BIRN Summer School Chooses Investigative Story Winners

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After five days of intensive training at the fourth annual BIRN Summer School, four groups of reporters whose investigations will be funded were announced at the closing ceremony.

The Summer School jury, composed of lead trainer David Leigh, BIRN regional director Gordana Igric, director of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Media Programme South East Europe Christian Spahr and former BIRN editor Lawrence Marzouk, chose the teams from a total of ten.

The teams’ investigations will be financed from a total fund of 6,000 euro and the resulting stories will be published on the Balkan Insight website.

The participants making up the chosen teams were: Kristina Ozimec, Gabriela Delova, Vlado Apostolov and Sashka Cvetkovska from Macedonia; Alisa Mysliu from Albania; Milena Perovic Korac and Milica Marinovic from Montenegro; Magda Munteanu from Romania; Semir Mujkic from Bosnia and Herzegovina; Flutura Kusari, Arta Avdiu and Una Hajdari from Kosovo, and Charly Loufrani  from France.

For five days last week, participants at the Summer School from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, France, Austria and Estonia learned how to use freedom of information laws, conduct investigative interviews, make the most of computer-assisted reporting, start investigations and put stories together, and more.

This year’s Summer School also had two special guest lecturers, the chief officer of Bari police, Luigi Rinella, and former FBI undercover agent Stephen Salmieri. While Rinella explained how the Italian part of the international investigation into suspected Balkan drugs criminal Darko Saric operated, Salmieri presented necessary skills for undercover work.

This year’s BIRN Summer School was held at Bled Lake in Slovenia.

The BIRN Summer School of Investigative Reporting 2013 was organised in cooperation with the Media Program South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and with the support of the King Baudouin Foundation, the Belgian National Lottery, the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, the OSCE Mission to Serbia and USAID in Macedonia.