Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence Alumni Network

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The Balkans
2008 - Present

BIRN Hub

The Alumni Network, drawing on the work of the Fellowship, aims to promote the ideas of journalistic excellence and spread the concept of free and professional media throughout the region.

Summary

The project has brought together past fellows of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence since 2008. The Fellowship, which was launched in 2007, provides training and networking for 10 journalists from the region each year, each of whom produces an investigative or analytical article with regional relevance.

Participants come from Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Albania.

The Alumni Network aims to strengthen the professional links between journalists from the region, produce high quality content, and promote excellence and professionalism in the media industry in the Balkans.

The Network holds bi-annual meetings and coordinates cooperative reporting projects between alumni of the Fellowship.

Alumni fellows have participated in some of the most prestigious media and political conferences organised in the region and the EU, and many alumni and fellows have received regional and international awards for they work.

These awards include the Europe Reporting Prize, awarded by the Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies, UACES, CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism and the Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism, as well as the  Daniel Pearl award for international investigative reporting and a TED fellowship for innovation.

Information Sheet

Main Objective:
  • Promoting the ideas of journalistic excellence in its work, spreading the concept of free and professional media throughout the region.

Specific Objectives:

  • Strengthening the professional links between journalists from the region;
  • Production and promotion of high quality content;
  • Promotion of excellence and professionalism in media industry

Main Activities:

  • Bi-annual meetings
  • Reporting projects

Target Groups:

  • Journalists from the Balkans

Highlights:

  • In 2011, two alumni of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence Ivan Angelovski from Belgrade and Marius Cosmeanu from Bucharest – were selected to take part in the prestigious Milena Jesenská Fellowship for Journalists.
  • Stevan Dojčinović, a 2011 fellow from Serbia, received a national award for investigative journalism.
  • Dojčinović and 2008 fellow Stanimir Vaglenov, along with other members of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project team, were awarded the Daniel Pearl award for international investigative reporting.
  • The 2010 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism honoured our 2009 alumni fellow Adrian Mogos, who in the same year also received the CEI – SEEMO award for outstanding merit in investigative journalism.
  • Yana Buhrer Tavanier, a 2009 fellow from Bulgaria, was the first fellow from Southeast Europe to be awarded the prestigious TED fellowship for innovation.
  • Barbara Matejcic, a 2009 fellow from Croatia, was the first Croatian journalist to win the Zagreb Pride award for her coverage of LGBT topics.
  • The short story Zlatka, written by 2009 Croatian fellow Maja Hrgovic, was included in the Best European Fiction 2012 anthology (Dalkey Archive Press) and published in Granta magazine. Shooting for a short movie based on the story is about to begin in Croatia and will be included in the Deep Cuts compilation film.
  • Selvije Bajrami, a 2011 fellow from Kosovo, was awarded first prize by the United Nations Development Programme for reporting on corruption.
  • Romania’s national journalistic competition Superscrieri has given awards to Elena Stancu and Vlad Odobescu, both 2013 fellows of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.
  • Selvije Bajrami was in 2013 awarded for contribution to the fight against the corruption by the UN Development Programme in Kosovo
  • In December 2013 Arbana Xharra, editor of Kosovo daily Zeri, and alumnus of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence was awarded with two awards for her journalistic work during the year. KOHA Group awarded Xharra with ” Rexhai Surroi ” award for journalism for the series of articles “Kosovo alarmed by conservative extremists “, while organization INPO Ferizaj awarded her with the “Stirring Debate” for sparking debate in society on difficult topics, including religious radicalism.
  • Sorana Stanescu, alumnus from Romania, has won the 2013 Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies, UACES award for her article ‘Cheap and Far from Free’ produced through the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence Project
  • Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme and its editor Neil Arun have been nominated for the European Press Prize 2012 in the Innovation Award category for the outstanding innovation of the year.
  • Stevan Dojcinovic, editor of the Centre for Investigative Journalism Serbia and an alumnus of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalism Excellence, has won the 2012 Jug Grizelj award for investigative journalism.
  • Jeton Musliu, an alumnus of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, has won an award for the best culture story published in Kosovo in 2012.
  • Eldin Hadzovic, an alumnus of BIRN’s Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, was honoured by UNICEF for his outstanding contribution to journalism in Bosnia in 2012.