The group comprised four Albanian and two Serbian journalists who work for local electronic and print media outlets in Bujanovac, Presevo and Vranje.
The journalists were: Rijad Destani of Albanian TV Spektri; Faruk Daliu of RTV Bujanovac; Skender Saqipi and Fesnike Rexhepi from the Albanian weekly Perspektiva; Nikola Lazic from the weekly Novine Vranjske; and Ardita Behluli and Ivica Stepanovic from RTV Presevo.
Over the course of the three-day training session, BIRN editor-in-chief, Gordan Igric, and the director of BIRN Serbia, Dragana Nikolic Solomon, discussed how to write features and news analysis and pointed out common mistakes.
Jeta Xhara, BIRN Kosovo director, gave the participants tips on interviewing techniques based on her experience of hosting a highly successful TV debate show in Kosovo.
Miroslav Jankovic from Youth Initiative for Human Rights, YIHR, talked to the group about access to information legislation and journalists’ rights.
Igric held a session on libel law and why it’s important to understand it in advance of Serbia’s integration into Europe.
Nikolic Solomon spoke about the importance of steering away from hate speech and stereotypes when writing articles, especially in post-conflict societies such as Presevo.
Vukasin Obradovic, editor-in-chief of Novine Vranjske, discussed his own experience of editing the multi-ethnic monthly Korak – Hapi, urging the group to write as professionals, not as Albanians or Serbs.
Suzana Trninic, a B92 radio editor, held a session on election coverage and provided tips on how the journalists could improve their contacts with mainstream parties in Belgrade.
During the last day of training, Igric and Nikolic Solomon worked with journalists on the preparation of articles on South Serbia, due to be published beginning of January.
Those who attended the workshop thought it very useful.
“I think we learned a lot from the experienced journalists who trained us in Nis. The knowledge we gained in the last few days will be very useful for our day-to-day work,” said Saqipi.
The workshop was organised with the help of British Embassy in Belgrade as well as the National Endowment for Democracy, NED in Washington.