Life in Kosovo celebrates its fourth anniversary

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BIRN Kosovo’s weekly show Life in Kosovo (Jeta ne Kosove) celebrated its fourth anniversary last Friday at a gala held at Pristina’s National Museum.

Hundreds of guests gathered for the event during which Jeta Xharra, the director of BIRN Kosovo, presented certificates to the mayors involved in the pre and post election debates of 2007.

Life in Kosovo has broadcasted 267 TV debates accompanied by in-depth TV reports on RTK, Kosovo’s public sector broadcaster, tackling political, economic, social, and minority issues. The show is watched by 350,000 viewers on average each week and is well respected for its ground-breaking investigations.

EU special representative Pieter Feith, addressing the audience, praised the show Life in Kosovo and its staff.

“Your progammes are inquisitive. You put your opponents on the back foot. You make sure that your interviewees are saying the wrong things, and the programmes are always interesting to watch,” he said.

Kosovo parliament speaker Jakup Krasniqi also presented his views on the show. He told guests: “Jeta [Xharra] and her shows are not always pleasant. They are bitter too. Kosovo has gone through a difficult time and now it’s the time when Kosovo should have free speech and a free media. I wish Life in Kosovo the best of luck and success.”

American Ambassador to Kosovo, Christopher Dell said: “I would urge you to take the courage in your strength as journalists to understand the power you yield, not just to inform but to focus the public discourse. I ask you to pay attention to your serious responsibilities that are accompanied with great power, responsibilities to serve your country and your communities.”

The current affairs show includes field reports, direct questioning of key decision-makers and studio debates. It covers the most important political and social issues unfolding on a weekly basis in Kosovo.

The programme has scrutinised the activities of the government, the legislative process in Kosovo’s parliament, issues relating to Kosovo’s non-Albanian communities, the economy, property rights, human rights and decentralisation.

Guests at the anniversary event included municipal leaders, government officials, opposition figures, civil society, local media and representatives of the international community.

Jeta Xharra, the anchor and editor of the program, explained that it has been an incredible journey to get to here.

“The municipal election debates have been the most rewarding programmes because of the incredible audience we had in the town halls participating in the debates, as well as those watching us on TV. It is especially encouraging to receive the amount of feedback and questions we are getting from members of the public for the debates on this year’s local elections which are due on November 15,” said Xharra.

“We couldn’t have got to where we are today without the help of our friends. One of the best friends we are lucky to have is Agim Zatriqi, [RTK General Director] who has been the strongest supporter of “Jeta ne Kosove”. He did not buckle under a lot of pressure to bump the show off air, and for this we will be eternally grateful to him,” said Xharra.

She added: “The only sour note to this celebration has been the news that Agim has just resigned.”