Documentary filmmaker Lode Desmet began his journalistic career in 1987 as a feature writer for the Belgian newspaper DeMorgen and the weekly magazines Humo and Knack. Three years later he became a radio reporter for the Belgian public broadcaster VRT. He started working for television in 1993 and made his first 52' documentary film in 1997. Exodus or Vina's World (1999), which deals with the Kurdish conflict on Iraq's borders, earned him the Europa Prize in Berlin and a Silver FIPA in Biarritz. Mother's Crossing (2004), about a people smuggler, garnered the prestigious Grand Prix du FIGRA (Festival international du grand reportage d'actualité) in France and the Award for Best Documentary at the international film festival in Brooklyn. "Heysel 1985 – Requiem for a Cup Final"(2005) documented soccer hooligans and their world, and won the EBU Award in Marseille. The film won the Garland of Honour at the International Sports Movies Festival in Milan. With the Heysel film Lode Desmet also obtained his third Belgian Press Award.In 2006 Lode Desmet produced the film "Does Anyone Have a Plan?" about the future status of Kosovo for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN.
Dragana joined BIRN's Sarajevo office in August 2008 as the editor of the monthly TV programme TV Justice. She started her journalistic career as a radio reporter on Radio Studio B and Radio Index in Belgrade in 1999. After moving to Sarajevo in 2001, she gained a degree in journalism from the “Media Plan” programme. She has worked for various local media outlets such as TV OBN, Radio MIR, TV production XY Films, and Radio Free Europe. In 2008, she worked on a serial radio programme about transitional justice and war crimes produced by the ALTER MEDIA and UNDP in Bosnia.
Working on this project has been beneficial in terms of my professional experience, while also giving me an insight into the way young people, who were born in early 1990s, think about the wartime happenings in Croatia, Bosnia or Kosovo. On one hand, I was surprised by the fact that they knew so little about everything and that they knew almost nothing about the things that happened to others. On the other hand, I am glad that they have demonstrated an interest in finding out as much as possible about the 1990s events. I am glad that they have developed empathy for each others and realized how important it is to speak and learn about the things that happened to us in the past, instead of ignoring them or pretending that they never even happened.
Gordana is the founder of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and currently serves as the Regional Network Director. She began her career as a journalist in Belgrade in 1981, and later reported from Bosnia and Kosovo during the wars that accompanied the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Following the conflict, she returned to research and document war crimes. Gordana has received several journalism awards, including the 1998 Overseas Press Club (USA) Award for Human Rights Reporting and a Human Rights Watch (HRW) award for her research into war crimes in Foca, Bosnia. Before founding BIRN, she was the Balkan project manager at the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) from 1999 until August 2005, during which time IWPR's Balkan reporting received numerous press awards and media citations.
Anisa is the director of BIRN's Bosnia and Herzegovina regional office in Sarajevo. Previously, she worked with several leading EU and UN institutions and donor groups. She has worked in administration and planning units, beginning with the OSCE in 1996 with the Election Department in Bosnia, and later in Kosovo as Operations Manager until 2002. She was later a civil society coordinator for Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, Millenium Development Goals, and Gender programmes at the UNDP. She moved to Iran in 2004, working as Chief of Support for the International Organization for Migration within the Afghan and Iraqi Elections Program. From 2005 to 2007 she served as a Program Manager for ‘Women for Women’ International in Bosnia. A member of several development groups in Bosnia, she has worked as a consultant and evaluator for projects on gender, civil society, sustainability, and social and cultural development in the Balkans. Since January 2005, her work has focused on the role of the media and civil society in the localisation of war crimes in Bosnia. She became director of BIRN Bosnia in 2007. In her capacity as Project Manager, she has been in charge of the Justice Report Programme and all related projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Balkan Transitional Justice project.
Jeta Xharra is the director of BIRN Kosovo, as well as the presenter and editor of “Life in Kosovo”, Kosovo's most watched current affairs program.
She got into journalism working as a fixer/local producer for BBC News and Channel 4 in 1998 and later became the manager of the BBC Kosovo Bureau. In 1999, she worked for BBC News in Albania and Macedonia and in 2003 she opened the office for Institute for War and Peace Reporting in Kosovo. She completed holds an MA in War Studies from King's College, London (2000), and gained a distinction for an MA in Screenwriting from the London College of Printing (2002).
