2010 Class

What it was like in 2010

The first BIRN Summer School of Investigative Reporting, held from 22nd to 28th August 2010, proved a great success. BIRN brought together more than 35 experienced and well-know journalists and trainers like Don Ray, Gavin Rees, Nick Thorpe, Manuela Mareso, Luuk Sengers and an OCCPR team that included Drew Sullivan, Rosemary Armao and Paul Radu.

BIRN also gathered important and interesting guests for case studies and panel discussions, including Randall Joyce, Besar Likmeta, Helen Darbishire etc. The Summer School was also attended by 27 Balkan and Western Europe journalists.

The inaugural BIRN Summer School focused on Balkan journalists, in line with BIRN’s stance that investigative techniques are crucial to the development of transitional societies. All participants had a chance to learn about Defining Investigative Reporting, Following the Paper Trail, F.O.I. laws, Interviewing techniques, CAR – Computer Assisted Reporting, Organized crime and Corruption, Using documents to investigate companies, institutions, individuals etc.

Lectures were divided into two courses, one for Organized Crime and Corruption, the other ne for CAR. The afternoon session saw panel discussions on Using FOI laws, Attacks on journalists and Media ownership. All of these were held at the five-star Hotel Leopold in Petrovaradin fortress, Novi Sad. The final day of the Summer School saw all participants visit a 200-year-old wine cellar and two Serbian monasteries, Staro Hopovo and Krusedol, on nearby Mount Fruska Gora.

The first BIRN Summer School was organized with the help of the OSCE Mission in Serbia and the Open Society Institute, London. Encouraged by positive assessments from all participants, trainers and donors, BIRN decided to continue organizing its annual Summer School of Investigative Reporting.

What they said:

Congrats for organising this very important professional event.”
Alexenia Dimitrova, Bulgaria, panelist

Thank you for this wonderful experience and we will stay in touch for sure. It was a great pleasure to meet you!”
Andrea Caprescu, Romania, participant

The Summer School must have been a success, because everybody become everybody’s friend on Facebook afterwards! I think you have reason to be proud of yourself, since the summer school was very well organised! My compliments!
Luuk Sengers, Netherlands, trainer