In 2018, together with the Center for Equality and Liberty and the Kosovar Center for Gender Studies, we began the EU-funded Human Rights Journalism Fellowship Program with the aspiration to prepare journalists — who through their journalism — stand by and with the oppressed, the silenced and the excluded.
For three years now, our fellows have raised often difficult to answer questions, and have brought to the surface issues that are often overlooked in the 24 hour news cycle. Twenty-nine individuals have become pioneers of the kind of journalism that does not merely inform, but one that challenges long-embedded exclusionary attitudes and narratives; one that is curious and unafraid of going beyond what is in the headlines.
Alongside their editors, over the past six months these Fellows have pursued truths that are left out of the grand narrative. They have shown a commitment to put before the citizens, communities, individuals that have been left on the edge of public discourse for too long now.
Throughout the years, the program has grown both in the range of the stories it has told, as well as in the formats through which these stories were told. Through novel media formats like video documentaries and photo-essays — our fellows and editors have made sure that those in the margins are read, heard and seen.
They have pursued stories around LGBTIQ+ people, gender justice, minorities, persons with disabilities, labor rights, mental health, food safety, environmental protection and human rights. Our fellows have recognized the efforts of those fighting for justice, and have acknowledged the experiences of those experiencing injustice — vocally demanding a wider recognition of these experiences.
This year, the circumstances under which we implemented the program have changed dramatically. The injustices we were set to unveil through the fellowship since year one are deepening amid a pandemic that has affected us all, but it has also devastated some among us.
This is why this year’s launch event will be different too. With Fellows of the first, second and third cycle we want to discuss why these stories matter especially in today’s circumstances and what it means to be a journalist that covers human rights at a time when both journalism and human rights are being challenged and threatened. With information being withheld and violence being isolated within private domains, what role does journalism play?
To talk about the these issues, we have invited our Fellows for a discussion of their stories:
- Besnik Boletini (1st Cycle Fellow and editor of the 3rd cycle)
- Shqipe Gjocaj (2nd Cycle Fellow)
- Beke Veliu (2nd Cycle fellow)
- Saranda Ramaj (3rd Cycle fellow)
Opening Remarks: Representative of the European Union Office in Kosovo
The discussion will be moderated by Besa Luci, K2.0’s editor-in-chief;
This discussion will take place online and will be broadcast on 10.12.2020, at 17:30, on Kosovo 2.0’s Facebook page.
For translation, please write a message to Kosovo 2.0 and we will guide you as to how you can access it.K
Feature illustration: Arrita Katona / K2.0.