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Across the Balkans, media freedom still under constraint

If freedom of the media is a mirror of democratic processes, the region’s reflection in that mirror is not so good. Most monitoring organisations confirm this. Particular examples dramatize just how unsatisfactory the situation still remains. Recently, journalists in Macedonia staged a simple but dramatic protest. In the middle of a press conference, they put … Continue reading

Albanian Media and the Local Market

The changing political system in Albania is tied to the evolution and transformation of the media industry. The establishment of political pluralism and a market economy in 1991 brought with it the collapse of the state’s monopoly in the Albanian media market. This transition from a centralized system to a private media system was accompanied by … Continue reading

Lost Opportunity

Last week, 23-year-old Mevlik Jasarevic made headlines when he got off a tram outside the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo and began firing an automatic rifle. But his journey began several hours earlier that morning, when he crossed the border from Serbia into Bosnia-Herzegovina. Jasarevic is a Serbian citizen. Stepping from tram No. 3, Jasarevic reportedly yelled “Run! … Continue reading

In The Balkans, The Headlines Preceded The War

The phones were ringing off the hook with angry Croats accusing Sarajevo state television of being “anti-Croatian television.”  It was late October 1991 and I was the station’s program director. There was a war going on in Croatia and our evening news cast that day included a story about an Orthodox priest who had been … Continue reading

Ten Years of Media Support to the Balkans: An Assessment

What has been the impact of ten years of the international community’s support to media in the Western Balkans? This report from the Media Task Force of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe analyses 37 existing evaluations of media support projects, and makes recommendations for the future. In spite of mixed results, the impact … Continue reading

Social Media Powers Up Language Education and Communication Development in the Balkans

Belgrade, Serbia – February 20, 2012 – PRODIREKT today announced that its communication and language network Verbalisti exceeded an important 10,000-member mark for its Facebook business page. PRODIREKT recently celebrated another landmark when its Verbalisti YouTube media channel logged 100,000 video views, the barrier that was broken only two years after the channel inception, with the video views connected … Continue reading

Confused Images: How the Media Fueled the Balkans War

Vlado Staka, a young reporter for the Sarajevo daily, Oslobodenje, sat in a dimly-lit cafe back in May 1994 telling a foreign journalist about the most horrifying assignment of his career. Just three months earlier, on February 5, a lone Bosnian Serb mortar shell slammed into the outdoor market in downtown Sarajevo, killing 68 and … Continue reading