Pavle ZlaticPavle Zlatić

IREX Serbia / USAID SMS Project

Pavle Zlatić is digital media expert. He's currently working as Digital Media Lead on USAID Strengthening Media Systems Project, implemented by IREX Serbia.

Pavle "switched sides" and joined development world full time after 18 years in small and big newsrooms and half a decade’s work on educational and mentoring projects for array of media outlets, newsroom teams and individuals.
Mingling through newsrooms since early age, thanks to both parents working in media sector, Pavle started his own career at independent Serbian daily "Danas" as a local reporter.
Few years later he got his first editorial duties and soon transferred to digital edition of daily "Blic" in 2006. Since then, he is focused solely on digital media, spending 12 years on editorial positions - more than a half of that period as editor-in-chief at Serbian news site B92.net.

Simultaneously, he was involved in number of mentoring, lecturing and research projects, most notable as a lead mentor and course designer at School of Digital Journalism (Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation) and resident lecturer at journalism and digital journalism workshops for Serbian journalist associations. Lately he is focused on digital transition processes in media world, community building and alternative revenue streams.

Serbeze HaxhiajSerbeze Haxhiaj

RTK

Serbeze Haxhiaj has been working as an investigative journalist and news editor in Kosovo and for international media for over 18 years, dealing mainly with the most pressing issues such as corruption, human rights, security issues, religious extremism, terrorism and war crimes. 

Ms. Haxhiaj is currently an editor at Radio Television of Kosovo and a journalist of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN). She has previously worked for the daily newspapers Rilindja, Zeri, Lajm and Koha ditore, was the correspondent in Pristina of the French Courrier des Balkans, and worked for 5 years as a specialized researcher for the Navanti Group, an American research and analysis institute.

For her reporting on war crimes, organized crime, corruption, human rights and violence against women, Ms. Haxhiaj has been awarded 12 twelve times by various local and international organizations.

David QuinDavid Quin

Thomson Foundation

David Quin is the Managing Director of Thomson Media GmbH Berlin, and is responsible for sourcing and managing all donor-funded projects. He has over 14 years’ experience of creating and running large-scale media development projects worldwide. He manages teams of consultants and regional staff, and has trained hundreds of reporters in over 40 countries for a range of donors - including the UNDP, UNESCO, the OSCE, the EU, the FCO and SIDA.

As a reporter for international print and broadcast media, David has lived in Buenos Aires, Baku, Skopje and Beirut, covering stories ranging from the Argentine IMF default in 2001 and the geopolitics of Caspian oil to transnational crime in the Balkans and the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, working for the IWPR, CBC, RTE and BBC. In 2007 he co-authored the Thomson Foundation/EJC guide to covering the EU for journalists from the Mediterranean. He holds an undergraduate degree in history from Sussex University and a post-graduate diploma in journalism from the London College of Printing.

Ana PetruševaAna Petruševa

BIRN

Ana Petruševa is an experienced journalist and editor, and one of the founders of the BIRN regional network and BIRN Macedonia.

Petruševa was managing editor of Balkan Insight, BIRN’s flagship publication, from 2006 to 2016. She set up and manages BIRN Macedonia’s programmes, which are mainly focused on investigative reporting, on the publication of complex databases and on journalism training.

Prior to joining BIRN, Ana was country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, IWPR. She previously worked as a journalist for the Reuters news agency as well as for a variety of media outlets, including Deutsche Welle, Telma TV and Forum magazine. Ana was the associate producer of the IWPR documentary Ohrid and Beyond, and was also the co-author and producer of the BIRN Kosovo documentary "Does Anyone Have a Plan ?"

Ana graduated from the Skopje School of Journalism in the Faculty of Law of the University of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

Patrice SchneiderPatrice Schneider

Media Development Investment Fund

Patrice Schneider began as a journalist reporting from conflicts in Central Asia and Eastern Europe in the 1980s, before embarking upon a 20-year career in media management (Hachette Filipacchi Media, Time Warner Group) and working for international organizations (World Economic Forum).

For the past sixteen years, he has combined his two passions - independent media and financial viability - by actively promoting the value of investing in the free flow of quality information as one of the cornerstones of an open society and a dynamic democracy.

