Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence 2010: And the winner is…

Majlinda Aliu from Kosovo with her article “Trapped in Black: Balkan War Widows”

War widows throughout Europe may have shared a common fate, but their subsequent life experiences – from socially conservative Kosovo to liberal England –are radically different. Majlinda researched the social conditions and taboos which influence Kosovo’s widows’ unwillingness to get re-married. In her article she tackles the fact that women in Kosovo continue to be discriminated against, focusing on the double standards applied to women and men when it comes to re-marriage. Her research was centred in Kosovo with trips to Croatia and Great Britain where she investigated comparable examples.

Majlinda Aliu works as journalist for Radio TV Kosovo, covering political and social issues. Majlinda’s previous work experience also includes Koha Vision TV in Pristina.  In 2008 she received the Journalism Poverty Prize, for the best TV report, presented by the UN Kosovo Team.

The topic of the 2010 contest: Taboo
This year, the journalists were asked to propose topics related to taboos. Gay marriage, marital violence, arranged marriage, religious communities or the legacy of the wars of the 1990s were just examples – the journalists were encouraged to propose topics surrounded by prejudice, silence and shame. The aim was to receive stories that unearth fresh information or adopt original perspectives that will attract a wide set of readers in the Balkans and the European Union. The proposals should include plans for cross-border research in at least two countries in the Balkans and one EU member state.

The fellowship programme was initiated by ERSTE Foundation and Robert Bosch Stiftung in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) with the objective to foster quality reporting and encourage regional networking among journalists. Each year, ten journalists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia are selected through a contest to receive funding and professional support to conduct their research projects.

More information on the winner 2010 and on the programme is available here: