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.
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:
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.
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.
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.