Meet the People Behind BIRN: Adelina Ahmeti

Posted on

From an active basketball player to an awarded journalist who has worked on investigations of many cases that ended with arrests, indictments or dismissals of officials due to corruption – this has been the professional path of 27-year-old Adelina Ahmeti, a BIRN Network journalist working at

Photo: BIRN Kosovo - Naser Fejza

Adelina began her career as an intern at at the end of 2015 and was promoted to journalist within months. Her primary fields of experience relate to security issues and law enforcement, and her articles often arouse regional interest.

Let’s meet her!

  1. You were a basketball player. If it weren’t for your injury, would you still be a sportsperson, or something else?

Although not as active as before, I am still a sportsperson. Now I prefer other forms, like walking, running, or fitness, a little easier sport that does not cause me injury problems. Now I’ve become a journalist, I tend to believe that everything happens for a reason.

  1. How did you decide to become a journalist?

It’s a cliché, and we hear it many times – “I dreamed of this profession as a child,” – but it is true. Watching news shows on TV and reading good pieces in newspapers, I always imagined having my name on the bylines and doing the same. I always wanted to do something to help other people, to be the voice of my community, to investigate any case that we can learn something about, to go and report from a place where people don’t have access, to tell them only the truth and what’s really happening there, to be everywhere for them – because journalism is not easy, we need to work hard to get attention and then have their trust. When people trust us, we can get so much information about what’s happening in institutions and cases.

  1. You have worked at since 2015. Regarding journalism, your primary fields of experience are related to security issues and law enforcement. What did you find most challenging in your work so far?

When I start thinking about this, I see one fact: I always watched movies and documentaries about police, lawyers and crime cases, and when one of my editors called me and asked if I wanted to be a journalist who follows security issues, I didn’t hesitate to say: “Yes, of course, I love this.” But, as a 19-year-old at that time, hesitations came as I started overthinking about whether I would be able to create enough sources for my work to follow what was happening in security institutions. Now, eight years later, I feel proud, and I’m happy about everything I did in the past years investigating so many cases that ended with arrests, indictments or dismissals of various officials due to corruption cases. It was hard at the beginning because when I started to go into police stations or crime scenes, people often watched me strangely. It was not common then for women journalists to report from difficult areas or cases. The situation has changed a lot since then, and I see more and more young women working as journalists, taking on serious cases to report on.

  1. Last year was very rewarding for your work since you received the award in the field of child protection from the Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo. Can you tell us a bit more about your awarded story, “Sex Crime File: How the Accused of Sexual Assault on a Student Was Released”?

I started working on this case in 2022 when someone wanted to meet me to discuss his 14-year-old daughter, who’d been the victim of a sexual assault in her school. He first told me: “I don’t believe the system, the police, the prosecutor, and I came here to tell you what’s happening with the case.” I thought this was a reward for me; people who’d lost trust in institutions that are supposed to protect them come to me to address their problems with a system which is not working. These are the moments that grow you as a journalist.

It was continuous work on the story. In the end, it resulted in an investigation that made the prosecution extend the investigations and indict a second suspect, who was previously somehow “forgotten” and considered just as a witness.

  1. During your career, you received many awards for investigative journalism. What do they mean to you?

First of all, pride. Taking awards is not what I think of when I work on any investigation. It is just an evaluation of my work by others who assess it. My first and foremost goal is to try to give a voice to those who are unheard. The impact of the reports is the biggest prize for me. The awards given to me over the years since I started my career are just another impetus for the work we do.