BIRN Kosovo has opened a new call for applications for its first two-day training course on investigative reporting and fact-checking, as part of the EU-funded project ‘Strengthening Quality News and Independent Journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey II’.
In recent years, fake news and orchestrated disinformation campaigns have had a geopolitical influence, affecting elections in established and nascent democracies and undermining the response to global challenges including the COVID-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine. The endemic worldwide phenomena of fake news and disinformation have plagued Western Balkan countries in recent years as well.
The war in Ukraine has increased the volume of fake news circulating on social networks as various countries seek to extend their influence in the region. The Ukraine war aside, local media outlets in the region have seized opportunities to spread misinformation, particularly in the context of relations between the Western Balkan countries.
Both fact-checking and the framing of information in the correct social context are rarely applied in the region, while journalism degrees do not offer courses in this field. As a result, journalists are not aware of the latest standards in fact-checking or new methods that platforms such as Facebook or others use in the fight against fake news.
As one of the only media organisations in Kosovo that is part of the International Fact-Checking Network, the mission of BIRN Kosovo is to extend its fact-checking policies and knowledge to other national and regional media outlets.
This training course will help tackle fake news and unverified reporting by helping journalists learn how to spot fake news and provide verified information that adheres to journalistic standards. The knowledge delivered will be of a practical nature and will draw on the unique experiences of journalists who have successfully developed such skills in similar environments.
BIRN will invite different regional and international media professionals to administer the training course and share their knowledge and experience with the participants.
Following the training, participants will have the opportunity to be part of a fellowship for writing articles on cross-border investigations and fact-checking.
Who can apply?
Final-year journalism students, recent graduates, and young and professional journalists from the Western Balkan countries including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia may apply for the course.
Candidates from across the region are encouraged to apply. However, the number of participants is limited and we will give priority to younger journalists with less experience in the described field.
How to apply?
All applications should be submitted in English before September 15, 2023, at midnight Central European Time to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the following documents:
- Applicant’s CV
- Work Sample
- Motivation Letter
Applicants who do not have any published work can submit their student assignments from practical courses in journalism. The motivation letter should provide information regarding the applicants’ opinion and knowledge on the topic and should not exceed 400 words.
The training will be held in English.
The training will take place in North Macedonia. Details regarding the specific location, agenda and accommodation will only be provided to selected participants.
Deadline for applications: 12:00, Central European Time, on September 15, 2023
Date of the training course: October 2023
Travel costs and accommodation will be covered by BIRN.