Only when there is media freedom can journalists report without strings attached and hold those in power into account.”
Rule of law and human rights are top-priorities for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Western Balkans, of which media freedom is important part. Only when there is media freedom can journalists report without strings attached and hold those in power into account. This makes the work of journalists crucial for a functioning rule of law and a healthy democracy. Progress in the field of media freedom and cherishing a divers media landscape are also crucial for the Western Balkan countries trajectory towards integration with the European Union. By supporting this conference we want to show our commitment to freedom of media and speech in the Western Balkans.
Centar za djecu i omladinu Novo Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
19th and 20th
Host: Ivana Erić, journalist
Jan Waltmans, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Moderator: Tijana Cvjetićanin, Citizens Association “Why not”
Moderator: Elvira Jukić Mujkić, Mediacentar Sarajevo
Sanja Lazić is a community building and crowdfunding expert, specialized in work with CSO and independent media outlets. She was part of the Catalyst Balkans team, and in charge of the first Serbian crowdfunding platform Donacije.rs. Within the last 3 years, she worked with, created and implemented numerous fundraising campaigns with media outlets from Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania.
Rade Djuric, expert in the field of budget spending, anti-corruption and media. Part of the team of the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia since 2020. In his sixteen-year career, he was an associate of Transparency International, Transparency Serbia, GIZ, OSCE and other international organizations. He is the first civil supervisor in public procurement in Serbia, with legal support to bidders in overthrowing hundreds of illegal public procurement procedures. Today, he is a member of the Permanent Working Group for the Safety of Journalists and the Working Group for the Development of a Platform for Recording Threats and Pressures, and the contact point in the system for reporting and monitoring attacks on journalists, he actively provides assistance and support to attacked journalists and media workers. Author of several analyzes and papers in the field of anti-corruption, procurement and media.
Goran Rizaov – Program Manager at Metamorphosis Foundation and Editor at Meta News Agency in Skopje, North Macedonia. Goran works mainly on Good governance projects, open data related projects and data analysis and visualizations.
Goran was a Professional Development Year fellow in 2011/2012 studying data journalism, precision journalism and online media at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, ASU, Phoenix, Arizona.
He holds a bachelor degree in journalism from the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. Goran was awarded the investigative journalism award “Nikola Mladenov” for 2015 in Macedonia.
Katerina Sinadinovska obtained degree in journalism from the St.Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje in 2008. She is currently the assistant – editor in chief of Kapital, a weekly business and political magazine for which she has been working since 2010. She is also an author and editor of the TV project “Agenda 35” broadcasted on the national public television, an educational program about the reforms that will have to be adopted during the negotiation process with the EU.
Before joining Kapital, Katerina worked as a journalist for two TV stations in Skopje – “Kanal 5” and “Alfa TV”. Earlier, from 2004 to 2006 she worked as a journalist in the newspaper Vecer.
In 2015, Katerina was one of the founders of the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia and elected as a President of the Managing Board. In March 2018, Katerina was re-elected and given a new mandate to run the organization for the next four years.
Katerina Sinadinovska has contributed to professional trainings and conferences on media freedom, media ethics and literacy, and political and economic influence in the media sector, both in the country and abroad.
Karen Banaa is the Project Associate for social media and conflict mediation at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, where she works with HD’s teams around the world to minimise the harmful effects of social media on peace processes and conflicts. Prior to this, Karen worked at The International Institute for Strategic Studies and managed communications for a NGO in The Hague. She has a BA in Politics in International Relations from The University of Nottingham and a MA in International Relations and Global Conflict from Leiden University.
Goran Igic has been a journalist for more than 15 years. Started working for the University newspaper in Skopje, “Studentski Zbor” and continued his career in the first private newspaper in Macedonia, Dnevnik. In 2016, together with Mite Kuzevski, he founded the digital media outlet Vidi Vaka.
Goran has knowledge in journalism, digital media, resource development and mobilisation and he presently serves as the Program Director of Foundation for Debate and Education IDEA Southeast Europe.
