Business Training Gets Underway

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What is a hedge fund? A leverage buyout? An ‘acid test’ ratio? How do bond yields work? Does business journalism have to be dry and boring?

BIRN, in its commitment to better Balkan business journalism, helped to answer these and other questions posed by Balkan journalists at an intensive training event in Sarajevo on Sunday and Monday.

The event, supported by the British Embassy in Sarajevo, focused on fostering a culture of objective and reliable reporting on common economic issues affecting the region. Four Bosnian business journalists and five others from Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia, attended.

Of course business journalism should not be dry and boring, trainer Eric Jansson, a BIRN editor and former Balkans correspondent for the Financial Times, told participants. But reporters and editors need to work hard to make it both lively and accurate.

To lift the curtain on business in the transition economies of southeast Europe, Balkan journalists need a fuller arsenal of tools used by analysts around the world. The two days of training were focused on providing such analytical tools and putting them to use.

Roundtable events were to follow on a third and final day, with BIRN hosting panelists including noted local economists and leading figures in Bosnia’s emerging capital markets.

In a pleasant departure from economists’ standard claim that there is “no such thing as a free lunch”, BIRN saw that participants were well fed throughout.