Greetings From Belgrade


It’s Monday morning here in Belgrade, where I am attending the International Press Institute’s World Congress & 57th General Assembly, as Josh mentions below.

I staggered in late Sunday evening, after an eventful series of four flights that bounced me from the States to London and then to Munich, before finally arriving in Belgrade sans luggage. To give you some sense of what bad weather in Atlanta can do for air travel, my best available connection to Belgrade at one point appeared to be via Dubai, of all places. I talked the airline down off that ledge.

The big news in Europe is Euro 08, the soccer tournament. But George Bush is also here. In London Sunday he was greeted by protesters who scuffled with police.

The big news in Serbia is Kosovo. My arrival here coincided with a new constitution taking effect Sunday in recently independent Kosovo, which further aggrieved Serbia.

President Boris Tadić spoke at the opening of the IPI conference (before my belated arrival) and not surprisingly rejected the new constitution: “Serbia sees Kosovo as her southern province and defends her integrity by peaceful means, with diplomacy, and not force.”

I hope to write more later on the Serbia-Kosovo tensions. In the meantime I must finish preparing for my panel this morning, New Media: New Opportunities, New Threats, moderated by Roy Greenslade who, among other endeavors, blogs for the UK’s Guardian. Joining me on the panel will be Dejan Restak, the website director for B92 in Belgrade, and Christoph Schultheis, a founder of BILDblog in Berlin.

With my luggage en route from Paris, I’m afraid I’ll do nothing today to dispel the stereotype of the grungy blogger.


David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.