Kristina Voko, Executive Director, BIRN Albania
Kristina Voko is the executive director of BIRN Albania from 2014 and coordinates the network’s activities, fundraising and projects in the office in Tirana. For more than ten years she has been engaged in coordinating and managing different projects for national and international organizations, concerning the development of policies, regulatory and legal frameworks; promotion of human rights and social inclusion through the empowerment of individuals and associations; training of professionals and other actors; promotional activities for communities; etc.
Besar Likmeta, Lead researcher, BIRN Albania
Besar Likmeta is the editor in chief of Reporter.al, the online publication of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania. He started his career reporting for the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville, Florida. Besar has also contributed stories to various publications including The Christian Science Monitor, Euronews, Foreign Policy, the Sunday Telegraph, Transitions Online, and others. In 2009 Likmeta received the CEI/SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism and in 2010 he was runner up to the Global Shining Light Award, presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Geneva.
Aleksandra Bogdani, Researcher, BIRN Albania
Aleksandra Bogdani is an investigative journalist for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, in Albania. Bogdani has long experience as deputy editor-in-chief on daily newspapers such as MAPO and Shekulli. Bogdanii was a participant in BIRN’s Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme 2012. She is a winner of the 2015 CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism and the 2014 EU Award for Investigative Journalism in Albania.
Vladimir Karaj, Researcher, BIRN Albania
Vladimir Karaj is a journalist for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania. He previously served as an editor at the Albanian newspaper Mapo. A journalist since 2002, he has worked for various media outlets and also had a stint as the chief editor of a small newspaper. He concentrates on reportage and in-depth stories, mainly concerning crime and politics.
Gjergj Erebara, Researcher, BIRN Albania
Gjergj Erebara is journalist for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, in Albania. Since 1998 he has worked as a journalist for various print publications, electronic media and televisions. He has a bachelor degree in Journalism and Master of Science degree in Economic History from University of Lund.
Nafisa Hasanova, Head of Research, GMR
Nafisa managed Media Ownership Monitor projects in Ukraine (2016), Serbia (2017), Albania (2018), Sri Lanka (2018), India and Pakistan (2019). She was also involved in the Journalism Trust Initiative, from the RSF team. Before joining RSF, Nafisa worked on the Transdniestrian Settlement Process for the Finnish Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) founded by the former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari. Prior to that she worked as policy officer for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia for APRODEV (now ACT Alliance EU), EU Central Asia Monitoring (EUCAM) for Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). Nafisa holds an MA in Intercultural Communication and European Studies from the University of Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany. She completed a BA in English Philology at the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages in Uzbekistan.
Sheley Gomes, Researcher and Project Assistant, GMR
Sheley is a project assistant and researcher currently working for the Media Ownership Monitor (MOM) on the Western Balkans. She is also currently a volunteer at Intervozes, the organization that implemented the Media Ownership Monitor in Brazil, where she previously worked as an advocacy consultant. At Intervozes she has also worked as a researcher in several projects regarding freedom of expression, fake news, media coverage, and media ownership. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Brasilia, a post-grad in Law and Government Affairs by the University Center of Brasilia, and is currently finishing a master’s degree in Media and Area (Central-Eastern European) Studies at Charles University in Prague.
Lea Auffarth, Head of Operations, GMR
Lea coordinates the implementation of the Media Ownership Monitor's editions, and manages some of them directly. Previously, Lea has worked for the press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, where she coordinated the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) and headed the development of its IT infrastructure. Other work on media transparency, literacy, and ethics include the ‘Media Ownership Monitor’ (MOM) and Lebanese Samir Kassir Foundation’s ‘Digital Rights Project’. Lea is a trained journalist and has worked with the German public broadcaster WDR as well as regional press. She holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from King’s College London.
Olaf Steenfadt, Global Project Director, GMR
Olaf heads the "Media Ownership Monitor" project and the "Journalism Trust Initiative" at the press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, RSF. For many years, he has been engaged as a consultant and coach in media development cooperation. Mandates of international organizations and NGOs lead him primarily to Southeast Europe and the Arab world. He previously worked for national German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF in various roles, including as a radio and TV presenter, investigative reporter, domestic and foreign correspondent, as well as in format development and corporate communication. Olaf is a member of the "High-level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation" of the European Commission and of the "Committee of Experts on Quality of Journalism in the Digital Age" at the Council of Europe. He teaches frequently at universities in Germany and Europe.
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania – BIRN Albania is a non-profit media development organization, which aims to strengthen democracy, freedom of speech and promote the respect for human rights by raising the professional capacities of local journalists, promoting the principles of transparency and accountability and raising awareness on the rights of vulnerable groups, through investigative reporting and by bridging the gap between the media and civil society. BIRN Albania is part of the BIRN Network, a close nit group of media development organizations in the Western Balkans, with offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Romania, as well as editorial presence in other Balkan countries.
BIRN Albania also works continuously with journalists and media outlets, training dozens of journalists every year, providing mentorship on investigative reporting and on the job training for court and crime reporting, which gives its staff a first-hand experience of the challenges and local journalists face as they struggle to uphold professional standards in a small a concentrated media market. More information on the organization, its activities and outputs can be found in its website: http://birn.eu.com/network/birn-albania/
Global Media Registry
The Global Media Registry (GMR) collects, compiles and provides – either publicly available or self-reported – datasets and contextual information on media outlets around the world.
In doing so, the objective is to enhance transparency, accountability and responsibility in the information space. Thus, the GMR facilitates better choices and decision making, both algorithmic and human, of all stakeholders. These may include every citizen and consumer, regulators and donors, as well as the private sector – for example advertisers and intermediaries (a. k. a. platforms and distributors).
By providing this public service as a social enterprise, the Global Media Registry contributes to the advancement of the freedoms of information and expression at large.
It was founded as a spin-off from the Media Ownership Monitor project, which it now operates as a non-for-profit LLC registered under German law.