New Investigative Journalism Project Launched

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The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, is carrying out a three-year investigative journalism programme thanks to support from the Austrian Development Agency, ADA. BIRN Kosovo director Jeta Xharra and Gunther Zimmer, ADA’s Kosovo director, signed an agreement in Pristina this week, marking the start of the project.

The programme is a continuation of BIRN’s award-winning “Paper Trail to Better Governance”, which produced a series of innovative and hard-hitting investigations between October 2013 andJuly 2016.

Journalists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia worked together to produce more than 30 pieces of watchdog journalism,, with many of the stories published alongside major international outlets such as The Guardian.

Reporters were provided with training in investigative journalism and given subject-specific briefings related to their stories.  

The investigations used public documents, often obtained through Freedom of Information laws, to shine a light on corruption in the private and public sector. The findings have sparked a number of official investigations which are ongoing.

The new, three-year programme will continue to use public documents and FOI laws to uncover wrongdoing, while integrating new, computer-assisted techniques.

Xharra said: “We’re pleased that ADA continues to support BIRN’s work building a cohort of talented investigative journalist who have the skills, means and passion to hold the powerful to account. “