Nermina Kuloglija

Nermina joined BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina in August 2019.

She has worked as a journalist since 2017. She began her career with Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo, first as an intern, then a journalist, where she mainly focused on researching corruption and organised crime.

She graduated in 2017, earning the title Bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication at the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Sarajevo.

Nermina attended BIRN Summer School of Investigative Reporting in 2018.

Winners of EU Investigative Awards in Bosnia and Herzegovina Announced

The three winners of the EU prize in Bosnia and Herzegovina received their awards on Wednesday at the EU Info Center in Sarajevo.

Amarildo Gutic won the first prize for best investigative story in 2018 in Bosnia and Herzegovina for his documentary The State against David, which reconstructs the last hours of the life of David Dragicevic whose unresolved death sparked major tension in the country.

In its summary of the award decision, the jury underlined that the author “transforms one personal and family tragedy into a story which convincingly speaks about pathology of institutions and the entire government”.

Speaking about the challenges of investigative journalism in Bosnia, Gutic said: “The most important thing is that you accept that this is what you are doing and have a newsroom where you can work independently but also as a team.”

Second prize went to Semir Mujkic for his investigative series Corruption in Public Procurements.

“The significance of Mujkic’s investigative series is that it documents the misuse of public procurement through publicly available information,” the jury noted.

Third prize went to Renata Radic Dragic and Mubarek Asani for their piece Veterans against Veterans’ Associations.

The jury, including Davor Glavas, as head of the jury, and members Vildana Selimbegović and Milka Tadic Mijovic, had a hard task evaluating the shortlisted applications.

Khaldoun Sinno, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, referred to the freedom of media and well informed public upon which every democratic society depends.

“Freedom of expression and freedom of media are part of fundamental values of the European Union which has been reflected throughout the recently published EC Opinion on BiH’s application for membership. This is a crucial element of BiH’s progress towards the EU and will be closely monitored on a daily basis as BiH progresses towards the EU”, said Sinno adding that only with strong, independent media and protected journalists BiH can progress towards the EU.

Selimbegovic, a prominent Bosnian journalist, emphasized that investigative journalism was especially difficult in Bosnia, as few media outlets could afford that kind of reporting.

“It takes a lot of time and resources for journalist to be dedicated to an investigative story,” Selimbegovic said.

Following the awards ceremony, a panel discussion on investigative journalism took place including Selimbegovic, from Oslobodjenje, journalist Leila Bicakcic, from CIN, Jamila Milovic Halilovic, Head of Communications of EUD/EUSR, and winner of the Best investigative story for 2018 Amarildo Gutic from Zurnal.

The panel discussed the obstacles and challenges of investigative journalism, the lack of resources in news rooms, building cases and finding evidence in the complicated political climate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and how political pressure affects journalists.

The EU awards have the overall goal of celebrating and promoting outstanding investigative journalism in the Western Balkan countries and Turkey, as well as improving the visibility of quality investigative journalism in these countries among the public.

“As confirmed during the Western Balkans Media Days held in Podgorica from 2 to 4 September, the EU is aware of all the challenges that WB media sector faces and is firmly committed to continue supporting the creation of environment enabling free and democratic societies to fully flourish in this region”, noted Milovic-Halilovic.

The EU award for investigative journalism is awarded through the EU-funded project “Strengthening Quality News and Independent Journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey” in 2019, 2020, and 2021 in the following EU candidate and potential candidate countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. It is for investigative stories published between 2018 and 2020. In total, 63 awards will be awarded over the three-year period.

The awards in Bosnia and Herzegovina are coordinated by BIRN Hub, and the regional consortium is led also by the Balkan Investigative Regional Reporting Network, the BIRN Hub.

Calls Open for EU Investigative Journalism Award

Applications are now open for submission of investigative articles from the Western Balkans and Turkey for the annual EU Investigative Journalism Award.

Investigative stories published from January 1 to December 31, 2018, and related to freedom of expression, rule of law, transparency, abuse of power and fundamental rights, corruption and organised crime are welcome to apply.

The award fund in each country in 2019 (for achievements in 2018) is 10,000 EUR. The first prize will be 5,000 EUR, the second 3,000 EUR, and the third will be 2,000 EUR.

Individuals or groups of journalists are eligible to apply in all journalism forms (print, online, radio and TV) published or broadcast in the media in each country in official, minority or international languages.

