Dragan Bursać Wins 2018 European Press Prize for Opinion

Bursać was awarded for the opinion piece “The third shooting of the boy Petar from Konjic”, published by Al Jazeera Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The award website sums up the jury decision:

For an original and insightful interpretation of the world we live in, Dragan Bursać wins the Opinion Award, for his heart-breaking rendition of the brutal fate of Petar, a seven-year-old Serbian boy – killed in the war. Bosnian war crimes rarely make it onto the Bosnian media, especially those openly pleading to end the impunity of war crimes – making this piece, published by Al Jazeera Balkans, a remarkable and incredibly relevant exception.

For his critical writing, Bursać has often been a target of attacks. In the mid-2017, he received death threats after publishing the article “Is Banja Luka Celebrating  Srebrenica Genocide?”.

The article states his opinion on the then announced support rally for Ratko Mladić, convicted of the gravest crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was announced that the event would take place on 11 July, the day of marking the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

Bursać has faced death threats on multiple occasions for his texts and publicly stated opinions. He says that “two extremes are the worst that can happen to a person – either to indurate oneself, and one must do that in order to work, or to succumb to paranoia”.

The European Press Prize is awarded in five categories. The 2018 award ceremony was held in Budapest.

Past winners from the region: Boris Dežulović won the 2014 award for an opinion piece published in weekly Globus about Vukovar, the monument city; in 2017 the award for investigative reporting went to the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS).

Source: Al Jazeera Balkans