Education of Local Community Journalists Completed

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The Balkans Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, with the support of USAID’s Programme on Judicial Sector Development, has completed a four-month training course for about 30 journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina reporting on war-crimes trials conducted before cantonal and district courts.

On completion of the final training session, course participants will be awarded certificates on war-crimes trial reporting. The certificates will be presented by Alan Reed, Director of the USAID Mission.

The certificates will be awarded in the “Evropa” Hotel premises on Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 7 p.m.

At the end of March 2010 BIRN BiH, in collaboration with USAID, began the training course with the aim of educating journalists on covering war-crimes trials conducted in local courts, as the process of referring “less
sensitive cases” to cantonal and district courts and the Brcko District Court has begun.

Over the course of the four-month training course the journalists have had a chance to familiarize themselves with the work of the State Court and its Prosecution and learn the importance of respecting basic journalistic principles when writing trial reports.

BIRN Regional Director Gordana Igric provided training on writing analyses and investigative reports, while Justice Report journalists focused on practical issues related to writing trial reports.

Among the trainers and lecturers who took part in the training course were Meddzida Kreso, President of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vesna Budimir, Chief of the War Crimes Section with the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zlatko Knezevic, a member of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, Nerma Jelacic, Spokesperson of the Hague Tribunal, and Ljiljana Zurovac, Director of the Press Council.

During the four-month programme journalists have had a chance to develop court reporting skills aligned with international and local codices and become certified court reporters in their media outlets.