2012 Class

What it Was Like in 2012

The BIRN Summer School of Investigative Reporting 2012 was held from August 19-25 in Mavrovo, Macedonia.

As in previous years, investigative journalists, editors, professorsand panelists took part in the week-long training course at the scenic Lake Mavrovoin Macedonia.

The lead trainer atthe third annual Summer School was Sheila Coronel, director and professor ofprofessional practice at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalismat Columbia University. BIRN’s roster of trainers consisted of Mark Schoofs,Pulitzer Prize winner and senior editor at ProPublica; Paul Lewis, specialeditor for The Guardian; Steven Grayof the Thompson Reuters Foundation; Marcus Lindemann and others.

The BIRN SummerSchool 2012 participants came from all over the Balkans and the world. The schoolhad 30 participants, of which 20 were from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina,Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Romania and Serbia. BIRN coveredall their expenses. Journalists that paid to participate came from Italy,Portugal, the USA, Australia, Slovenia, Austria and Mexico.

The core trainingsessions focused on how to use social networks and new media in investigations,how to conducting interviews, how to follow money and paper trails, and on computer-assistedreporting was the core of the School training sessions. The overall focus wason organised crime.

BIRN also organised around table with the topic ‘censorship and self-censorship in Balkan media’ anda panel debate on how to investigate corruption in the Balkans. Both of theevents brought together some of the most important stakeholders in the mediafield as well as organisations and institutions which are fighting againstcorruption.

Throughout the week,all participants worked in groups on a story idea. During the last day all ofthem presented their ideas and the three best got funding from BIRN to conductinvestigations.

The Summer School washeld at the cosy Hotel Radika next to Lake Mavrovo. Participants and trainershad time for networking and refreshments after daily sessions.

It was organised incooperation with the Media Programme South East Europe of theKonrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Open Society Foundations, London, OSCE Mission inKosovo, OSCE Mission to Skopje and USA Embassy in Macedonia.