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)

1 giugno

30/05/2018 - 

Divergencies

Real divergence or the usual two-voice game? Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin are voicing very different positions towards the EU. The bone of contention is, as always, Kosovo.

As new as it may sound, is the label “Western Balkans” really different from those previously used to define the region? Or does it perpetuate a process of “othering” and distancing away from the rest of Europe? An opinion piece by Kristijan Fidanovski, diverging from the mainstream.

With the appointment of Nikol Pashinyan as Prime Minister, Armenia took a first step to embrace a truly new path. Yet it remains to be seen how much this will diverge from the past – in this challenge, Armenia may build on the lessons learned through the failure of the “coloured revolutions”.

Save the date!

EDJNet's founding member OBC Transeuropa has organised a panel on data journalism issues at the Economics Festival in Trento (Italy) on June 3. Guillaume Duval from Alternatives Economiques will be there as well, along with Jacopo Ottaviani, Francesca De Chiara and Giuseppe Lauricella. They'll discuss the impact of open data availability on the profession of journalists, and their own experiences with data-driven journalism in Europe and Africa.

18 maggio

17/05/2018 - 

Streets

Journalist Olivera Lakić has been shot and wounded in one of the main streets of Podgorica, in an attack that testifies once more how risky it is to be a journalist today in Montenegro.

Every day, the streets of Banja Luka are filled by citizens protesting and demanding the truth about the death of David Dragičević, a young man whose body was found at the end of March in a river not far from the city centre.

The development of infrastructures is a key element in the Connectivity Agenda for the Western Balkans, meant to develop economic and social ties between the countries of the region.

Wikipedia Contest! On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, OBCT has launched an online contest to translate and improve articles on media freedom on Wikipedia. You can contribute until June 3rd!

4 maggio

04/05/2018 - 

Media freedom in Bulgaria

In the annual rankings on media freedom compiled by Reporters Without Borders, Bulgaria dropped 76 positions from 2006 to 2018. Our special dossier looks at the dangerous entanglements between media, politics and business in the country currently in charge of the EU Presidency.

In Albania, too, media freedom and pluralism are undermined as a few owners control the lion’s share of revenues.

In Yerevan, Freedom Square is the stage where Armenians gather to commemorate events, voice discontent and call for change. This was the case also for the recent protests against the appointment of Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister.

Wikipedia Contest! On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, OBCT has launched an online contest to translate and improve articles on media freedom on Wikipedia. You can contribute until June 3rd!

OPEN CALL

International Summer School on Contemporary Art from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, June 25th-30th 2018

Kuma International in partnership with the WARM Foundation and Brodac Gallery presents one-week intensive course on contemporary art from Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing on visual art, design, photography, film and theatre from a post-conflict society. Participation is open to graduates and postgraduates from the relevant disciplines, as well as art historians, curators, artists and museum professionals.
Application deadline: May 28th 2018 | For further information please contact info@kumainternational.org

20 aprile

19/04/2018 - 

Theatre

The National Theatre in Tirana risks being demolished, despite being an architectural gem with a remarkable historical value. The government wants to replace it with a huge shiny building, whose construction is exposed to speculation and lack of transparency.

Movie theatres in Romania are often empty when they show New Wave films: very few people in the country watch the Romanian films that are popular abroad – while audiences in the other European countries have not even heard of the Romanian films that have the highest success in the country.

When elections are not free and fair, they can turn into a sort of theatre play or TV fiction, where everyone plays a given role and the outcome is already set from the beginning. That's what happened in Azerbaijan last week, and what could happen in Turkey next June.

6 aprile

06/04/2018 - 

Luxury

If you are an Italian pensioner and decide to move to Albania, you can suddenly afford little luxuries like a fish dinner, even if you are low-income. More and more Italians go and live on the quiet and cheap Albanian seaside: but how big is this phenomenon? And how does it unfold?

Tourists visiting Georgia usually look for unspoilt nature and heritage. Yet Tbilisi elites argue that a massive real estate project can further boost tourism in the country. Trading the capital's green lungs for blocks of luxury apartments doesn't seem a good deal to citizens' organizations however.

