BIRN Moderates Bosnia’s Population Loses Presentation

Nerma Jelacic, BIRN BiH director, has moderated the June 21 presentation and discussion of the population losses in Bosnia and Herzegovina war.

The project, also known as Bosnia’s Book of the Dead, was presented by the Research and Documentation Centre in Sarajevo, four years after its work began.

The day-long event in Sarajevo attracted leading representatives of non-governmental organisations, civil society, victims groups, international community and local political parties.

Jelacic moderated the discussion of the possible future use of the database.

Speakers included Zeljko Komsic, member of BiH Presidency, and council of ministers chair Nikola Spiric, as well as academics, demographic experts and representatives of the state prosecutor’s office.

BIRN Discusses Regional Economic Cooperation

Over thirty economic experts and journalists attended a panel discussion Tuesday, June 19 on foreign investments in the Balkans, organised in Sarajevo by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

Apart from discussing the current good and bad practises in this field, the conference, under the name of “Countries of the Region: Competitors or Allies in Investments”, sought to improve dialogue between regional economic and investment experts and the media.

Five journalists from the region and five from Bosnia and Herzegovina had an opportunity to speak with leading names in the business and investment sector as well as with representatives of the country’s two stock exchanges.

The first part of the conference looked into the stock exchanges in the region and their stimulation of foreign investments.

Panelists were Almir Mirica and Darko Lakic of the Sarajevo Stock Exchange and Banja Luka Stock Exchange, respectively, Almir Begic, an investment consultant, and Ahmed Hodzic of FIMA International Investment Company.

Panelists agreed that local investors lost out during early stages of investment in listed stocks mainly due to lack of understanding and education about this field.

Mr. Begic added that currently many foreign investors in the stock exchanges are speculative investors and that the two exchanges have to work on attracting serious long-term foreign buyers.

Asked if there was any movement on the initiative to merge the two stock exchanges, Mr. Hodzic said that such issues would be out of the question for as long as political interests outweigh economic interests.

The second panel at the conference looked into regional cooperation needed for the growth of Balkan economies. Speakers included Maida Becirovic, FIPA, Haris Mesinovic, World Bank, Nermin Zukic, FIC, and Prof. Dr. Anto Domazet, Economic Institute, Economic Faculty, Sarajevo.

The discussion revealed a number of fields in which the countries of the region can cooperate, including free trade, EU accession, and the development of infrastructure.

“We should cooperate as much as possible and compete only when necessary,” said Professor Domazet.

Organisation of the conference was supported by the Foreign Investments Promotion Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, FIPA.

Business Training Gets Underway

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.

BIRN to hold economic reporting training in Sarajevo

An intensive three-day training event will bring together five economic journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina and five of their colleagues from Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia as part of a training and reporting project on economic dialogue between Bosnia and Herzegovina and its neighbours.

Eric Jansson, BIRN editor and former Financial Times Balkans correspondent and Gordana Igric, BIRN director and editor-in-chief of Balkan Insight will lead the training sessions on the 17th, 18th and 19th of June, 2007.

The project, supported by the British Embassy in Sarajevo, focuses on fostering a culture of objective and reliable reporting on common economic issues affecting the region.

A special package of reports will be published in BIRN’s regional publication, Balkan Insight, following the training event.

For more information on the agenda and the training session please see this link

BIRN to hold discussion on regional economic cooperation in Sarajevo

A panel discussion on regional economic cooperation organised by BIRN and the Foreign Investments Promotion Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, FIPA, will be held at the Radon Plaza Hotel, Sarajevo on June 19, 2007 at 13:00. The panel discussion – Competitors or Allies in Investments, will be preceded by a BIRN training and reporting event for economic journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the surrounding region, supported by the British Embassy in Sarajevo.

The discussion will feature two panels:

– Are BiH stock exchanges doing enough to stimulate foreign investment?
– Competition or Cooperation: Finding an Optimal Balance for the Growth of Balkan Economies.

For the complete agenda and a list of panellists please visit this link

To participate in the event please contact Dusica L.I. Cook at [email protected].

BIRN BiH at Court Presidents Conference

Nidzara Ahmetasevic, Justice Report editor, spoke at the Court Presidents Conference organised by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH in Sarajevo on 27 and 28 April.

Ahmetasevic spoke of the importance of transparency in the trials, as well as of her experiences in monitoring the court proceedings, and recommendations for best practise.

In her speech, she appraised the conference participants of the work of Justice Report agency and the Association of Reporters of the Court of BiH, and spoke of the experience of many of its members in reporting the work of the court.

Ahmetasevic highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of the existing system and expressed hope that journalists, in cooperation with members of judicial institutions in BiH, will find ways to informing the public of court proceedings with as few problems as possible. This, she noted, was a vital part of trials against war crimes indictees.

Apart from Ahmetasevic, representatives of Ombudsman Office of Republika Srpska, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BiH, OSCE and Lawyers’ Chamber spoke about their experiences in working with judicial authorities.

The conference has gathered representatives of all courts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, attorneys and prosecutors.

Justice Report and Association of Reporters of the Court of BiH are products of the Balkans Investigative Network in Sarajevo. For additional information please visit or write to [email protected]

BIRN BiH Promotes New Press Code

BIRN BiH will in March together with the Press Council visit four cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to promote the new press code on journalistic ethics.

BIRN BiH will in March together with the Press Council visit four cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to promote the new press code on journalistic ethics.

BIRN’s Association of Court Reporters and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in 2006 approached the Press Council with a view to improving the rules and recommendations to journalists reporting from war crimes trials.

The code has consequently been changed in two areas – covering protected witnesses – and a set of recommendations has been adopted by editors of Bosnia’s major print media.

The changes have been promoted so far in Mostar and Sarajevo on March 15 and 22 respectively with two more events due in Banja Luka and Bijeljina on March 28 and 29.

The Association of Court Reporters will continue with its work in 2007 with the aim of improving communication between the media and local judiciary and ensuring transparent and widely accessible justice for all.

To find out more about the work of the Association or BIRN BiH please write to director Nerma Jelacic at [email protected]

BIRN Bosnia to train journalists in Uganda

BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina will hold a week long training seminar for 16 journalists from Uganda at the end of February.

Journalists from this African country will be tought about the work of the International Criminal Court and how to report on upcoming trials there.

The training – to be held in Kampala February 26 to March 2, 2007 – will bring together representatives of the ICC prosecution and registry, Human Rights Watch officials, Coalition for the ICC activists and leading trainers in court reporting, to seek ways of improving coverage of the ICC in the country.

The project is sponsored by UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

BIRN BiH director briefs Lebanese students

Nerma Jelacic, director of BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina, gave a two hour presentation on post-conflict justice and reconciliation to about 20 students from Lebanon.

The presentation took place on December 27 in BIRN’s Sarajevo offices.

Students of human rights, journalism and film visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in an effort to compare reconciliation experiences here with those in their own country.

BIRN BiH director honoured in Japan

BIRN BiH director, Nerma Jelacic, was one of ten people from around the world who were named peacemakers of the year in Japan.

The honour was bestowed by Japan’s second largest daily newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, which has a circulation over 8 million readers a day.

The newspaper singled out Jelacic’s involvement in the promotion of justice and reconciliation.