Iva Martinović | Institute for War and Peace Reporting
I was born on September 16, 1980 in Belgrade. Both of my parents were very politically active during the Nineties and that had a great influence on me.
I became a journalist by accident. In the Nineties, I was studying to become a teacher at Belgrade university’s philosophy faculty, but the atmosphere in Serbia at that time forced me to become an activist, to seek changes and to try to find answers to the questions that bothered me - what was going on, who is responsible and whether they would be brought to justice.
Before the fall of Milosevic’s regime in 2000, I actively participated in anti-Milosevic demonstrations as a student. Soon after Milosevic’s fall, I started working for Belgrade radio station Studio B, which throughout the Nineties maintained its reputation as one of the very few independent media outlets in Serbia, which openly criticised Milosevic’s regime. I started as a reporter and later became a news editor at Studio B.
In April 2007, I joined Radio Free Europe, RFE. I produce analytical reports on various subjects related to the Yugoslav wars of the Nineties, the post-conflict period and war crimes. In 2009, I completed an RFE training for TV journalism and have been producing a video report for RFE’s website ever since.
Since 2008, I’ve additionally been providing reports for IWPR and RFE’s joint programme Facing Justice. I also work as IWPR’s outreach assistant in Belgrade, promoting its work and monitoring the impact of IWPR’s projects in Serbia, and have written stories for Tribunal Update.
I was glad to be given an opportunity to work for IWPR because it deals with the issues of war crimes and transitional justice in an objective, non-partisan and very professional way. This is how journalism should be. There are very few such media outlets in Serbia and this was a unique opportunity for me. This helped me meet other people and establish new contacts in the region. I've learned a lot from IWPR staff and, most importantly, I was given a chance to practice great journalism.
The story I'm especially proud of is an article about former Bosnian Serb president Biljana Plavsic's return to Serbia, Outcry at Plavsic's Belgrade Welcome.
This article raised the question of what - if anything - has really changed in Serbia since the end of the Balkan wars.
Being a journalist to me means being responsible, objective and professional, someone who will let people talk and make their own conclusions. Also, being a journalist means revealing hidden truths and thus changing reality.