Openness is a defining characteristic of the modern Western world - openness to change and to seeing people and things in a new and different light. Never before have societies appeared so ready to accept phenomena that our parents and grandparents would have kept hidden away as shameful and wrong
Whether it is having a different sexual orientation, sex before marriage, a child outside of marriage, or deciding not to have children, it is now permissible in a world that endorses rather than rejects diversity in terms of lifestyle.
But not all old taboos have fallen by the wayside everywhere, or at the same pace, as this year’s fellows discovered.
In southeast Europe, many traditional prohibitions retain all or much of their sway, allowing thought-provoking comparisons to be drawn between surviving attitudes there and in Western Europe. This year we invited reporters to explore topics related to ideas surrounded by prejudice, silence and shame.
Taboo: Secrecy and Shame in the Balkans is the product of original research of eight journalists selected from South East Europe to participate in 2010 Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, initiated by Robert Bosch Stiftung and ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN. The programme responds with financial and professional support to the growing need in the region to foster quality reporting, encourage networking amongst journalists and advance balanced coverage on complex issues that are central to the region as well as European Union.
Edited by Marcus Tanner
Editorial Team: Marcus Tanner, Gordana Igric, Anita Rice, Ana Petruseva, Albena Shkodrova, Besar Likmeta, Marian Chiriac, Jeta Xharra.
Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence
An initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.
Published in 2010 by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Regional Network, Kosevo 14, 71000 Sarajevo , Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Designed by Milomir Orlovic.
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© Robert Bosch Stiftung, ERSTE Foundation and Balkan Investigative Reporting Regional Network 2010
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Taboos change – rapidly. Homosexuality was once a taboo in Western Europe, as was “living in sin”, [i.e. outside marriage], abortion, childlessness, physical disabilities, atheism and suicide