A study trip for five Albanian journalists and editors was organized on January 26-27 in Belgrade, as part of an exchange initiative between Albanian and Serbian journalists. The trip was organized by the Albanian Media Institute with the support of the US Embassy.
During the visit the Albanian journalists had several meetings with their Serbian colleagues, representatives of civil society, business, parliament and politicians.
The exchange was aimed at improving the knowledge of the realities of both countries, expanding the contacts between media professionals and improving reporting about neighbors in the region.
The talks with journalists focused on media coverage of Albania and Kosovo, ethical and hate speech problems, the systemic difficulties of the media in both countries, and freedom and professionalism of journalists. The Albanian journalists met, among others, with Vukasin Obradovic, the president of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia, Milorad Ivanovic, chief editor of Newsweek Serbia, and Veran Matic, CEO and editor in chief of B92.
The meetings with the civil society focused on the perception on the relation between two countries, on the Kosovo issue, and on identifying ways of improving knowledge of each other and fostering a more constructive public debate. The Albanian journalists met, among others, with Sonja Biserko, president of the Serbian Helsinki Committee, Sonja Licht, president of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, and Dusan Janjic of the executive board of the Forum for Ethnic Relations.
The journalists also met with state officials – among them Sasa Mirkovic, State Secretary for Information, and a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These meetings addressed ongoing initiatives between the two countries, as well as future plans in the framework of regional cooperation.