Patrice now works for the Media Development Investment Fund, which invests in independent media around the world and helps to ensure they can provide the news, information and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies. This includes exploring the explosion of the concept of "news" and the vehicles used to produce and distribute it.

Patrice is a member of the committee that selects short-listed articles for the annual European Press Prize, and sits on the board of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA).

Tim JudahTim Judah

The Economist

Tim Judah is a journalist and author, covering the Balkans and other regions as a correspondent for The Economist, and is currently a fellow of the "Europe’s Futures" project at Vienna’s Institute for Human Sciences.

He has worked for many major publications and broadcasters, notably writing wartime reportage from Afghanistan to Ukraine for the New York Review of Books. More recently, some of his work has been published in the FT Magazine, and in 2018 he undertook a major investigative project for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

He is the author of three books on the Balkans - The Serbs: History, Myth  and the Destruction of Yugoslavia; Kosovo: War & Revenge; and Kosovo: What Everyone Needs to Know - and in 2016 he also published a book on the conflict in Ukraine (In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine).

In 1990 and 1991, Judah lived in Bucharest, covering the aftermath of communism in Romania and Bulgaria for The Times and The Economist. After that, he moved to Belgrade for both publications in order to cover the war in Yugoslavia. He moved back to London in 1995 but continues to travel to the region frequently.

In 2009 he was a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at LSEE, the south-east Europe research unit of the European Institute at the London School of Economics, where he developed the concept of the "Yugosphere".

He is the president of the board of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and a member of the board of the Kosovar Stability Initiative (IKS).

Over the past two decades, Judah has worked around the world for The Economist, the New York Review of Books and others. He has notably reported from countries such as Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Darfur, Haiti, France and Armenia.

In 2008 he published Bikila: Ethiopia’s Barefoot Olympian for Reportage Press about the life and times of the first black African to win a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, which led him to be shortlisted in the "best new sportswriter" category of the 2009 British Sports Book Awards.

Erl MuratiErl Murati

Gazeta Shqiptare

Erl Murati is a professional journalist living and working in Tirana, Albania. He has been the editor in chief of the Gazeta Shqiptare newspaper since 2009.

Since graduating from the University of Tirana with a degree in journalism, he has over the years written thousands of articles about domestic politics and international affairs for several newspapers and magazines. Most of his career has been spent covering news stories as a full-time reporter, editor and columnist for a variety of media companies like "Koha Jone", "Mapo" and "Ballkan". Murati also worked with the "South-eastern European Times" news agency, for which he has written extensively on national politics, foreign affairs, defence, civil rights and matters of constitutional law.

Murati believes in the power of journalism to celebrate the truth, promote justice and strengthen communities. Examples of his work can be found at www.gsh.al and balkanweb.com.

Porter RichardRichard Porter

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Richard Porter is Director of Communications at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the multi-lateral development bank based in London. He’s part of the senior leadership of the Communications department, with responsibility for internal and change communications, and for the Bank’s business information services.

The EBRD is owned by 67 different nations and has a remit to support market-oriented economies and promote private and entrepreneurial initiative in the countries it serves. It was founded in 1991 with operations in central and Eastern Europe, and has subsequently expanded into other countries in central Asia, the southern Mediterranean and North Africa.

Prior to joining the EBRD in 2017, Richard was for many years a senior executive at BBC News. He worked as a journalist and editor in regional and national news, and then spent 13 years in its global services in executive roles. During this time he was head of the BBC World Service English radio network and was Editorial Director of both the BBC World News TV channel and the bbc.com/news digital platform. He led coverage of many major global events, including the so-called Arab Spring, the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, and the war in Syria.

Katerina SinadinovksaKaterina Sinadinovska

Kapital

Katerina Sinadinovska obtained her degree in journalism from the St Cyril & St Method 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 - first as a political journalist, and later as the editor of the political desk (2012-2013).

Before joining Kapital, Katerina worked as a journalist for two television stations in Skopje, "Kanal 5" and later "Alfa TV". At Kanal 5 (2007), she worked on a programme promoting tourism, whereas at Alfa TV (2008-2010) she covered the work of Skopje’s Parliament, political parties and foreign policy. Earlier, from 2004 to 2006, she worked as a journalist for the culture desk of the daily newspaper Vecer, for which she volunteered the first year.

