Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change


The well-trafficked stairway to Koha Ditore, the Pristina

journalists exchanging regards or making quick plans, it was empty and

still. Two bouquets were propped on the floor, beneath framed photographs of

Rexhep Ramadani, the nightwatchman, and Bajram Kelmendi, the human rights

lawyer, both of whom were killed in the early moments of the bombing one

year ago.

The scene brought back the fearful early moments of the war, as colleagues

ran for cover and the drama began. As independent journalism collapsed in

both Pristina and Belgrade, and international journalists were expelled,

IWPR scrambled to maintain its network of local journalists throughout and

provide a unique inside view from the ground. Most notably, Gjeraqina Tuhina

continued to report from Pristina before her expulsion. But the bravery of

many Serbian journalists was equally remarkable, keeping their heads and

enduring the risks while working throughout the 78 days.

This special package of Balkan Crisis Report commemorates their efforts. To

assess developments since, we present comments and analysis from a range of

engaged personalities on all sides. Open debate is the key to resolving

current concerns and avoiding new conflicts. And as we can attest, at least

among a small but precious community, it does indeed have a strong tradition

in the region.

-- Anthony Borden

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