Articles eligible for submission must appear in print, online, radio and TV media outlets during the 2018 calendar year.

EU Investigative Journalism Awards in the Western Balkans and Turkey aim to celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements of investigative journalists as well as improve the visibility of quality journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

The awards are a continuation of the ongoing regional EU Investigative Journalism Award in the Western Balkans and Turkey and part of the ongoing project ‘Strengthening Quality News and Independent Journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey’.

The project partners involved all have extensive expertise in the field of media freedom and have been recognised locally and internationally as strong independent media organisations.

The jury for the EU Award comprises media experts, some of them from the project consortia. Others are drawn from the extensive network projects that the consortium members have, such as editors, members of academia and journalists with merits.

Deadline for the submission of application is July 17th, 2019.

The awards will be given annually in all six Western Balkan countries and Turkey.

For more details, contact

To download all necessary documents in English click here

To download all necessary documents for Serbia click here

To download all necessary documents for Kosovo click here

To download all necessary documents for Bosnia and Herzegovina click here

To download all necessary documents for Montenegro click here

To download all necessary documents for Macedonia click here

To download all necessary documents for Albania click here

To download all necessary documents for Turkey click here

BIRN Bosnia Celebrates 100th Edition of ‘TV Justice’

In November this year, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina produced the 100th edition of its television programme ‘TV Justice’.

The 100th edition covered judicial institutions’ reluctance to share information and the fact that they use internal regulations to limit media access to court processes.

Problems facing journalists in their everyday work include inaccessible indictments, anonymised verdicts, low-quality recordings from trials lasting ten minutes only, and the refusal by judicial officials to give interviews or make public appearances.

All this is happening despite the fact that the Bosnian laws stipulate that trials should be public and the international standards call for transparency, which means quick responses to inquiries, as well as the availability of indictments and verdicts.

Transparency was reduced in 2012 when the Agency for Protection of Personal Data submitted letters to the state court and prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, telling them they do not have to automatically publish all data.

The state prosecution then removed all indictments from its web page, while the Bosnian state court adopted changes to its regulations on access to information, which entailed using initials instead of full names in court documents and issuing only ten-minute recordings from trials, which significantly reduced the potential for media reporting.

This meant the quality of material that could be used by electronic media fell significantly, so the format of specialist shows had to be changed.

After that BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina launched a campaign titled ‘Stop Censorship’, which was supported by international organisations and associations of victims such as the International Commission for the Missing Persons and the Women, Victims of War association.

The director of BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mirna Buljugic, said the ‘Stop Censorship’ campaign was initiated because war crimes are of public interest and the public should know who was indicted for the gravest crimes. She said the campaign was eventually successful, as it was followed by a decision to change the rulebook and discontinue the anonymisation of verdicts.

“BIRN’s mission was not only to tell those stories to Bosnian citizens, but also to make an impact on positive changes in society in some way. Through our stories and stories told by witnesses, we tried as journalists to help judicial institutions reach out to certain witnesses and certain stories which could actually be translated into court processes later on,” Buljugic said.

In the 100th edition of ‘TV Justice’, journalists and editors say that judicial bodies are increasingly closed to the media, which prevents quality reporting on legal processes related to war crimes, as well as on corruption and organised crime cases.

BIRN Editor Talks About Transitional Justice at Leipzig Conference

BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina Editor Denis Dzidic participated in a conference in Leipzig, Germany for young journalists entitled ‘Correcting Images’ (‘Bildkorrekturen’) from November 23 to 25.

Dzidic spoke about the role of media in peace-building and how reporting on transitional justice topics can assist reconciliation in a post-conflict society.

The ‘Correcting Images’ conference is financed by the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation and the German Academic Exchange Service. It was organised by Engagement Global in cooperation with the universities of Munich, Leipzig and Bamberg, the German School of Journalism and the Deutsche Welle Academy.

Its aim is to promote accurate images of developing countries in Germany and to motivate the general public to contribute to global reconstruction for social justice. The conference provides a forum for dialogue on global issues between participants, especially young students of journalism and journalists from the North and South.

BIRN Editors Address Nuremberg Trial Reporting Seminar

BIRN editors from Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in a seminar in Nuremberg, Germany, on journalism and trial reporting on November 19-22.

BIRN Kosovo’s Kreshnik Gashi and BIRN Bosnia’s Denic Dzidic travelled to the German city of Nuremberg to address a seminar organised by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the International Nuremberg Principles Academy on journalism and trial reporting.

