10 years of KoSSev: Awards to Milivoje Mihajlović and posthumously to Belul Beqaj

Kosovo Sever portal (KoSSev) celebrates the 10th anniversary of its establishment today.

To mark ten years of reporting, this year we are establishing an award for professionalism and contribution to the public interest. The award is titled „ČasTnica“ and shall be awarded once a year – on February 7th, the day KoSSev started operating back in 2014.

The award will be given to an individual who is dedicated to professional work, representing the public interest, distinguished by integrity, credibility, and commitment to peace.

The editorial board of the portal decided to grant two awards this year: to journalist Milivoje Mihajlović and posthumously to publicist Belul Beqaj.

Our choice this year was not difficult, it was clear-cut. In a time of hostility, the spread of hatred and evil, promotion of hypocrisy, lies and propaganda, their correspondence on our portal was the voice of truth and reason; a measure of decency that did not compromise the intense honesty of their testimony. They confessed their deep inner experience of the society in which they live and to which they actively contribute, always from the critical distance of an individual who reflects sensitively on himself and the environment. They talked to each other. Such was their ‘Pristinska veza.’

Unfortunately, death prevented Belul Beqaj from continuing with his loud reflection on our reality and raising his voice for peace. He passed away on September 25th, 2022 at the age of 65. The column he started for our portal was completed by his close friend and colleague Ismet Hajdari.

University professor and political scientist, Belul Beqaj, was born in Prizren in 1957, where he completed primary and secondary school. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade, obtained his master’s degree from the Faculty of Law of the University of Pristina, and received his Ph.D. in political science from the University “Kiril I Metodije” in North Macedonia. He wrote hundreds of public and scientific works and participated in numerous public dialogue-related events.

What he used to say at public events, he would also repeat in private. He truly advocated for dialogue and coexistence and ultimately believed in it as the only viable solution to Balkan troubles. He was willing to listen to the other side, he was proud of his own, and equally respected what belonged to others. He was happy with the joint life, saddened by hatred, misunderstanding, and lack of education. He could not stand the corruption of bad leaders.

Milivoje Mihajlović was born in 1958 in Pristina. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Pristina, Department of Literature, in 1983. He reported on events in Kosovo for the Pristina-based „Jedinstvo“, Tanjug, Radio-television Belgrade, BBC, APTN, Agency France Press, CBS… He was the editor-in-chief of Radio Pristina, founder of the Media Center, editor of the YU-info television news program, director of Radio Belgrade, and director of the Information Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia from 2007 to 2015. In 1999, he left Pristina with other Serbs and moved to Belgrade, where he still lives today.

Mihajlović is an expert on Kosovo issues. He is one of the few Serbian journalists who, although forced to leave Pristina, Kosovo never really left him, actively testifying about the past and present. In the era of the decline of the journalistic profession, he maintained his dignity, as well as integrity. In the tumultuous political events and the fate experienced by Kosovo Serbs, he did not bow down, nor did he rise to the narratives of the official authorities.

The „ČasTnica“ award will be presented soon at a ceremony on the occasion in North Mitrovica.

Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.