Novi Sad students quiz BIRN on transitional justice

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Petar Subotin of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network gave a lecture on journalism and transitional justice at the Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj high school in Novi Sad on Monday to coincide with the first screening of BIRN’s documentary The Majority Starts Here in the northern Serbian city that evening.  

More than 30 students attended the one-hour lecture and afterwards posed questions about topics like investigative journalism and news writing procedures, but also about transitional justice and reconciliation processes in the Balkans.

Picking up on the topic of BIRN’s film, they were eager to find out if people of their generation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo knew about the crimes that happened in each country in the region during the 1990s wars.

They were also interested in how the six young people featured in the documentary reacted when faced with difficult situations and tough stories from the conflicts. 

When asked if they would agree to participate in such a project, many said that they would, mostly because they felt that they would not experience any difficulties when sitting at the same table with youngsters from neighbouring countries.

Questions were also asked about studying journalism, whether it was hard to become a good journalist and whether it was difficult to find a proper job outside tabloid newspapers.

The lecture was one of the first steps in a new BIRN initiative to bring transitional justice issues closer to young people.