Speakers on the Fifth Session of the Sofia Platform 2013

The Fourth Estate in Times of Transition: Role and Impact of the Arab Media of Today

Speaker Biographies:

Remzi Lani, Executive Director of the Albanian Media Institute (Albania)

Remzi Lani is Executive Director of the Albanian Media Institute in Tirana. He is author of various articles on Balkan affairs for different local and foreign papers and magazines such as: “El Mundo” Madrid, “The Guardian” London, Quimera Barcelona, The International Spectator Rome, Futuribili Trieste, Fokus Skopje, Vreme Belgrade, Osllobogjenie Sarajevo, Monitor Podgorica, War Report London, Transition-Prague, Transition-Brussels. Remzi was the First President of the South East Network of Media Centers and Media Institutes, which brings together 17 Media Institutes/ Media Centers from SEE. He is member of the Steering Committee of GFMD (Global Forum for Media Development), member of the Board of WAN-IFRA, representative of Albania at the Bureau of IPDC-UNESCO, member of the Board of Balkan Trust for Democracy. He has worked on media projects in countries like Yemen, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Bosnia, Armenia etc. He was a guest lecturer at Klagenfurt University, Ottawa University, and Windhoek Polytechnic. His latest publication is “Balkan media: lost in transition”.

Lina Attalah, Editor in chief of Mada Masr (Egypt)

Lina Attalah is chief editor of Mada Masr, a Cairo-based news website. Formerly she was the chief editor of Egypt Independent and has covered Egypt extensively for a decade. Her journalism also took her to Sudan, Tunisia, Lebanon and most recently, Syria, Iran and Gaza. She has also led research projects around access to knowledge and migration.

Zied el-Heni, Journalist and Blogger (Tunisia)

Zeid El Heni is a Chief Editor in the Assahafa Newspaper (National Arabic Daily), and the President of the Tunisian Organization to Protect Journalists. Zeid studied physics, law and journalism. He is an active participant in the current strikes in Tunis. He was arrested after the strike on the 13th of September for accusing the public prosecutor of fabricating evidence implicating a cameraman in an egg-throwing attack on a minister, prompting a union call to strike. Heni was a fierce critic of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia’s former strongman toppled in Tunisia’s mass uprising in January 2011 that unleashed the Arab Spring. But he was never imprisoned, despite constant police harassment. Zeid El Heni is also well-known for his blog: http://journaliste-tunisien-110.blogspot.com, which was censored during the regime of Ben Ali . The last censored post in January 13th 2011, under the title: „The jasmine Revolution“.

Mariya Stoyanova, Member of the Council for Electronic Media (Bulgaria)

Maria Stoyanova has worked in the media since 1995. Her career started at the national Darik radio. While studing at the European Journalism Academy in Austria, she worked as a correspondent for Darik radio in Austria. From 2000 to 2001, for the period of 6 months she worked at the German Bundestag as an assistant to Rita Süssmuth, the longtime Bundestag’s president and to Dirk Niebel, Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development in the last cabinet of Angela Merkel. Ms. Stoyanova has numerous trainings in German and Austrian media. In August 2003, Maria has joined the big family of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT). In February 2004 she became the bureau chief and foreign correspondent for the Bulgarian National Television in Berlin. For 8 years and a half she covered and analyzed the events in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Poland. She is the author of 7 documentary movies.

Igor Janke, Author and Journalist (Poland)

Igor Janke is the president of Freedom Institute, an independent Polish think tank and partner at Bridge, a communication consultancy company. He is a co-owner and chief of the biggest Polish blogger platform Salon24.pl, which gathers well known journalists, scientists, politicians as well as a few thousands of ordinary people commenting the public life in their blogs. He had interviewed President Barack Obama for Salon24.pl. Igor used to work as a political reporter and cultural editor at “Zycie Warszawy” and deputy chief editor of the daily newspaper “Express Wieczorny”. He was the chief editor of the Polish News Agency and political editor of “Rzeczpospolita”, a conservative daily newspaper. Igor was the anchor of a few political TV and radio shows. He is author of two books about the Polish political scene and biography of Viktor Orban.

The session will be moderated by Adelina Marini, Editor in chief of euinside (Croatia)

Adelina Marini is a Bulgarian journalist, founder of the www.euinside.eu website on EU politics and economy. She has followed the accession process of Bulgaria to the EU and has a special focus on the enlargement process of the countries from the region of the Western Balkans and Turkey. Currently, she is stationed in Zagreb, Croatia to monitor closely Croatia’s EU accession and its impact on the region. Adelina Marini has been a journalist for most of her life, starting her career in the Bulgarian National Radio. She regularly teaches MAs of international journmalism how to report on the EU at the Sofia University.