Marija Šajkaš

Marija Šajkaš is a U.S. based writer, media expert, and human rights advocate whose work focuses on freedom of expression, safety of journalists, and the state of media in the U.S. and the Balkans. She is a founder of 4 Better Media and, since 2018, a curator of Freedom of Speech block at the Queens World Film Festival.

Some of her recent appearances include presenting at The Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Violence Against Women Journalists, hosted by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Office of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, the United Nations Population Fund and the International Association of Women in Radio and Television, New York City, USA, 13th March 2020; Invited expert participant and the presenter at the OSCE’s two-year-long project of mapping the Safety of Female Journalists Online OSCE, focusing on the treatment of female journalists in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Kosovo, Vienna, Austria, 2018-2019, Contributor to OSCE Chairmanship Conference Freedom of the Media in the Western Balkans, presented key findings for Serbia, Vienna, Austria, 2017. Selected consultancies and past work include legal research for Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University, New York City, The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism CUNY, Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders, Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affair in New York City, and Institute for War, Piece and Media Reporting.

Before that Sajkas was the Head of Development and Operations for Media Diversity Institute –USA, the Advocacy Manager for New York Immigration Coalition, a Press Officer for The International Committee of the Red Cross, and a Deputy-Editor-in-Chief of The Bridges Magazine, the first media outlet distributed in post-war Bosnia, produced by the United Nations, SFOR Forces.

She was a consultant for the documentary Common Ground: Survivors- A conversation between communities (2019), in which survivors of the Holocaust and Sino-Japanese war are finding similarities in perseverance, and co-author of Missing- the Right to Know (2003), a documentary that chronicles lives of families who are looking for their loved ones in mass graves. Her novel Esther Jovanovich's Scrapbook (Klett, 2013), historical fiction situated in the time before WW2, explores topics such as the fatality of love, multiple forces of immigration, and unlocked secrets from a letter found between strings of a grand piano. Marija Sajkas holds M.S. in International Affairs, with a concentration in Culture and Media Studies, from The New School University in New York, and a B.S. in Serbian Language and Literature from the University of Belgrade.