The Kosovo branch of the Association of Serbian Journalists presented the „Beli Bozur“ (White Peony) award for the best cooperation with the media in 2018 in the Culture Center in Gracanica. The award was posthumously awarded to Oliver Ivanovic and received on his behalf by his brother Miroslav. The head of the OSCE, Jan Braathu also received the „Beli Bozur“. The “Crni Bozur” (Black Peony) award for the worst cooperation with the media was awarded to Srpska Lista.
In addition to regular annual recognitions, the members of the Kosovo branch of the Association of Serbian Journalists presented the „Beli Bozur“ award to the murdered Oliver Ivanovic „for decades of unselfish cooperation with the media“.
The explanation of the decision stated that „the studio always had a guest who was ready to talk, to reach out to all local media, even south of the Ibar, without an escort and problems“.
„Journalists know that his phone was never out of reach for them. I believe that many today know that number without looking at the phone book,“ the association stated during the award ceremony.
Ivanovic’s brother, Miroslav Ivanovic received the award on behalf of Oliver Ivanovic.
„I am immensely grateful for the recognition. I can certainly convey the gratitude of all the members of our family and all associates Oliver worked with. I do not doubt that your judgment is right and strong. Oliver is a man who understood the role of the journalists and who, by using the media, wanted to place his idea and his environment among the people, in order to spread information about life and living conditions far beyond Kosovo and Metohija – to even reach the world. I hope this left a trace. They call you the force. You are a force. I think that’s exactly what Oliver was aware of every moment and in every contact with you,“ Ivanovic said.
When Ivanovic’s and Dragisa Milovic’s cars were burned in July last year, Ivanovic addressed journalists in the following manner:
„It is your duty to be brave, just as it is expected out of politicians. You need to be brave to talk about things like this, without sugar coating it. Please, sanction the diplomatic phrases and slogans which you hear from politicians. You sanction them as journalists because such messages are not understood by citizens, such messages are not understood by those who are on the other side of the law. You have a great obligation and a big task. You can do it and you must do it because, otherwise, it makes no sense to exist as such.“
The regular „Beli Bozur“ award was presented to the head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Jan Braathu.
According to the explanation of the Association, Braathu consistently justified the role of the mission he manages and showed the importance of cooperation with the media and journalists with his public appearances and regular contact with the media.
His commitment to solving the cases of killed and missing journalists in Kosovo is indisputable.
„I’m really grateful for the recognition, but I’m a little surprised because I just did what is normal to do. People in my or similar positions must be open to the media and answer their questions,” Braathu stated.
He added that cases of violence against journalists are a special focus of his work and pointed out that the work of UNS journalist, Jelena Petkovic was crucial for him to „deal more with this issue“.
„The case of murdered and missing journalists and the question of safety of journalists is an issue I approach very seriously. I am engaged on this issue precisely because of the journalists. The work of UNS and journalist Jelena Petkovic has made me deal more with this issue. Without the UNS activities, I do not think and I do not believe that we, as the OSCE Mission, would be so engaged with this matter,“ Braathu concluded.
According to the votes of the members of the Association of Journalists of Serbia in Kosovo, Srpska Lista took „by far the first place“, for the second consecutive year, on the list of candidates for „Crni Bozur“ award. According to this Association, the representatives of that political party „had the worst cooperation with the media in 2018 out of all proposed candidates“ and the representatives of Srpska Lista refused cooperation and guest appearances on most local Serbian media platforms in Kosovo during 2018.
Representatives of Srpska Lista did not appear at the award ceremony.
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