At 2014, Katerina was one of the founders of the "Council of Media Ethics" (CMEM) in Skopje, a self-regulatory body for promoting and supporting professional standards in journalism. She was subsequently elected to the board and also as CMEM’s president. In March 2018, Katerina was re-elected and was given a new mandate to run the organization for the next four years. During her first mandate, she established an executive office and a commission for complaints. The CMEM and the new process of self-regulation in Skopje’s media sector were promoted via many projects, conferences and debates all over the country, and the Council now counts 40 members who are bound to uphold its principles. CMEM has also become a respected member of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils in Europe (AIPCE) and is a founding member of the Balkan network of Press Councils (Media NEThics).

Katerina has contributed to professional trainings and conferences on media freedom, media ethics and literacy, and political and economic influence in the media sector, both at home and abroad, as a speaker, trainer and a participant.

Saška CvetkovskaSaška Cvetkovska

Investigative Reporting Lab

Saška Cvetkovska is an investigative reporter and a media freedom activist. She was one of the founders of the online news media "NOVATV" in 2013, where she worked as an investigative editor until the January 2018. She then decided to set up the "Investigative Reporting Lab" - an NGO whose mission is to fight misinformation with real reporting through inter-disciplinary approaches that include technology, academic researchers, marketing experts and investigative reporters. She also works as an investigative reporter for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project - a cross-border platform with over 30 member centres in Europe, Central Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East.

Cvetkovska is Skopje’s leading investigative reporter, and has already received over 10 domestic and regional awards. She follows both national and international corruption and organized crime on national and international level, and is also the author of "Mediapedia" - the first database of media ownership to have mapped online news media in Skopje in 2014.

Since 2016, she has been working on a project called "Spooks and Spins: Information Wars in the Balkans", currently finding solutions and testing ideas to help lessen the impact of propaganda and strengthen that of real journalism as an essential tool in the fight against misinformation.

Over the past few years, Cvetkovska has also worked on series of national and cross-border investigations that have exposed corruption, the illicit arms trade, espionage and the trading of influence in the global information wars, as well as propaganda and misinformation and their connections to high-level corruption and their use as a new tool to threaten democracy. Many of the stories that she published were researched while she and her team were under constant threat of attack and the targets of long-term government surveillance and wire-tapping. Cvetkovska herself was wire-tapped by Skopje’s counter-intelligence services between 2014 and 2016. Her work has been published in the Guardian, on Buzzfeed and through other leading global media outlets.

Hana SokolovicHana Sokolović

TV N1 / CNN

Hana Sokolović is a news reporter for the N1 television channel in Bosnia and Herzegovina - an exclusive affiliate of CNN in the Balkans, with offices in Belgrade, Zagreb and Sarajevo - but her education and previous occupations were not oriented towards journalism.

Born in Sarajevo in 1995, Hana began her education towards the end of the war, graduating from high school with Cambridge exams at the IGCSE and AS/A levels in the field of social sciences. She then chose to study psychology at university, and volunteered for various NGOs helping children with special needs, organized local and international student conferences, and began to explore the world of journalism. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Hana travelled to Maribor in Slovenia to work towards a master’s degree in European business studies from the "Alma Mater Europaea" University. While working on her master’s thesis, seeking to answer the question "How does the media influence the political and social attitudes and values of its consumers?", she researched a variety of social and political topics for a project called "Perspektiva" that was being produced by an independent production company (Mebius Film) in Sarajevo. These topics included stories of young people dealing with and overcoming the occasionally brutal divisions and bullying of daily life in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Focusing on political and social psychology enabled Hana to examine the thoughts and behaviour of young people engaged in the "Perspektiva" project, and to moderate their conversations during filming. In the summer of 2017, Hana attended a summer school of journalism at the N1 television channel, where she learnt about research, editing and journalism. This led Hana to being offered an intern’s position at the channel, and in May 2018 Hana was finally employed as a news reporter, dealing with different topics and producing daily news.

