BIRN Organises Media Training for War Crimes Reporting

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BIRN and the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, ICTY, last month organised two seminars on reporting about the work of the ICTY for journalists from Kosovo and Macedonia in Pristina and Skopje.

The seminars, held on April 10 in Pristina and April 11 in Skopje, were designed as an opportunity for media professionals from Kosovo and Macedonia to discuss various issues related to the ICTY and the coverage of war crimes with Tribunal officials and experts on war crimes reporting. 
The seminars were divided into six sessions with presentations from Olga Kavran, spokeswoman for the tribunal prosecution; Refik Hodzic, spokesperson for the tribunal registry; Nerma Jelacic, BIRN`s BIH director, Bronwyn Jones, tribunal liaison officer in Pristina; and journalist Christian Jennings. David Blunt from the UK office in Pristina and British ambassador to Macedonia Robert Chatterton Dickson opened the event in Pristina and Skopje respectively.       
Editors and journalists from major outlets in Kosovo, including Iliria Post, Koha Ditore, Info Press, Zeri, Lajm and Kosova Sot dailies and RTK, KTV, RTV 21, and ALSAT TV stations covered the event.
In Macedonia, some 40 editors and journalists from media across the ethnic divide were represented, including Dnevnik, Utrinski vesnik, Vest, Fakti, Spic dailies, Mia and Makfax news agencies, Telma, MRTV, A1, Sitel, Kanal 5, Alsat TV stations, Macedonian state radio and Channel 77 radio and Forum plus and Globus weeklies.   
The events were an opportunity for media from Kosovo and Macedonia to discuss ongoing trials in The Hague; the role of ICTY; and exchange opinions and experiences and how to access better tribunal-related information.
The events were organised by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, in cooperation with ICTY Outreach and with financial support from the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
As a follow up event, BIRN Macedonia organised an additional two days of training for Macedonian journalists. It aimed to provide those covering the trial of Macedonia`s former interior minister Ljube Boskovski, and the return of four cases from the tribunal to the Macedonian courts, an opportunity to gain an insight into   International Humanitarian Law, court reporting, amongst other subjects.
The event was organised by BIRN Macedonia on April 12 and 13 with support from the British embassy in Skopje.