- foster quality reporting,
- initiate regional networking among journalists and
- advance balanced coverage on topics that are central to the region as well as to the EU
Through its Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme, BIRN works within the region to foster quality reporting, initiate regional networking among journalists and advance balanced coverage on topics that are central to the region as well as to the EU.
The programme provides training and networking for 10 journalists from the region every year, each of whom produces an investigative or analytical article with regional relevance.
Fellowship journalists receive training and editorial support from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network’s team of editors, as well as a bursary of €2,000 and additional travel and research funding of up to €2,000.
The reporters attend seminars in Vienna and in the region, and enjoy extensive republication of their articles in regional and international print and online media, as well as a chance to win monetary awards.
Fellows are given a unique opportunity to network with other fellows, alumni and international experts.
This programme is very competitive and receives more than 100 applications annually, while the number of republications of the participants' articles has grown every year, reaching an average of 500 republications in the region and abroad.
BIRN promotes the journalists and their work, securing public recognition and increasing the visibility of the programme.
In addition, the BIRN team strengthens the Alumni network through bi-annual meetings and a small grants scheme for quality content production.
Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence was initiated in 2007 by ERSTE Foundation and Robert Bosch Stiftung, in cooperation with BIRN.
Since 2014 it is supported by the ERSTE Foundation and Open Society Foundations, while the Robert Bosch Stiftung remains committed to the development of the programme alumni initiative.