More in the news: weak law provisions make the problem of sexual harassment in Southern Caucasus particularly worrying; microcredit and ethical finance are on the rise in Europe, but there are differences between East and West.

23 marzo

22/03/2018 - 

Two

The reintroduction of Italian on public signage is being debated in Rijeka (or Fiume). An official sanction of bilingualism is promoted by the Italian-speaking community of the Kvarner city, but its representatives are divided on the form that this should take. The question directly impacts on the local identity and future.

Repression of media freedom continues in Turkey, along with a more general crackdown of the opposition. Yet occasionally there is some good news, like the release of two journalists of Cumhuriyet that was decided last week – as Fazıla Mat reports.

Two female members of Yerevan City Council were physically and sexually attacked during a session of the institution, and were even later blamed for “inappropriate behaviour”. The incident shows that women are seen as a challenge to the still dominant patriarchal system in Armenia.

9 marzo

08/03/2018 - 

Brakes

The European Commission has renewed its strategy for the accession of the Western Balkans to the EU. An encouraging move, but with hands by the brakes. Francesco Martino looks at the main points raised in the EC document.

There’s no need to ride with hands on the brakes, if you are a cyclist in Ljubljana: the city is one of the most accessible European capitals for cycling. An interview with Lea Ružič, president of the Ljubljana Cyclists Network.

More in this newsletter: shelter cities are a crucial resource for human rights activists who are threatened at home, but what’s the state of the art across Europe? We also interviewed the creator of the first map of femicides in Turkey, an initiative that contributes to shed light on a neglected crime.

Data Journalism: last week, we launched EDJNet newsletter, covering European affairs through a data-journalism approach. You can subscribe here.

23 febbraio

23/02/2018 - 

Hate

As hate speech is being debated more and more both online and offline, we decided to devote a special dossier to it, building on the materials of the Resource Centre on Press and Media Freedom in Europe.

Always faithful to his Albanian origins, renowned actor Faruk Begolli never hid his love for Belgrade. The great actor, who died in 2007, represented a bridge against hate. Jeton Neziraj recalls his story. This week, cinema is also at the centre of stage as the Berlinale unfolds: we looked at the current divide between Western and Eastern Europe in terms of cinema-going habits.

More in this newsletter: Plitvice lakes risk to be removed from the UNESCO heritage list; in Kosovo, 2017 was a violent year for journalists: 24 for attacks have been registered against the press and little is done to prevent new violence. And, finally, how many Italians currently live and work in Albania? There seems to be a political negotiation behind the inflated numbers disseminated by Italian press.

9 febbraio

09/02/2018 - 

Hate

As hate speech is being debated more and more both online and offline, we decided to devote a special dossier to it, building on the materials of the Resource Centre on Press and Media Freedom in Europe.

Always faithful to his Albanian origins, renowned actor Faruk Begolli never hid his love for Belgrade. The great actor, who died in 2007, represented a bridge against hate. Jeton Neziraj recalls his story.

More in this newsletter: Plitvice lakes risk to be removed from the UNESCO heritage list; in Kosovo, 2017 was a violent year for journalists: 24 for attacks have been registered against the press and little is done to prevent new violence.

12 gennaio

12/01/2018 - 

Islands

Poor connections turn villages in northern Albania into a sort of islands, especially in winter. It's a wild and beautiful region, suffering from poverty and massive depopulation however: new projects are trying to relaunch the local economy, as Francesco Martino reports.

Over millennia, the Strofades islands hosted the mythical Harpies, Aeneas, and several monks and saints, but are now inaccessible and their heritage is crumbling. Fabrizio Polacco made it to there, and was captured by the peace and history of these Greek isles.

More from the news: what neoliberalism means for the Turkish society; an interview with Romano Prodi on Albania's crisis in the 1990s; and, from Georgia, the story of Mariam, 21, shepherd and student and an article on gambling, a real plague in the country.