Seminar on press and publicity work for employees of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council

Practical exercises in media training for press officers in Kosovo
Practical exercises in media training for press officers in Kosovo
Kosovo

A seminar on press and publicity work was held in Pristina from 18 to 20 March 2019, in partnership with the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council. The event was targeted at press officers from various public prosecutors’ offices in Kosovo. Taking part on the German side were Wolf-Tilman Baumert, Senior Public Prosecutor and Press Officer at the Wuppertal Public Prosecutor’s Office and freelance journalist Wolfram Lumpe.

As part of its bilateral cooperation with Kosovo, the IRZ has already provided various activities on this subject. The aim of the three-day seminar was to give participants a better understanding of the organisation and structure of press and publicity work and to demonstrate, using practical examples, the ideal format for oral and written communications by and with opinion formers.

The topics of the seminar were:

  • the objectives of media work,
  • the interests of media representatives,
  • the authorities’ responsibilities for press announcements and
  • the contents of press announcements, taking the procedural situation into account, in particular as far as the presumption of innocence is concerned (investigative proceedings, court proceedings and information about legally-binding decisions in proceedings).

During the seminar, the participants were given the opportunity of working on practical exercises on the individual areas of press and publicity work. To this end, numerous interviews and press conferences were simulated. The objective here was to demonstrate the correct code of conduct in front of the camera and how to give high quality interviews, the practicalities and division of responsibilities at a press conference and how to give a short but informative statement to media representatives.

The experts evaluated all the interviews recorded by the participants and gave them professional feedback. This feedback related to the content as well as to body language. To provide even more clarity on what a press conference is all about and the mistakes to be avoided, the experts showed video clips of successful and unsuccessful press conferences and TV interviews, which they then discussed with the participants.

The participants showed a great deal of interest and said that they found the seminar very enriching and useful for their everyday work. There are plans to organise a follow-up event in June this year.

Study visit to Germany by a delegation from the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council

The delegation from Kosovo attending talks at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Düsseldorf
The delegation from Kosovo attending talks at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Düsseldorf
Kosovo

On 3 and 4 December 2018, a delegation from the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council visited Düsseldorf and Wuppertal by invitation of the IRZ. The subject of the two-day working visit was press and publicity work at public prosecutor’s offices, courts and police authorities in Germany. The aim of the visit was to allow an exchange between German and Kosovan colleagues, providing them with an insight into the daily work of the German institutions.

The visit began with expert discussions at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Wuppertal, where the delegation was welcomed by Wolf-Tilman Baumert, Senior Public Prosecutor and Press Officer at the Wuppertal Public Prosecutor’s Office. During these expert discussions, the Kosovan guests learned, with the help of practical examples, about subjects including the organisation and structure of the press office, the legal framework for press work in the public prosecutor’s office and crisis management. The participants in the delegation showed a great deal of interest in the subject and took an active part in the discussions.

Another stop on the visit was at the Local and Regional Court of Düsseldorf. Here the guests from Kosovo discussed “Cooperation between the media and justice” with the Presiding Judge and Press Officer for the Regional Court of Düsseldorf, Dr. Elisabeth Stöve.

To look at these topics in more detail, the delegation visited the police headquarters in Neuss and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Düsseldorf on the second day of their visit. Here they discussed:

  • Cooperation between the police and the public prosecutor’s office in the area of publicity work,
  • the authority’s demarcation of powers and crisis communications, looking at various practical examples and controversial cases.
It was very enriching for the Kosovan partners to learn about several different institutions and their press work. The cooperation between the IRZ and the KPC will therefore continue in 2019.

Kosovan delegation on a study visit to Germany to learn about crime prevention and the reintegration of young people

During the meeting with the law enforcement commissioner for the NRW region, Prof. Dr. Michael Kubink (at the end of the table on the right)
During the meeting with the law enforcement commissioner for the NRW region, Prof. Dr. Michael Kubink (at the end of the table on the right)
Kosovo

From 22 to 25 October 2018, Kosovan representatives from various non-governmental organisations and the Deputy Ombudsperson of Kosovo visited Germany to attend talks. The subjects discussed during this study visit, which was organised by the IRZ in partnership with UNICEF Kosovo, were crime prevention and the reintegration of young people in Germany, using the North Rhine-Westphalia region as an example.

The intensive specialist programme was therefore divided into two sections. On the first day, the delegation had the opportunity to find out about the crime prevention programmes and initiatives in the NRW region at talks held at the Ministry of Justice for North Rhine-Westphalia. The Kosovan guests then attended a meeting with the law enforcement commissioner for the NRW region, who is based in Cologne, during which they were able to discuss the roles and responsibilities of this position.

The programme for the second day included visits to three civil society institutions, which play a central role in Cologne in the prevention of violence and in reintegration. The delegation learned about the various roles and framework conditions of these institutions. During talks with the Brücke Köln e.V. association, for example, the large number of non-custodial measures, which are being carried out at various sites in Cologne, were presented. The objective of the association, which acts as an interface between the City of Cologne and the judiciary, is to avoid the arrest of young people. This is also an objective, which is gaining increasing importance in Kosovo.

The main focus at the Förderverein Bewährungshilfe Köln e.V., an association supporting the probation service, was on presenting the concept of the home. The Förderverein provides accommodation in Cologne. Residents can benefit from special deals and the support of an educational team to help them towards independence and living crime-free lives.

To round off this visit, the delegation was given the opportunity to learn about the work of the association called 180 Grad Wende. This association has an impressive concept for developing prospects for a life without violence, both by preventing violence and by working with prisoners.

The delegation was accompanied by former judge Michael Klein who worked for many years as a juvenile court judge at the Local Court of Cologne and who continues to be involved in this field on a voluntary basis.