Klaus-Schweighofer.jpgKlaus Schweighofer

Styria Media Group

Klaus Schweighofer is the Chairman of the Management Board of Styria Media International, Styria Media Group’s Holding Company for the expansion in the Western Balkans. Born in Graz in 1966, he studied jurisprudence (his dissertation was on Media Law) at the Karl-Franzens University of Graz. During his time studying he was able to gather experiences as a journalist at various daily and weekly newspapers and became Chief Editor of the weekly newspaper "der neue Grazer/der neue Steirer" in 1991. Simultaneously, he was involved in the establishment of the first Grazer Stadtradio (town radio) 107,5 (1997/98). In 2002 Klaus moved to Equity and Finance Management at "Styria Medien AG" and since then, has been responsible, besides radio and television in the country, for the expansion of "Styria" in Slovenia and Croatia. Amongst other things, the newly founded daily newspapers "24sata" (Croatia) and "zurnal24" (Slovenia) came under his area of responsibility. With the foundation of "Styria Media International AG" in 2005 he was appointed Board Member of Styria Media Group and additionally held a number of Executive and Board of Directors´ seats. In January 2018, he became the Chairman of the Management Board of Styria Media International, Styria Media Group’s Holding Company for the expansion in the Western Balkans. He is married and father of two children.

Genoveva-RUIZ-CALAVERA.jpgGenoveva Ruiz Calavera

European Commission

Since June 2016 Genoveva Ruiz Calavera is the Director in charge of the Western Balkans at the European Commission. She started her EU career in 1992, assisting the negotiations for accession of Sweden, Finland and Austria and later on with the Baltic and Eastern European countries, Malta and Cyprus. She served in the European Commission Taskforce for the Reconstruction of Kosovo during 1999-2000 in Pristina and as Deputy Head of Unit for Serbia and Montenegro and Head of the Kosovo issues unit until 2009. She was Head of Unit for "Crisis Response and Peace Building" in the Directorate-General for External Relations and following the creation of the European External Action Service in 2011, she joined the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI). She was born in Madrid in 1962, where she graduated in Philology. She studied her senior year at Marlborough School in LA (USA) and has a masters' degree in Public Management by the "Ecole de Commerce Solvay" in Brussels. She held different management positions in the private sector before joining the EU.

Jovovic.jpgMihailo Jovović

Vijesti

Mihailo Jovović has been the editor-in-chief of the Montenegrin daily Vijesti since 2011. Over the past 21 years, he has also been the newspaper’s political editor and international news editor, as well as one of its journalists. Besides leading an independent, liberal, influential and trusted publication known for its award-winning investigative journalism, Jovović writes on politics, intelligence, criminal justice and corruption issues. A lawyer by education, before becoming a journalist he had a professional career as a musician. He lived and worked in the United Kingdom in the nineties. He is married and has two children.

Rita_Rudusa.jpgRita Ruduša

Media Consultant

Rita Ruduša is a veteran Latvian journalist and editor, the former executive director of the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence and the former chair of the board of the Latvian Journalist Association. She entered journalism in the early nineties, during a time of tectonic shifts in European history, and was one of the first foreign correspondents of the newly independent Latvia, working for Diena, the flagship daily and reporting from Moscow.

Rita Ruduša has also spent several years in Prague working as a broadcaster at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and in London as a media researcher at the Open Society Foundations, editing and contributing to the seminal international study Mapping Digital Media. She has held several executive positions in Latvian media - including, most recently, that of commissioning editor for news, current affairs and documentaries at the Latvian Public Television. Rita Ruduša also writes scripts for creative documentaries and is the author of Forced Underground, a book about being gay in Soviet Latvia, and the translator of several books from Czech into Latvian, including Vaclav Havel’s Letters to Olga.

Samuel ZbogarSamuel Žbogar

Head of EU Delegation in Skopje

Samuel Žbogar was born on the 5th of March 1962 in Slovenia, and holds a BA in political sciences and international relations. He has worked as a Secretary of the Foreign Students' Club at the Institute for International Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation in Ljubljana; as an Adviser at the Department for Neighbouring Countries of the Republican Committee for International Co-operation in Ljubljana; as Third Secretary, Department for Neighbouring Countries in the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Belgrade; as Counsellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, and Secretary to the Delegation at the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia; as Counsellor to the Minister at the Office of the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as interim Chargé d'Affaires and First Secretary of the Embassy of Slovenia to China; as Under-Secretary of State and Director of the Department for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific of Slovenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the United Nations in New York; as State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as Ambassador of Slovenia to the United States; as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia; and as EU Special Representative for Kosovo and Head of the EU Office in Pristina. He has been the Head of the EU Delegation to Skopje since 2016.

