Congratulations to the three winning teams who won joint first prize in the Media for All Young Journalists Competition. Entrants worked in regional teams of three and were mentored and given professional guidance over eight weeks to develop their stories that reflect the issues relevant to today’s young people. 

The quality of the entries from journalists under 30, who worked collaboratively with colleagues in teams from across the Western Balkans, on the Media for All Young Journalists Competition was so high that the judging panel awarded first prize to three teams instead of just one:

  • Katarina Baletic and Nevena Petakovic from Serbia and Teodor Gjerga from Albania were recognised for the story Financial Struggles Delay Youngsters’ Independence from Parents, 
  • Gentiana Ahmeti from Kosovo, Jona Koso and Xhoana Callaku from Albania were awarded for the story The “Fight” for a Job Sends Nurses to Germany. 
  • Youngsters Opt for Costly Alternatives to Save Mental Health, written by Erisa Kryeziu from Albania, An Djurdja Radulovic and Andrea Jelic from Montenegro. 

Erisa Kryeziu from one of the winning teams stated: “Together with my colleagues from Montenegro, we worked on a story about the mental health of young people. It was a great moment to tackle the topic, taking into consideration the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. I think that the new generation of young journalists in the region is very professional in their work. But still, we need to cover more youth-related topics in order to support the dynamics of today’s society, especially in the Western Balkans.” 

Media for All Young Journalists Competition

The competition was open to teams of journalists coming from different countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia), and twelve teams of three journalists were invited to participate. The successful entrants spent eight weeks working with a mentor to develop and produce their story which needed to be relevant to young people across the Western Balkans region. 

The topics covered included the impact of Covid-19, youth unemployment, the rise of nationalism in young people, youth policy, discrimination against LGBTI+ people. There were also stories which highlighted how young people were supporting their communities during the pandemic and an article celebrating people with disabilities who have overcome discrimination to gain employment. 

“The jury was extremely happy with high quality of the submitted articles and urges the journalists to pursue publication for all their articles. Most importantly, the articles represent collaborative works between countries of the region where journalism collaboration could always be higher and this is an important example set by the submitted works." stated Una Hajdari. She said the panel judged the stories based on the level to which they reflected professional journalism standards, good storytelling, and the originality and relevance of the idea

You can read the three winning articles below: