Vienna Hosts First Fellowship Seminar

Ten journalists selected for 2007’s Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence will be introduced to the programme next week at a seminar in Vienna. The event, organised by the Erste Foundation and hosted by the Fellowship’s Austrian media partner, Der Standard, runs from 27-31 May.

Over these four days, the fellows, who hail from all over the Balkans, shall get to know one another, as well as the components of the Fellowship programme, its staff, activities and procedures.

Group and individual training sessions shall help to hone their professional approach to research and writing and improve their understanding of European affairs, while meetings with a variety of journalists, editors, experts and politicians should inspire new approaches to understanding the topics they have chosen to research over the next few months, and provide them with an insight into the way in which media work in the European Union.

Click here to see the full schedule for the Vienna seminar.

More information on the Fellowship programme can be found on its website.

The Fellowship is an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Erste Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN.

Fellowships Awarded to 10 Balkan Journalists

The Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence was awarded on May 14 to ten journalists from around Southeast Europe, following their selection from over 80 applications received.

The chosen journalists are: Bogdan Asaftei from Romania, Sokol Ferizi from Kosovo, Milorad Ivanovic from Serbia, Davor Konjikusic from Croatia, Nikoleta Popkostadinova from Bulgaria, Nenad Radicevic from Serbia, Altin Raxhimi from Albania, Polina Slavcheva from Bulgaria, Bojana Stanisic from Montenegro and Eleonora Veninova from Macedonia.

They will participate until the end of the year in an intensive programme of training, research and reporting, beginning with a week-long seminar in Vienna on May 27. Information on their experiences will be regularly posted on the Fellowship’s website.

For more information about the Fellowship, contact programme manager Anna McTaggart, [email protected].

The Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence is an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

Fellowship Gets German and Austrian Media Partners

Journalists selected to participate in the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence will benefit from the involvement of two leading European newspapers in the programme.

Austrian daily Der Standard and German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung have kindly agreed to become the programme’s partners, offering fellows guidance and support at Fellowship seminars and during their research.

For more information, visit the Fellowship’s website

The Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence is an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

Fellowship Selection Committee Appointed

A committee has been appointed to judge applications for the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence and select up to ten journalists to participate in the 2007 programme. Later this year, based on the results of fellows’ research and reporting activities, it will make one journalist a special award to allow further professional development.

The committee’s permanent members, representing media in the Balkans and the European Union, are Alexandra Föderl-Schmid, editor-in-chief of the Austrian daily , Der Standard, Drago Hedl, editor of the Croatian weekly, Feral Tribune, Gordana Igric, director and editor-in-chief of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Remzi Lani, executive director of the Albanian Media Institute, Christiane Schlötzer, deputy editor, foreign desk, of the German daily , Süddeutsche Zeitung and Wolfgang Wähner-Schmidt, editor-in-chief of Reuters Germany. This year’s expert member is Gerald Knaus, president of the European Stability Initiative.

For more information, visit the Fellowship’s website http://fellowship.birn.eu.com/selection-committee/.

The results of the selection shall be made public on May 14.

The Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence is an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

Fellowship Selection Committee to Judge Applications

Following the close on April 27 of the 2007 call for applications to the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, its selection committee is set to choose up to ten journalists to participate in this year’s programme.

The selection committee consists of six permanent members from the media community in the Balkans, Austria and Germany, as well as one annual member, who is an expert on this year’s Fellowship theme – MOBILITY. For more information on the committee, click here.

The results of the selection shall be announced on May 14 at fellowship.birn.eu.com. Click here to view the criteria for selection.
For more information, contact the Fellowship’s programme manager-editor, Anna McTaggart, on [email protected].

The Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence is an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

BIRN to Run New Balkan Journalism Fellowship

A new fellowship programme for young journalists in the Balkans was launched on 19 March 2007, giving ten reporters annually the chance to research in-depth articles for a special publication. The Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence is an initiative of the the Robert Bosch Stiftung and ERSTE Foundation, which will be run in cooperation with BIRN.

Journalists under the age of 35 from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania or Serbia, are encouraged to submit research proposals on this year’s theme – MOBILITY.

