World Press Freedom Day Marked in Kosovo
Marking of the World Press Freedom Day was organized by Association of Journalists of Kosovo and supported by UN Kosovo Team, namely UNWOMEN and UN Development Coordinator’s Office as well as OSCE Mission in Kosovo. There were few major events organized to mark this day, takin place in Pristina:
- Installation “Future if temporary, present is_______________”, developed and implemented by installation artists Mr. Driton Selmani. Installation was composed of a big truck screening and playing audio of few very interesting moments when some harsh language was used by politicians in Kosovo against journalists and media; and a signing book where people were invited to complete sentence. Standing beside was the cartoon by famous Kosovo cartoonist Jeton Mikullovci symbolising the power of media and journalists.
- The AJK and journalists also had an impromptu press conference at the site and move on to the round table in the nearby hotel, where a round-table discussion was organized with presence of representatives of UN, OSCE, journalist, different media and academia representatives.
Ms. Genta Begolli Pustina emphasized the importance of safety and security in for journalists in all aspects in Kosovo and reiterated that there is still lot more to be done in Kosovo in terms of job safety, labor rights and measure to prevent self-censorship.
Ms. Ulrika Richardson, UN development Coordinator emphasized that even in 26th marking of World Press Freedom Day, initial idea of the 3 May is still prevalent and consist of:
- evaluate press freedom around the world,
- to defend the media from attacks on their independence, and
- to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
In terms of these ideas Ambassador Jan Braathu, Head of OSCE stated that media freedom in Kosovo is making improvement and is better than the region, but more has to be done on defending the journalistic independence.
At the end of the round table discussion two new awards were established for journalism in Kosovo:
- The Economy Award, baring the name of the late journalist and economy expert, Mr. Ibrahim Xhemaili, and Women’s empowerment and women in leadership story, awarded to a best journalistic piece on this topic.
- The Economy Award went to an investigative journalist Mr. Besnik Boletini for the in-depth journalistic piece titled Poverty, Insecurity and Death, looking into terrible condition of construction workers in Kosovo with so many life lost and with questionable, life, financial and legal security.
The Women’s Empowerment award went to Ms. Artina Muçiqi with her in depth investigative journalistic piece Life and Death: The Harsh Reality of Pregnancy in Kosovo, -looking into marginalized minority women’s access to health care and maternity medicine.
Both articles were published on Kosovo 2.0 online magazine.