Kosovo update

Professor Barney McCoy videotaping a documentary in Silovo, Kosovo.

A brief update from the front lines of democracy in Kosovo.  I think you’d find this place fascinating. It’s poor. The poorest nation in Europe. But the people are kind and generous. Those who I have met here are willing to work for opportunity and wish for peaceful co-existence between Albanians and Serbians.

All is going very well with my students at the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communication. We should publish their first Web news stories this week.

I found that these students struggled a bit with using attribution and story structure than past KIJAC students. Perhaps this is because there are fewer working journalists in this class. Many of my current students are more likely to be NGO and government workers. They are hard working and curious about learning more journalism skills for use in their professional positions.

In that regard, this is a good thing. They are quick learners. They also say they are more understanding now of the job demands of Kosovo journalists who cover their institutions. Things such as attribution. Several students commented that they are also more likely to make themselves available to journalists in this fledgling democracy. All these things are essentials in a strong democracy.

Here are profiles on two of my students:

  • Vlora Citaku is Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. She’s just 29 and a member of Kosovo’s  Parliament.
  • Mentor Hoxhaj is director of the Kosovo government’s “Situation Centre Directory.”  Hoxhaj heads the office and monitors any security related issue the media is reporting in Kosovo.

Interesting and stimulating. There is strong interest by Willem Houwen,  KIJAC director in having a study abroad relationship with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln next spring. This would involve CoJMC students and faculty who would come to Kosovo to work on a joint reporting project with KIJAC students.

Sunrise in Prishtina, Kosovo. Photo: Barney McCoy

My latest CoJMC documentary project has kept me working around the clock when I’m not lecturing at KIJAC. I’m seeking to compare the post-independence views of ethnic Serbs and Albanians here. I find everyone has an opinion on the topic.

Working in such a short window has me up before daylight some days to shoot video and conduct interviews.

Yesterday, I rented a car and drove to the Serbian village of Silovo in southern Kosovo to do interviews with the head of a Serbian TV station and one of it’s Serbian reporters. I was fortunate to recruit Kushtrim Kadriu, a talented KIJAC student to help with videography and interviews. I also had help from a  Serbian interpreter and Tim Collins, a U.S. intelligence officer who hails from Nebraska and was once stationed in the U.S. Army in Silovo.

In the Serbian village of Silovo, Kosovo. Photo: Barney McCoy

Today, I’m off to Kosovo’s government building for three interviews before teaching at KIJAC. It’s snowing and cold but spring will soon arrive and knowing it’s near makes this weather more bearable.

About Bernard McCoy

My views are my own and not a reflection of my employer. I'm a professor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I've also been a working journalist for the past 29 years. I have covered news stories in war zones, reported on human and natural disasters, presidential conventions, a presidential inauguration and the September 11th, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. My career experiences include work as an award-winning documentary producer, television news reporter, photographer, producer, and anchor. I worked at WIBW-TV, Topeka, KS., KCTV, Kansas City, MO, WKBD-TV, Detroit, MI., WILX-TV, Lansing, MI. and WBNS-TV, Columbus, OH. I have also worked as a contributing reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press, CBS, CNN, the Ohio News Network and lecture at the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communications. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in telecommunications management from Michigan State University.
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1 Response to Kosovo update

  1. zlatan says:


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