Affiliate Training and Relationship Building Tour

A combined team of RFE/RL and VOA journalists visited Pristina and made contact with number of affiliate stations. Elez Biberaj, Director of VOA’s Eurasia Service, Natalia Ardanza, VOA editor, Arben Xhixho, chief of VOA’s Albanian service,  RFE/RL’s Gordana Knezevic, head of Balkan service, and Arbana Vidishiqi, head of the Albanian unit, visited most of the locations together, and BBG Direct was introduced to all affiliates. Almost everywhere, the editors and journalists with whom the team met expressed appreciation for the attention given to them, as in the last ten years there had been few, if any, contacts with local radio and TV stations. RTK, Kosovo Radio and Television. General Director, Mentor Shala had been very pleased with the cooperation so far and asked VOA to explore the possibility of preparing an Albanian program/interactive for them. An important aspect of the trip was the visit to RTV 21, an independent enterprise and longtime VOA affiliate run by Ms. Afrodita Keljmendi. The RFE/RL team separately visited Radio Dukagjini. Gordana met with Ermal Panduri, the new editor-in-chief who introduced her to his staff. It is a very successful private station and RFE/RL’s most important affiliate in Kosovo. They expressed interest in BBG Direct, as they need better video coverage of world events for their web page. The VOA team also visited the RFE/RL facilities in Prishtina and met several times with the RFE/RL team, Gordana Knezevic, head of Balkan service, and Arbana Vidishiqi, head of the Albanian unit, to discuss how to better share content in Albanian language.