Arta-Tahiri.jpgArta Tahiri

Alsat M TV

Arta Tahiri began her career in 1996 as a journalist working for "TV FESTA", a local TV station in her hometown Kumanovo. From 2001 to 2006, she edited and presented the news for Macedonian Radio Television (MRT) in Skopje, after which she began to work for Alsat-M, a national television station broadcast from Skopje.

Arta Tahiri is still part of Alsat-M, working as a journalist and news editor. She is also the host of a TV programme called The Road to… which mainly involves political discussions and interviews. She began to lead The Road to… in 2015, during a period when the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was facing a huge political crisis. Between 2010 and 2012, she was editor and journalist for the newspaper Fakti Ditor, while between 2012 and 2017 she was the Skopje correspondent for ABC News and TV KLAN - both well-known stations in Albania.

In May-June 2018, Arta Tahiri took part in the "Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists: New and Traditional Broadcast Media" - a three-week regional project of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). IVLP is an exchange program which enables current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields to pay short-term visits to the United States and experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.

Arta has a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences from the South-East European University, and besides Albanian (her mother tongue) and Македонски, she is also fluent in English. Arta Tahiri is passionate about building communities, about storytelling, and about contributing to a higher level journalism in her country.

Jerzy-POMIANOWSKI.jpgJerzy Pomianowski

European Endowment for Democracy

Jerzy Pomianowski took the leadership of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) after serving two years as Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister, during which he notably co-ordinated the country foreign policy democratisation agenda - a flagship initiative of the Polish EU Presidency in 2011 that included the establishment of the EED. Earlier, as the director of OECD-UNDP’s Partnership for Democratic Governance (2008-2011), Jerzy supported countries destabilised by armed conflict or natural disasters. Prior to that, he launched Poland Aid (2006-2008) and worked as Director General of the Polish Foreign Service (2005-2006). He began his career as a civil servant in 1990 and is a former Ambassador to Japan (1997-2002). Between 1980 and 1989 he was an active member of the democratic opposition in Poland.

European Endowment for Democracy

Jelena-Vasic.jpgJelena Vasić

Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK)

Jelena Vasić is a 28 years old project manager and investigative reporter of Serbian investigative portal KRIK. In the previous years she has worked with the international Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project - OCCRP. From 2012 to 2015 Vasic was a member of journalistic team of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia – CINS. She graduated at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade. As part of the KRIK investigative team she won several national and international awards. She has specialized herself in investigating corruption and organized crime, so she also trains journalists in the region on how to collect data necessary for revealing wrongdoings of the powerful.

With a group of five journalists in April 2015 Vasić founded KRIK - Crime and Corruption Reporting Network. KRIK is now the only independent investigative journalism portal in Serbia dedicated exclusively to exposing corruption and organized crime at the highest levels of power. KRIK team had successfully worked regardless of smear campaigns and pressures and KRIK’s readership has grown to more than half million readers per month.

Milica Stojanović.jpgMilica Stojanović

Centre for Investigative Journalism (CINS)

Milca is investigative journalist in Centre for Investigative Journalism in Serbia for 4,5 years. During that time, she covers different range of topics judiciary, energy sector, corruption and misuse of public funds. In CINS journalism schools she is trainer for security, FOIA requests, excel and journalist math and online databases.

She is a member of CINS team that won European Press Prize for investigative journalism in 2017. In same year, with her colleagues she won Anthony Lewis Prize for a series of stories on corruption and connections between crime and politics, Contribution of the Year to Europe and journalist award "Dušan Bogavac" for ethics and courage in 2017.

In 2017, she also won annual media award for tolerance and in 2015 annual award for investigative journalism in the online category, for several stories about major floods that happened in Serbia a year before.

From 2012. until November 2013. she worked as a journalist, news editor and desk coordinator in online news portal Telegraf.

She has master degree in journalism, Faculty of political sciences, University of Belgrade.