Xharra has published a front-page article in the Independent and written for the Economist, Sunday Telegraph and Jane's Intelligence Review. While in the UK, Xharra worked for the Foreign News Planning Desk at the BBC World Service, Institute for War and Peace Reporting and in 2005 she became one of the founders of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.
Marija joined BIRN’s Transitional Justice Regional Journalistic Network after pursuing a traineeship at the Press and Information Unit at the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia. She has also worked as an assistant editor and science journalist at the Institute for Informatics Systems and Computer Media, at the Technical University of Graz. She has also interned as a journalist focusing on topics related to economics at the Politka daily newspaper. During her studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade she worked as a journalist for the student magazine Politokolog and as host for the Radio production “Slušaonica 6” for Radio Studio B in Belgrade. She also received additional education at the School of Investigative Journalism at the Center for Investigative Journalism in Serbia, the European Journalism Centre in the Netherlands, and other organizations.
Gordana is an experienced journalist with in-depth knowledge of the politics and economy of the Balkan countries.Gordana is the managing editor of BIRN’s Belgrade Insight, a twice-monthly newspaper that covers the Serbian capital. She also writes news stories, analysis and investigations for both the newspaper and BIRN’s website, Balkan Insight.
Gordana first joined BIRN in August 2010 as a journalist for Belgrade Insight. Before joining the BIRN team, Gordana worked for two years as a news reporter at Serbia's flagship broadcaster B92. With NGO Serbia on the Move, Gordana took part in an anti-corruption campaign in the Serbian health sector in 2010. Gordana studied journalism at the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Political Sciences.
Ana has been working as a journalist since 1997. She was a staff writer for the Skopje based Forum magazine until 2000. During the 1999 Kosovo conflict she worked with television stations Arte, Spiegel TV and Rai Uno. In 2000 she won a scholarship for a year of professional development at Indiana University's School of Journalism, and spent a year in the United States. While overseas, she worked as a correspondent for Deutsche Welle's Macedonian service. From 2001, she covered the Macedonian conflict and its aftermath for Reuters. In 2002 she was Associate producer of IWPR`s documentary Ohrid and Beyond. She was also IWPR's Country Director for Macedonia from 2003 until 2005. She established BIRN in Macedonia in 2005. In 2006, she produced BIRN’s documentary on Kosovo "Does Anyone Have a Plan?".
Sead is the editor of the programme «Without Borders» broadcast on TV channel Vijesti. He has been a correspondent for Radio Free Europe since 1999. Sead started his journalistic career in 1992 writing articles for Cetinje-based “Liberal” and Podgorica-based “Monitor”.
He is a recipient of several awards: the Best Profile Story award by Radio Free Europe’s World Service in 2003 and the first prize for a radio report at the international festival INTERFERO in Sombor in 2005. He holds a degree in electrical engineering.
Drago graduated literature at the Teacher’s College in Osijek. After his studies he worked as an editor at the literary magazine “Revija”. Since 1980, he has been working as a professional journalist and editor in “Glas Slavonije”, “Slobodna Dalmacija”, “Novi list”, “Feral Tribune” and “Jutarnji list”.
He also wrote for «The Guardian» UK newspapers, and the US Time magazine.
He is recepient of several Croatian and international awards for his investigative journalism.
He published a dozen collections of short stories, essays and reports, as well as several non-fiction books. The book “Glavas, kronika jedne destrukcije” [ Glavas: A chronical of destruction] received the “Jutarnji list” award for the best non-fiction work in 2010.
Drago had his three plays produced: “Otkaceni” directed by Radovana Grahovac (1982); “Aerobic Story” directed by Stevo Zigon (1984), and “Zar na vodi” directed by Mirjana Ojdanic (1985).
He authored several documentaries, among them “Vukovar – the Final Cut”, which received a prize at the Sarajevo Film Festival in 2006.
By decision of the Croatian president Ivo Josipovic, he has been decorated with the Order of Stjepan Radic in 2011 for his achievements in the promotion of human rights.
He lives and works in Osijek as a professional journalist.