Women in media in Kosovo: To remind of the importance of our work and the responsibility of the institutions towards us

Foto: KoSSev

Female journalists from Kosovo attended a two-day conference in Budva where they discussed the challenges they face in their work, such as lack of access to official information and interlocutors, especially those from political life, and the safety of journalists. During the conference, twenty-one journalists agreed upon a text of a joint declaration by female journalists from Kosovo, announcing that they will seek broader support from their colleagues in the coming period. The text of the declaration, to be presented soon, will propose a series of measures to improve the status of women in the media in Kosovo.

The conference – organized by the Centre for Communities Development and KoSSev with the support of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo – was preceded by a several month long study involving interviews with sixteen female journalists reporting in different languages in Kosovo based on which a draft of the declaration was designed.

„Every opportunity in which women – especially at this moment when it comes to women in the media – unite and join to remind the rest of the world of the importance of the existence of the media and the importance of the work we are dealing with, it is an important event,“ a journalist of Radio Kosovska Mitrovica, Ivana Vanovac shared her take on the conference.

Konferencija Žene u Medijima
Foto: KoSSev, Ivana Vanovac, Radio Kosovska Mitrovica

The two-day conference of female journalists from Kosovo resulted in the text of the declaration which, according to Vanovac, took time to be organized.

„In any case, everything that is written in it is something that every journalist, regardless of sex and the ethnic community he or she belongs to, should sign because it is extremely professional and ethical,“ she added.

We agreed on what bothers us the most, how much we are upset by the way we are treated in institutions, by the disrespect and simply the lack of awareness of how important our work is and what are the obligations of the institutions towards us, above all, the institutions from political life. We underlined the most critical moments that we are currently facing in our profession, have written them down on paper and given our consent to change these things in the coming period, and this is always important (Ivana Vanovac)

„What is perhaps the most important is that we remembered what our obligation is, but we remind others what their obligation is towards us,“ Vanovac said.

Konferencija Žene u Medijima
Foto: KoSSev, Anđelka Ćup, Gračanica Online

Editor of the Gracanica online portal, Andjelka Cup said that the conference was „an extremely good start that provides great chances to expand the initiative, to include more colleagues, and why not – to even ask for support from our male colleagues.“

Cup added that the presence of young journalists from various communities in Kosovo, whom she described as „extremely serious, willing to work, willing to cooperate, and unburdened with some things,“ left the best impression on her.

The declaration agreed upon during the conference is „a good basis for the continuation of work on it, on its expansion“ – the editor of Gracanica online underlined.

Urednica programa za jezike manjina na RTK
Foto: KoSSev, Rabiša Muhadžiri

RTK editor-in-chief for community programming, Rabisha Muhaxhiri said that she is glad to be one of the journalists and editors who worked on the declaration, expressing hope that other journalists, both male and female, will see this as something positive.

„I think that this declaration is very useful, and I hope that other people who work in the media will agree with what we will propose to them and will join this kind of campaign – to use some common forces, common energy and ideas to encourage young journalists to build their career on courage, and not to be ashamed of showing what they really know, and to simply always express their attitude,“ freelance journalist Violeta Oroshi said, adding that this conference contributed to the strengthening of the position of female journalists in the media in Kosovo.

Konferencija Žene u medijima
Foto: KoSSev, Violeta Oroši

One of the youngest participants, BIRN journalist Doruntina Baliu said that “an intense amount of effort” was invested in the development of this document. Baliu added that it was „an inspiring experience.“

She stressed that the initiative to gather journalists from „different ethnic groups, who report in different languages, work in different media, and are of different age“ helped them to learn more about each other, but also from each other.


Konferencija Žene u Medijima
Foto: KoSSev, Doruntina Baliu, Kallxo

Baliu said they reached the conclusion that they share many similar experiences, but also that there are differences in the challenges they face in their everyday work.

This UNMIK-supported project also encompasses the correspondence of four journalists from the Serbian and Albanian communities on the subject of journalistic ethics and reporting standards. You can read these correspondences on our special theme pages: Novinarska beležnica and Razmedijavanje.

I wish that other fellow journalists would have more of similar opportunities, so that we can really understand that in this, as we call it, sacred profession, there should be no separations based on ethnicity or place of residence. Our main mission is the same, and so it should be, and that’s why we all struggle with various challenges and attacks and we need to stand against everything that makes our work more difficult (Doruntina Baliu)

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