Brankica Petković is a researcher at the Peace Institute – Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She has more than 20 years of experience in designing and leading research projects and media reform initiatives in the region of South East Europe. She led the regional project “South East European Media Observatory” in 2013-2016. In 2019/2020, she was a lead researcher for a Study on Sustainability of Professional Journalism in Media Business Environment in the Western Balkans, developed for the European Commission. Between 2020 and 2022 she has been coordinating a research team in the Western Balkans and Turkey producing a series of studies on hate and propaganda media and communication, on media trust and regulation of hate sppech and disinformation in the region.
She has also participated in numerous media policy research projects on EU level, including the 2009 study on media pluralism indicators.
She was Media Program Director and Editor of Media Watch Slovenia for 15 years. She was a member of the Ministry of Culture’s expert committee on media laws in Slovenia, a member of the governing body of public service media RTV Slovenia, and a member of the jury of the Slovenian Association of Journalists for annual awards. She holds a Master Degree in Sociology of Culture.
Diana Malaj is from the city of Kamza, in Albania. She has finished her bachelor and master’s in Law at the University of Tirana and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Law & Politics at the University of Graz. She is one of the founders of the collective ATA (Them) in her city and also the editor of the local newspaper founded by the collective, Nyje.al. She engages with various disciplines and practices, from law to ethnography, from activism to journalism, and from essay writing to artistic performances. Her journalistic work has been closely linked with her activism investigating various local and national policies affecting her surrounding communities. In her journalistic work she aims at shedding light on unexplored experiences and areas of the city, from daily practices in neighborhoods and in the streets to the deeply veiled institutional practices that shape the public life of the city. Her work has been focused on political, environmental and human rights issues in relation to marginalized and discriminated communities.
Pierre François Docquir (PhD) is a researcher and expert in the fields of Human Rights Law, Internet and Media Law and Regulation. He joined ARTICLE 19 in 2015 as senior legal officer and is now the head of the Media Freedom Programme of the organization. He previously served as vice-president of the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel in French-speaking Belgium (2007-2015) and was a researcher at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where he obtained his PhD in Law in 2009. He was a lawyer (‘avocat’) at the Brussel’s Bar (2000-2004). His publications include a volume on the evolution of media regulation in the age of convergence, a book on comparative free speech law (US-ECHR), and articles on the protection of freedom of expression, the evolution of media landscapes and media policy, the European Convention on Human Rights and international human rights law. He prepared and delivered various expertise missions and trainings for the Council of
Europe, the European Union and the OSCE, as well as regulatory and self-regulatory institutions, and he has extensive experience of teaching and training, including the conception, the preparation and the delivery of training sessions, for various audiences (EU staff, members of parliaments, civil servants, lawyers, judges, media regulators, journalists).
Galeb Nikacevic is one of the most recognisable media personalities in Serbia over the last two decades. First as a host for MTV, Vice and editor-in-chief of Noizz — (Axel Springer) where he left his role to launch his own Agelast podcast which is fixed at the top of the national podcast charts.
Snezana Petijevic is a Project Manager at Crime and Corruption Reporting Network – KRIK. She has been working in the civil sector since 2012, mainly in the sphere of project management, developing and writing project proposals, with a special interest in the area of financial management.
KRIK (Crime and Corruption Reporting Network) is the most popular investigative media outlet in Serbia. KRIK was founded in 2015 by a small team of journalists, who for years have been engaged in researching corruption, and who have received many national and international awards for their work. KRIK is known for its hard-hitting investigations and stories about the strongest “players in the game”. KRIK exposes organized crime and state corruption at the highest levels of power.
Elvira Jukic – Mujkic is the editor in Mediacentar Sarajevo. Over the past 14 years, she worked as a journalist, editor, researcher and media analyst in the field of politics, society, human rights, ethics and media.
As a journalist, she worked for the public broadcaster Federation TV, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and collaborated with many international and regional media outlets and on different projects. She graduated Journalism from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo and graduated at MA Communication at the University of Westminster in London. Previously, she participated in several training programmes including the Reuters Economic and Political Reporting from Southeast Europe as well as Reuters Training of Trainers. In the last six and a half years, she works intensively on analysis of media reporting, journalism education and projects advancing the professionalisation of media in the Western Balkans.
graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Podgorica, majoring in journalism. She is currently working as a project assistant at the Montenegro Media Institute and as a journalist on the PCNEN portal, where she mostly writes articles
on social issues such as falling birth rates, youth unemployment, youth and the media, protecting women online, media literacy, etc.
