Highlight

Debate and raising awareness on violations of press freedom in 11 countries have been the aims of the 12 European partners engaged until last January in the project "Safety Net for European Journalists", led by OBC and co­funded by the European Union and the Autonomous Province of Trento.

On January 28th we presented the closing event at the European Parliament during the seminar entitled "Je suis Charlie. Media Freedom in the EU and South­Eastern Europe". All audio-files of the speeches can be found here .

Here the analytic report "Building a Safety Net for European Journalists" by Eugenia Siapera, professor of Dublin City University and the handbook for threatened journalists "Safety Net Manual" published by SEEMO (both free downloadable)

31 maggio

31/05/2019 - 

European elections

We have always tried to give our work a strong European imprint. In 2000, when we started publishing on these electronic pages, none of the countries we followed was part of the EU. The enlargement process radically changed the situation, yet a group of Balkan countries are still out.

From the beginning we thought that the response to the tragic events that took place in the Balkans in the 1990s was European integration – both on an institutional and on a grassroots level. And for the same reason we followed these European elections with attention, bust most of all with emotion.

During the past weeks we curated a voluminous dossier where you may find, for instance, the reasons why Gresa Hasa, a young Albanian activist, feels perfectly European; our correspondents' analysis of the vote, a postcard that we invite you to sign for the Adriatic to become an European sea and, lastly, thanks to our EDJNet project, all the "numbers" of the European elections, country by country. Enjoy your reading!

3 maggio

03/05/2019 - 

Press Freedom

Today is the World Press Freedom Day. It's one of the topics we follow the most closely: we've recently launched a new project, ESVEI, addressing the structural issues that in recent years have increased the vulnerability of democratic processes to external interference. Fazıla Mat writes about disinformation, technology giants and our critical skills.

19 aprile

19/04/2019 - 

Pressure

Serbian government developed a complex system that sees the participation of various subjects to exert pressure on media not aligned with power. Our Belgrade correspondent Dragan Janjić is also among the targets.

In Turkey, hundreds of Kurdish prisoners are on hunger strike to protest against the isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. Despite their serious conditions and seven suicides their attempt to put pressure on the government today seems to be at a dead end.

5 aprile 2019

04/04/2019 - 

Mothers

Hatidze is the last honey hunter from North Macedonia – an ancient trade based on a delicate balance with mother nature. The "Honeyland" documentary, awarded three times at the Sundance Film Festival, tells her incredible story.

Since 1995 “Saturday mothers” together with the relatives of numerous "desaparecidos", who disappeared during the Kurdish conflict in Turkey, ask for justice and truth in Galatasaray Square. Last summer sit-ins were banned, but their struggle continues.

22 march

21/03/2019 - 

Women

They live in a highly patriarchal society. Yet, with courage and resoluteness, they are building their present and a more right future for themselves and their children. Meet Shaqe, File, Engjellushe and many other women living in northern Albania. Together with RTM and Albania News we told their stories in a short documentary.

Anna, Maria, and many others have other stories to tell. In Greece, thousands of migrant women work as domestic helpers and carers. They face a difficult life, suspended between legality and informal sector, country of origin and destination, pride and regret.

Very soon Chechen women will be able to take taxis driven by women and only for women. The initiative sponsored by an Arab investment fund has caused very different reactions. Is it just another step in Chechnya's progressive Islamisation?

Slack chat! "Covering European issues with data", Friday 22 April 2019, 6PM CET. The chat is jointly organised by the Data Journalism Awards and the European Data Journalism Network. Giorgio Comai from OBCT will be one of the speakers. To follow and join the chat you need to register here

8 march

08/03/2019 - 

Revisionism

Republika Srpska has appointed two new international commissions tasked with establishing the crimes committed in Srebrenica and those committed against the Serbian population in Sarajevo. A group of academics and various analysts highlight its revisionist intentions. The report by Alfredo Sasso.

“Looking at the issue of historic revisionism and coming to terms with its own recent and not-so-recent history, Croatia seems to be one of the EU's most problematic countries”, writes Ivana Polić.

More in the news: the case of the Serbian prime minister and the child she recently had from her partner; the wave of strikes and demand for better salaries in Kosovo; the difficult living conditions of the Afghan immigrants in Turkey. We wish you a good Women’s Day!

22 febbraio

22/02/2019 - 

Vulnerabilities

Several years ago, Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak began investigating organized crime in his country but he was shot to death before he and his colleagues at OCCRP published their findings. Kuciak’s murder highlighted Slovakia’s vulnerabilities to the nexus of crime and political corruption. New findings on this deadly linkage are now revealed in an article by OCCRP and its partners.

Europe is rapidly warming and Croatian cities are no exception to this. However local authorities’ lack of interest in the increase of average temperatures does not help determining people’s vulnerabilities to the phenomenon.

Disinformation campaigns, dubious practices on social media, hackings, murkey financing of political campaigns: some reports and inquiries suggested Russian interference with the integrity of democratic processes. Russians or not new structural vulnerabilities to our democracies are there for anyone to exploit. In the next few months, OBCT, within the ESVEI project, will run a number of articles, interviews, guest posts, and reports focusing in particular on the policies and practices that can mitigate these risks.

Call: OBCT together with ECPMF and other organizations launched a call for justice and accountability of state authorities in Slovakia on the anniversary of the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak

8 febbraio

08/02/2019 - 

Margins

Both in Skopje and in Athens, margins were narrow for the parliamentary approval of the Prespa agreement. Now that, after Macedonia, also Greece has ratified it, Skopje is set to restart its Euro-Atlantic integration process. Ilcho Cvetanoski looks at the reactions to the Greek “yes” on the northern side of the border.

Students have exited the margins of public debate in Albania, and actually gained the spotlight thanks to their months-long protests. They call for a quality university system that is accessible to everyone – but their demands also touch on democracy, Europe, and women’s role. Nicola Pedrazzi met Gresa Hasa.

17 million EU citizens have moved from one member state to another. They’re entitled to vote at the European elections in the place where they live, but only about 5% of them did it in the last elections. In this way they remain at the margins of European politics, which should become more transnational instead. An article for EDJNet.

25 january

24/01/2019 - 

Guns

In Turkey, more and more citizens own firearms, while almost 85% of the 25 million guns in the country are not registered. In the last four years, the rate of gun violence episodes committed by individuals in Turkey has increased by 69%. A report by Burcu Karakaş.

Guns are often used during robberies in Kosovo. The death of a policeman and a bank robber during a recent robbery attempt in the town of Istog, sparked a debate in the country over the significant increase in violent crimes in the last few years. A report by Majlinda Aliu.

More in the news: the Greek opposition rallies in Athens against the Prespa Agreement; Sofia and Sarajevo among the most polluted capitals in Europe; there are over a thousand ongoing trials against Croatian journalists or media, and the list is not complete.

11 gennaio

11/01/2019 - 

Disinformation

The term "fake news" in itself is not new at all. But in recent years it has become an issue with new implications. The unprecedented proliferation of disinformation and its potential to spread without limits through the digital space have led political organizations, governments, NGOs and academics to try to better grasp the phenomenon and to develop solutions. A new special dossier by OBCT presents an overview of these efforts and the ongoing debate.