The 10 journalists whose articles appear in the book were selected in a competition open to writers from across the Balkans and their investigative articles are dedicated to the issue of production, use and lack of energy in the Balkans, and the politics surrounding energy policy.
The event was attended by the BIH media, the diplomatic corps, representatives of NGO’s and the wider international community. BIRN BIH Program Manager, Anisa Suceska Vekic presented the fellowship initiative and offered media representatives the opportunity to republish the articles in the book.
Mirsad Bajtarevic, from BH Radio 1, whose article on wind energy scooped the overall third prize presented his article to the guests:
“This is a story about the inability of foreign institutions to develop a project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite local interest,” Bajtarevic said. He called upon all journalists to apply to be a part of the 2009 programme, “as it represents an ideal opportunity for a committed writer to develop their investigative work”.
In the course of his investigation, Bajtarevic was mentored by Srecko Latal, one of the editors of BIRN’s popular Balkan Insight website. Latal told the audience that the timescale and wide scope of the fellowship offered a rare opportunity for journalists to focus on subjects which they want to investigate in detail.
“It was my pleasure to work with Mirsad, because he has vast knowledge of this subject,” Latal told the audience.
BIRN BIH representatives presented the first ten copies of the book to the Media Centre Library to thank the Media Centre for their continued support of the media in the country.
After the presentation the guests enjoyed a brief cocktail party.
More than 200 media outlets and 10,000 Justice Report magazine subscribers in BIH, the region and worldwide have received press releases and information about the promotion and copies of the book.
In the next weeks, BIRN BIH will distribute the book to libraries in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar Universities, the National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina and other academic and research libraries.
The programme was initiated by the Robert Bosch and Erste Foundations in cooperation with BIRN, in order to support the professional development of journalists in the region and to assist in the development of international standards in the local media.
Additional details about the book and the journalistic excellence programme can be found at http://fellowship.birn.eu.com/.