Filip Mirilovic is a journalist working for Belgrade’s weekly magazine Vreme. He
finished his Bachelor's studies at the Faculty of Political Science, the University of
Belgrade in the module International relations. Currently, he is finishing
International Security Master’s program at the same place. Besides the print
edition, he is also writing for the portal Vreme for the last couple of months. His
fields of interest are related to the fields of security, politics, and environmental
issues. Filip is familiar with some basic Open source intelligence skills.
Tijana Cvjeticanin has co-created the two only fact-checking platforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Istinomjer (2010), which fact-checks statements of public officials and tracks election promises of political parties; and Raskrinkavanje (2017), a media fact-checking project. In 2018-19 she was also the lead editor of ‘FemFacts’, an international fact-checking project which tracked reporting on women and women-related issues in European media.
Tijana currently serves on the Advisory Board of the International Fact Checking Network.
Aside from her fact checking work, she has authored and co-authored several research studies and policy papers in areas such as political accountability, media/discourse analysis, media freedoms, EU integrations of BiH and government openness.
Danira Karovic is a program manager in CA Why not. She has been leading projects related to government accountability and openness of institutions. Her topics, and areas of interest, are civic tech, transparency and open data, human rights, elections and protection of cultural and historical heritage. She has completed master’s degree in Archaeology at the University of Sarajevo. She joined Why Not in 2012 as a part time volunteer/intern on different projects, and full time in 2017.
She is a member of the advisory council for the implementation of OGP in BiH, and alumni of the Warsaw Euro-Atlantic Summer Academy (WEASA).
Dimitrije Petrovic was born and raised in Western Serbia. He also spent some time living in Slovenia. He worked with the best journalists in Serbia, went through the Danas School of Journalism and then continued his career with job at Nova S. He is a lifelong supporter of Red Star Belgrade and a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock.
Robert Todoroski Over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, in the past several years focused on digital security, risk assessments, awareness raising through training, constantly in research of good practices to minimise the damage from cyber attacks. Helping the independent media outlets, NGOs and civil society organizations to raise cyber awareness, providing guidance and technical support during or after the cyber-attacks, as well as training the employees to prepare the systems to mitigate the damage of the attacks.
Kristina Gadze is a journalist and activist from Ljubuški who focuses on human rights, post-conflict
society, and gender stereotypes. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and informatics at the
University of Mostar.
She cooperates with non-governmental organizations Forum ZFD, BH Novinari and ONAuBIH.
She is a member of the Association „BH Journalists,“ and the winner of their award for the best
student work on the labor rights of journalists.
Petra Kovacevic is a freelance broadcast journalist and producer based in Zagreb, Croatia. She holds an MA in International Journalism (Cardiff University, UK), and is currently finishing her PhD there. Her thesis focuses on the practice of solutions-focused journalism at the BBC. Petra is employed as a full-time teaching and research assistant at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science, Department of Journalism and Media Production. She collaborates on modules related to television, video, and multimedia journalism, and is an editor and mentor at the Croatian Student Television. Petra is part of the founding team of the first centre in the region dedicated to innovation and experimentation in journalism called the Journalism Research Lab. It is a place where journalism students together with their mentors produce innovative journalistic content, with a special focus on constructive and solutions news stories intended for young audiences. She worked at the BBC (social media manager at BBC Culture) and has participated in multiple projects as a freelance journalist and social media manager at the Croatian Radiotelevision in the last eight years. She’s a mobile journalism trainer and a constructive/solutions journalism trainer with extensive domestic and international experience in giving workshops and trainings.
Maida Culahovic works at the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her expertise includes programme content standards and development of regulatory framework for the audiovisual media, with a special focus on the European regulatory framework and best practices. She is involved in Agency’s activities on international projects and cooperation with other regulatory authorities, most notably through participation in the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media (ERGA) and the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA).
Jelena Kalinic, CA “Nauka i svijet” author of the blogs Quantum of Science and vakcine.ba, is scientific journalist and scientific communicator. She graduated in biology and completed a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature.
