April 11, 2018 Faces

Katarina Subasic, a Journalist Running for her Life

The illustrious journalist explains how she got bitten by the marathon bug at almost 50  – and never looked back.

In the autumn of 2012, Subasic picked up her own sneakers and drove to Kosutnjak, a park in Belgrade, and her running career took off. Photo: Courtesy of Katarina Subasic

Alexis Traussi

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“It was not me finding journalism as a career, it was journalism that found me in high school,” Katarina Subasic explains at her desk, facing three computers open to a variety of screens related to her work.

Since she was 16, Subasic, now 52, has had an illustrious career as a journalist.

She started on the streets, reporting on prices at the Kalenic market in Belgrade’s Vracar nighbourhood, and worked her way up to serious political journalism during the wars of the 1990s.

“I covered pretty much everything you could imagine was happening in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, so [Slobodan] Milosevic’s rise to power, his rule, the protests against him, political negotiations, the wars in Bosnia, Kosovo and Croatia,” she recalls.

When NATO started bombing Serbia in 1999, Subasic was spending a semester at NYU through an international programme, Journalists in Residence. She had to cut it short because her family and children were still in Belgrade at the time. She later joined Agence France-Presse, AFP, until the end of the war.

“But then I simply stayed, and I love being here and working here,” she notes.

In the 1990s, she also joined the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, which assisted journalists who were being arrested by the authorities in Serbia during the bombing campaign. “It was another invaluable experience,” she says, quietly.

With such a impressive career, you might think she has no time for much else, but, aged 46, Subasic started on a new path: running.

“I never ran in my life because as a kid I had a spine problem and I had to have surgery when I was 21. So I never ran; I used to go skiing, I was in a few other sports, I was going to the gym since I was in my early thirties or something,” she explains.

Everything changed when her first daughter moved away to the US to attend college.

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Belgrade Insight to be integrated into Balkan Insight

After a 265 issue run, Belgrade Insight, BIRN’s bi-weekly Belgrade-focused English-language newspaper, printed its last paper edition on Friday 21 December, 2018. 

In its decade-long life since 2008, Belgrade Insight sought to bring quality journalism to its readers and subscribers.

Belgrade Insight covered political and economic developments in Serbia, but also told stories about people, businesses and events which shaped a unique and multi-faceted city like Belgrade.

In addition to detailed analysis and coverage of political, economic and business affairs, Belgrade Insight provided its readers with everything that expatriates, short-term visitors and local residents need to know in order to enjoy this great city.

It the past decade, it saw many changes in Serbia’s political and cultural climate: from the deep recession of early 2010s to Serbia’s candidate status in the EU, through Belgrade’s first Eurovision song contest and re-opening of city’s museums.

Although Belgrade Insight will no longer be printed, BIRN journalists and associates will continue their coverage of Belgrade and Serbia through the Balkan Insight website.

For any questions or refunds contact Snezana Caricic (snezana.caricic@birn.eu.com)