Gashi, editor and moderator of BIRN Kosovo’s TV programme ‘Justice in Kosovo’, made a presentation about the work of BIRN Kosovo’s site on reporting war crimes, covering the legal responsibilities of journalists writing such sensitive reports, accurate and objective reporting, and the verification of facts before reporting on cases.

Dzidic, editor in chief of BIRN Bosnia’s online publication Detektor, spoke about lessons learned from following international tribunals and war crimes trials in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He highlighted how BIRN had become a specialised news media for transitional justice and what importance that played for the victims and diaspora communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The seminar focused on the key role of journalists on informing the public about criminal trials, the seminar was structured into three modules – Basics of International Criminal Law; Journalism and International Criminal Tribunals, and Reporting on International Criminal Tribunals.

Opening remarks at the seminar were made by the director of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, Klaus Rackwitz, and Dr. Fidelman Donlon from the registrar’s office at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.


The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) is a political foundation with a focus on civic education programmes promoting freedom and liberty, peace and justice. The KAS has 16 regional offices in Germany. Its offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries.

The BIRN Summer School of Investigative Reporting has been organised in cooperation with the KAS’s Medienprogramm Südosteuropa/Media Program South East Europe since 2012. The Summer School enhances the reporting skills and journalistic standards of journalists from the Balkans and beyond, training 20 journalists from the Balkan region and 10 international journalists each year.


BIRN Journalists Trained in Mobile Video Journalism

BIRN journalists from Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and BIRN Hub attended a training course on mobile video production from August 19 to 21 in Skopje.

The three-day training course was conducted by a Voice of America (VOA) Broadcasting Board of Governors trainer.

A group of around ten journalists and editors from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia were introduced to new mobile apps for filming and editing video content on mobile platforms.

They were also taught new approaches and developed skills in video reporting using new technologies that will be in use in everyday reporting and delivering content, especially for social media.

The training was intended to improve focused video content relevant to web and social media audiences and enhance journalists’ ability to tell stories that engage users through text, pictures, videos and livestreaming.

The training continued the cooperation between BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina and VOA, which started at the beginning of 2017.

BIRN Bosnia Story Presented at Sarajevo Film Festival

BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday presented a story to film directors and producers about a boy who was abandoned after his mother survived the Srebrenica genocide as part of the Dealing with the Past programme at the 24th Sarajevo Film Festival.

BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina’s director Mirna Buljugic briefed the directors and producers on the story about the boy, Amir Secic, whose mother abandoned him four months after the Srebrenica genocide in July 1995.

“His mother was five months pregnant and his father was killed. He was born in November and his mother left him three days later. He stayed at the Home for Children without Parental Care. He was three years old when he saw his mother for the first time,” Buljugic said.

When he was 23, Secic wrote a book called ‘I Was Hardly a Child’ in which he described his life. He dedicated the book to his father Ibrahim Secic, one of more than 7,000 people from Srebrenica who were killed.

Buljugic reflected on some parts of the book in which Secic spoke about how he was given a red bag at the children’s home, which he used to carry with him all the time.

In his book, Secic described the red colour of his bag as “the colour of love, as well as blood, loss and genocide”.

A short video about Secic, who was also present at the event and greeted the participants, was presented to the directors and producers who attended.

The BIRN story is one of the five selected for presentation at this year’s Dealing with the Past programme at the Sarajevo Film Festival, which is supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The five stories are reviewed by interested directors, who then decide which one will be picked up for development as a documentary.

The programme is aimed at connecting filmmakers with organisations dealing with events that happened in the former Yugoslavia.

BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina has been the festival’s partner in the Dealing with the Past programme since it began.

This year’s festival is taking place from August 10 to 17.

BIRN Participates in Sarajevo Film Festival Programme

A report by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina about a boy who was abandoned after his pregnant mother survived the Srebrenica genocide is one of the five stories being presented at this month’s Dealing with the Past Programme at the 2018 Sarajevo Film Festival.

The five stories are reviewed by interested directors, who then decide which one will be picked up for development as a documentary.

“After the directors watch all five stories on Monday, we will see whose story passes the selection process and becomes material for the making of a serious international documentary,” said BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina’s director Mirna Buljigic.

BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina has been a partner in the Sarajevo Film Festival’s Dealing with the Past programme since its inception.