Ilir Gashi

Ilir Gashi was selected for the 2023 Shortlist with The alternative Balkan postal system.

Ilir Gashi is a journalist, activist, and media development expert based in Belgrade, Serbia. He started working in journalism at the age of 14, initially as a reviewer of computer games. He quit journalism writing in 2002 to initiate the massive human rights/legal literacy program “U pravu si!” [You are right / You have the right] used by hundreds of thousands of school students and citizens in Serbia over the following decade. 

Between 2014 and 2017, Ilir led the Slavko Curuvija Foundation, an organization working in media freedom, sustainability of local media and safety of journalists in Serbia. There he created multiple initiatives, including “Cenzolovka”, a popular portal reporting on all issues relating to freedom of media, and a School of Digital Journalism for young local media journalists. In 2017 he co-initiated the Group for Freedom of Media, gathering hundreds of NGOs, independent media, journalists, activists and citizens to jointly fight the government’s efforts to control the media in Serbia.

Currently, Ilir works with journalists, local media outlets and community-based NGOs all across the Balkans, to help them tell their stories more powerfully. His frequent trips between Belgrade and Pristina in the past couple of years led him to discoveries of people and stories that inspired him to start writing again.