the following costs related to the production of TV stories: travel costs, rent of additionally needed equipment, design and visualization, translation, honoraria for the individuals involved in the production of the stories and others. All costs are subject to approval after the applications are selected.

The selected teams of journalists will receive mentorship from BIRN`s editors/mentors in the production of their stories and will be invited to contribute to the production of one cross-border documentary.

WHO CAN APPLY?

This call is designed for teams of 3-5 members of journalists, editors, producers and other media professionals from public broadcasters in Western Balkan countries. Applicants are required to complete an application form, propose ideas for the topics to be covered in the two television stories they wish to produce through this grant, and designate a team leader. A variety of topics for production of stories are eligible for this call, such as topics affecting national and regional economies, struggles and challenges to countries; EU integration processes, societies and countries; human rights violations, including those in the digital sphere, education, environment and health challenges and others.

Within this call, a total of six teams, one from each of the Western Balkan countries, will be chosen.

Each team is anticipated to:

  • Consist of 3-5 journalists, editors, producers and other media professionals from the same public broadcaster in one of Western Balkan countries. Teams can consist of team members working in the same or different public broadcasters in the same country.
  • Propose a clear idea and financial plan for the production and publication of two TV stories.
  • Produce at least two TV stories that will be aired by the public broadcaster to which they are affiliated during 2024.
  • Be involved in mentorship sessions and work closely with BIRN`s editors/mentors.

BIRN is dedicated to promoting and achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, and culture, so we encourage individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups, and those with disabilities to apply.

HOW TO APPLY?

Please fill in the Application Form in English by Friday June 21 by 14:00 and upload all the requested documents. A detailed financial breakdown will be requested only from pre-selected applicants before signing the agreement.

If you have questions about the programme, or the call, please contact Marija Vasilevska at [email protected].

EVALUATION OF THE APPLICATIONS

A selection committee of three senior BIRN editors will independently evaluate all the applications.  There will be two phases of selection:

  1. Administrative and Eligibility Review: Checking whether the applications are filled in the right format and if all required information is provided within the deadline; and
  2. Evaluation by the Selection Committee: Evaluation of the applications that passed the administrative and eligibility criteria as per the following selection criteria:
Evaluation Criteria Scores
Experience of the team members:

–        The application is submitted by a team of 3-5 journalists, editors, producers and other media professionals from the same public broadcasters in one of Western Balkan countries.

–        All team members are working in public broadcasters.

–        At least one of the team members has 3-5 years of working experience as a journalist.

40 points
The story ideas:

–        The topic of the stories and its relevance (priorities will be given to stories that cover human rights violations against women, men, girls and boys).

–        Presentation of the ideas for the stories.

60 points

Applicants will be notified on the status of their application by mid-July 2024 at the latest.

BIRN Kosovo Holds Training for the Members of the Municipal Assembly and Municipal Staff in Gjilan

On May 27, 2024, BIRN Kosovo held a one-day training to present the strategic vision of the National Strategy for Preventing and Countering Terrorism for the Municipality of Gjilan.

The training covered topics including preventing and countering violent extremism (P/VE), radicalization and recruitment (R&R), and other forms of extremism. It also focused on the local implementation of the strategic vision for addressing these issues, with a specific emphasis on the involvement of the Municipal Assembly and Municipal Staff in combating violent extremism and terrorism.

A total of 15 participants, 2 of them women, gathered for this training which started with an introduction of the objectives of the National Strategy for Preventing and Countering Terrorism 2023-2028 and its Action Plan. The training delved into the role of the Municipal Assembly and its Staff in addressing terrorism and forms of violent extremism, presented by Labinot Leposhtica – Legal Office and Monitoring Coordinator at BIRN Kosovo.

Present in this training was also Milot Sfishta – Representative of the Department for Public Safety in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who emphasized the crucial role of local authorities in meeting the objectives of the Strategy. He presented the current situation with this strategy and the work that has been done, especially within schools with teachers, psychologists, and social workers to create a more acceptable environment for returnees.

During the training session, the participants were very active with discussions, sharing many experiences starting from the way they understand extremism to many cases that they faced  and are related to different forms of extremism, with an emphasis on etno-nationalism. The presentation and subsequent discussions served to enhance their knowledge and awareness regarding this topic, resulting in a more informed group of individuals by the end of the session.

This training was held as part of the ‘Resilient Community Programme’ funded by GCERF.

Gordana Andric

Gordana Andric is a Belgrade-based journalist and editor.

She first joined BIRN as a journalist in 2010 and later worked as a managing editor of BIRN’s English language website Balkan Insight.

After spending four years with BBC World Service, she now works with BIRN Serbia.

Andric has managed teams of journalists, investigative reporters and editors from more than ten countries across the Balkans and Black Sea region.