‘Organized crime crosses national and ethnic boundaries effortlessly. Now we will have a greater ability to follow them where they go’, said Drew Sullivan, managing editor of the JDG project.
A number of studies show organized crime is one of the most serious problems in South East Europe. The resulting corruption undermines democratic processes, contributing to ethnic strife and poverty throughout the region. This project will link South East Europe journalists in a collaborative network, strengthening investigative journalism practices and helping improve the safety of journalists working in this dangerous area. USAID assistance will support the participation of more journalists from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Romania, and Serbia.
Partnering with JDG, a U.S. organization working to address critical issues in the news media industry around the world, are the Centar za Istraživačko Novinarstvo (Center for Investigative Reporting, or CIN) in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Centrul Roman Pentru Jurnalism de Investigatie (Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism, or CRJI) in Bucharest, Romania. CIN is an award-winning, Bosnian investigative journalism center and recently received Transparency International’s 2007 ‘Journalism Integrity Award.’ CRJI is a non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of investigative journalism. In 2007, these three organizations began collaboration on the ‘Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project’ with initial funding from the United Nations Development Fund.
JDG, CIN, and CRJI have collaborated on several cross-border investigative journalism projects in the past, including projects on issues such as trafficking in persons, weapons and drug sales, and exposing corrupt officials and crime figures. The group’s first project, Power Brokers, focused on energy traders in South East Europe and won the 2007 ‘Global Shining Light’ award from the Global Investigative Journalism Network.
For more information on the JDG investigative journalism project, contact Jasna Kilalić at +387 33 702 300. For more information about USAID and its programs in South East Europe, please visit www.usaid.gov.