Suada Qorraj is a passionate young graduated journalist from Kosovo. She has been working as a journalist for almost two years now. She currently work as an investigative journalist in a local media in Pristina. However, this is not her only experience in Journalism. She
participated in numerous internships and mentorship programs since High School.
She is passionate about helping the community, this has lead me into doing a lot of volunteer work with different groups of different socio-economic backgrounds.
In addition to journalism, she is currently completing a bachelors degree in Management and Marketing. She can undoubtedly say that she is an individual who is eager to learn and grow
Gillian Phillips is the Director of Editorial Legal Services for Guardian News & Media Limited (publishers of the Guardian and Observer newspapers and theguardian.com). She qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and joined the BBC as an in-house lawyer in 1987, later working for News Group Newspapers and Times Newspapers, where she advised on pre- and post-publication legal issues, including around defamation, open justice, contempt of court, privacy and national security. She moved to Guardian News & Media in May 2009 and has advised on phone-hacking, Wikileaks, the Leveson Inquiry, the NSA leaks from Edward Snowden, the HSBC and Swiss Bank leaks, as well as the Panama, Paradise, Pandora and Pegasus leaks series. She is a non-resident fellow of the Centre for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University School of Public Policy and holds an honorary law doctorate from London South Bank University.
Hana Curak is an advocacy specialist and consultant working at the intersection of feminist academia, media and visual arts production. She is the founder of It’s all Witches, a social venture aimed at subversion of patriarchal culture. Her most recent engagements include those with European Endowment for Democracy and Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation. She graduated at the John F. Kennedy Institute of the Freie University Berlin. Based in Berlin and Sarajevo.
Hana Sokolovic is a psychologist, journalist and an activist. She has worked as a TV journalist for about three years as a reporter, presenter and editor at N1 Bosnia and Herzegovina, CNN’s exclusive subsidiary for the Balkans, and has been active in the NGO sector for the past year. She has worked as a moderator and facilitator of a number of events, panels and discussions for local and international organizations. Hana is
Natasa Vasic is the editor at news website Klix.ba in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and has been working as a journalist and editor for five years. The first experiences, while the studies of journalism, were related to radio than television journalism on two TV stations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then began working as a web journalist and editor. In her work, she dedicates herself to the topics of human rights, justice, freedom of speech and the position of Bosnian society in a democratic world. One of the areas of her interest is how to fight hate speech in the digital world and create a safer, healthier environment online. She is also interested in online tools and possibilities of controlling hate speech, some of which are already active on the Klix.ba.
Agnès Picod is a Senior Human Rights Adviser with the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has 25 years of experience in the field of human rights, mostly with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), including in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on economic and social rights, and in supporting OHCHR field operations across the world. In 2016, she worked with the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic. Agnès Picod has a Masters’ degree in international human rights law and a Master’s degree in literatures and civilizations of Anglophone countries, with a focus on American studies.
Emela Burdzovic Slipicevic is an editor, producer and presenter on N1 television, CNN’s partner in the Western Balkans. She gained her first television experience during the war in 1994, at the age of 14, on the then BHTV. For the next 27 years she worked in several radio and television companies and for 6 years as a member of the Sarajevo Film Festival. Behind Emela are collaborations with numerous companies, non-governmental and governmental sectors on various projects in which she is engaged as a moderator, lecturer or mentor. In her biography, she records the start of her own business – travel agency and hostel Franz Ferdinand, which she, after the establishment, leaves to other management structures and returns to journalism and television work on N1 television. She is currently the editor and host of the most watched show of her house – “Live Day” and the podcast “One Hour”.
Viktor Markovic is a member of Njuz.net crew.
Njuz.net is a satirical news site from Serbia, that publishes imaginary news. It was created in 2010 after American news site, The Onion. In a short span of time it became very popular in the country, mainly because of some ‘serious’ media who were publishing their news as real. Wider audience got to know them only after they had published the news about drunk Serbian guy that killed a shark in Egypt.
This story, shortly after, had reached all of the continents and many redactions actually believed this news was real. For the past three years, Njuz.net team, together with Zoran Kesic, works on a scenario for a very famous TV show in Serbia, ”24 minutes” made after Daily Show i Colbert Report.