2014 Busek-SEEMO Award winners announced

Željka Lekić-Subašić and Nenad Šebek honoured for contribution to better understanding in South East Europe

VIENNA, 19 September 2014 - The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), has announced that Željka Lekić-Subašić, head of the Eurovision News Exchange for South East Europe (ERNO), is the winner of the 2014 Dr. Erhard Busek – SEEMO Award for Better Understanding in South East Europe.

In addition, Nenad Šebek, spokesman for the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) has been honoured with a special Dr. Erhard Busek – SEEMO Diploma for Better Understanding in South East Europe.

The SEEMO jury chose Lekić-Subašić and Šebek for the awards based on their outstanding contribution to the process of democratisation and better understanding in South East Europe.

The award to Lekić-Subašić, which carries a cash prize of €2,000, is scheduled to be presented on 23 September 2014 in Bucharest, while the diploma-award to Šebek, which carries a cash prize of €1,500, is scheduled to be presented on 18 October 2014 in Skopje by Dr. Erhard Busek, president of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe.

The Winners

Željka Lekić-Subašić is the Head of ERNO (Eurovision News Exchange for Southeast Europe) Coordination Office in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She coordinates a daily exchange of political, economic and cultural news stories and documentary exchange/co-production among eleven Public Broadcasting Services from Southeast Europe, and she covers news stories from the region for all 74 European Broadcasting Union members. With her team in ERNO Coordination Office, she also coordinates the exchange of documentary programs, co productions of feature stories and short documentary movies, including the movies Women Trafficking (2005) and Cultural Heritage in Southeast Europe (2009), and organizes workshops and training for media staff from Public Broadcasting Services in the region. She is a professional TV journalists and producer for 20 years. She started to work during the war in her hometown Sarajevo. She works at the current position since 2001, while before she had worked for several radio and TV stations in BIH. Her TV reports made for Bosnian TV station OBN have been broadcast by “CNN World Report”, CNN International. Since 2010 she also teaches at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, Department for Political Science and International Relations. She holds a PhD degree from the London Metropolitan University on the subject of media and international politics,.

Nenad Šebek has been spokesman for the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC www.rcc.int) since June 2014. Prior to this, he was executive director of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe (CDRSEE) for 12 years, developing and working on a wide variety of programmes, from the Joint History Project to the regional television talk show “Vicinities”. Šebek spent 26 years as a journalist, starting at Radio Belgrade and moving on to the BBC. He was Balkans and then Moscow correspondent for "The World" (a co-production of the BBC World Service, Public Radio International and WGBH in Boston). He covered the Balkans through the tumultuous 1990s, working first for the BBC and then "The World".

Nenad Šebek has been spokesman for the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC www.rcc.int) since June 2014. Prior to this, he was executive director of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe (CDRSEE) for 12 years, developing and working on a wide variety of programmes, from the Joint History Project to the regional television talk show “Vicinities”. Šebek spent 26 years as a journalist, starting at Radio Belgrade and moving on to the BBC. He was Balkans and then Moscow correspondent for "The World" (a co-production of the BBC World Service, Public Radio International and WGBH in Boston). He covered the Balkans through the tumultuous 1990s, working first for the BBC and then "The World".

The Award

The Dr. Erhard Busek - SEEMO Award for Better Understanding in South, Eastern and Central Europe honours journalists, editors, media executives, media experts, professors, writers and journalism trainers in South East Europe who have contributed to promoting better understanding in the region and who have worked towards ending minority-related problems, ethnic divisions, racism, xenophobia, gender discrimination, homophobia etc.

The award is sponsored by Erhard Busek, who is also former vice-chancellor of Austria, Jean Monet Professor ad personam, president of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, coordinator of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), and former special coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe.

Previous winners of the award include

2012: Jeta Xharra (Kosovo), director of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) as well as a presenter and the editor-in-chief of "Life in Kosovo", Pristina

2011: Drago Hedl, (Croatia) journalist, Zagreb-based daily Jutarnji List.

2010: Omer Karabeg (Bosnia and Herzegovina), journalist, South Slavic and Albanian Language Service program of Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL), founder and editor of the radio program Most (Bridge), Prague, Czech Republic.

2009: Boris Bergant (Slovenia), co-founder of the Alpe Adria broadcasting project, former deputy-president of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and former deputy director of Radio Television Slovenia.

2008: Brankica Stankovic (Serbia), author of the TV program Insajder, produced by B92 Television, Belgrade, Serbia.

2007: Milena Dimitrova (Bulgaria), columnist, Sofia-based daily Trud, Bulgaria.

2006: Danko Plevnik (Croatia), columnist, Split-based daily Slobodna Dalmacija,

2005: Brankica Petkovic (Slovenia), head of the Center for Media Policy, Peace Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

2003: Kemal Kurspahic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), former editor-in-chief of the Sarajevo-based daily Oslobodjenje.

2002: Denis Latin (Croatia) author of the TV program Latinica, Croatian Radio Television (HRT)