Successful applicants will participate in the fellowship programme, which features an introductory seminar in Vienna, supervision and mentoring from local editors, individual research trips to another country of the region and the EU, and a concluding seminar and award ceremony in Berlin.

They will receive a fellowship of 2000 Euros and a travel allowance of up to 2000 Euros, while the programme’s selection committee, composed of local and European journalists and experts, will award one fellow with an individually-tailored opportunity for further professional development, to the value of 8000 euros.

Fellows’ reports will be published at the end of the year in all local languages, English and German.

Applications must be received no later than 27 April 2007. For more information, application forms and guidelines, go to fellowship.birn.eu.com or contact Fellowship Programme Manager Anna McTaggart on [email protected].

BIRN Doc Screened in Washington DC

The BIRN documentary “Kosovo: Does Anyone Have a Plan?” was screened at the US Institute for Peace in Washington DC on October 27.

The film was followed by a discussion led by Daniel Server, head of USIP. Gordana Igric, BIRN Regional Director, Jeta Xharra, BIRN Kosovo Director and Nerma Jelacic, BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina Director, responded to questions from the audience.

Sixty people attended the screening and subsequent discussion, which addressed subjects such as the current political climate in Kosovo and Serbia, the ongoing status talks, and possible status scenarios.

BIRN Documentary screened at Columbia University

The TV documentary Does Anyone Have a Plan, produced by BIRN, was screened at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University in New York on October 23.

The screening was followed by lively panel discussion in the hall packed with students and others interested in the issue of Kosovo’s final status. Gordana Igric, BIRN Regional Network director, Jeta Xharra, Kosovo BIRN director and Nerma Jelacic, Bosnia and Herzegovina BIRN director answered on subjects ranging from the impact of Serbia’s new constitution and possible consequences of the delays in resolving final status of Kosovo.

“Does anyone have a plan?” at The Red House in Sofia

A dedicated group of journalists and intellectuals attended the premiere of the documentary film “Does Anyone Have a Plan?” at the Red House in Sofia on Friday night.

The turnout showed the depth of Bulgarian interest in the political dilemma of Kosovo.

Star TV host Georgi Koritarov moderated a question-and-answer session after excerpts from the film were shown. Gordana Igric, development and editorial director of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, Jeta Xarra of BIRN-Kosovo, award winning director Lode Desmet and Albena Shkodrova of BIRN-Bulgaria answered questions from the public.

“I want to thank the creators of this film,” said political analyst Deyan Kyuranov. “This is one of the very few documentaries I have seen that is really not tailored to please the international community. In this particular case [of Kosovo], it is very important that we hear the message of the people”.

The Bulgarian Telegraph Agency, national, international and regional radio-stations, and other press organizations covered the event.

bTV will broadcast a shortened version of “Does Anyone Have a Plan?” in early February. Other media and public-interest organizations are also expected to screen the documentary.

“Does Anyone Have a Plan” Premieres in Skopje, Macedonia

More than 400 guests attended the Skopje premiere of the documentary film “Does Anyone Have a Plan” at the Cinema Millennium on Monday, January 30.

Guests included the Austrian, British, Dutch, Swiss and US ambassadors, diplomats from dozen embassies as well as politicians, officials, editors, journalists, representatives from international organizations, including EUPAT, NATO, OSCE and ICRC.

“The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network has managed to achieve something that the media in the region have failed to accomplish – to give a realistic picture of the reasons and the consequences of the disintegration of Yugoslavia which started and is ending with the Kosovo problem,” said Liljana Jakovleska, editor of Macedonian National Radio.

Thammy Evans, political advisor at NATO headquarters, also applauded the documentary. “A very well presented film, a very interesting use of putting side-by-side the questions of everyday people and presenting them to politicians in power,” Evans said. “A timely exposure of the different views out there and how we need to move with a dialogue of all the stakeholders.”

Chanel 5 TV and A1 TV carried extensive reports on the event while Ana Petruseva was a guest in the main A1TV news. All major papers carried reports, including Weekly Forum .

“The film was well received by the audience and send off with an applause. It is interesting that the film manages to maintain its objectivity.” wrote Suncica Unevska in Utrinski Vesnik.