Opening Seminar kicks off in Berlin

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The Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme 2010 has been launched this Monday, April 26th, at the opening dinner attended by this year’s fellows and representatives of the Robert Bosh Foundation, Erste Foundation and BIRN.

In the course of the next five days, fellows will be introduced to the programme and the chosen topics of interest to the Balkans and the EU, such as demography and taboos related to population policy, or German Foreign policy towards Balkans. Also, they will receive practical tips from Fellowship programme editors related to their work on the projects, individually tailored assistance, insight to fact-checking, its importance and methodology, and in possibilities for on line presentation of their stories and multiplication their impact.

At the first day of the introductory seminar, fellows got to know each other through the bonding session, reflecting upon their careers, the motivation that brought them to the programme, their ambitions and personal interests. They were also introduced to the Fellowship programme stages, procedures and their obligations towards the programme, as well as the assistance that will be given to them throughout their work.  Practical guidelines related to planning, research and the writing were presented by BIRN regional director and editor in chief Gordana Igric. Head of the Berlin biro of the Robert Bosch Foundation, Sandra Breka, introduced fellows to the Foundation – host of the introductory seminar. The presentation included an overview of their work, programmatic areas and the life and philanthropic interest of its founder, Mr. Robert Bosch.

Nine fellows have been chosen to participate in the fourth year of the Fellowship programme, expressing enthusiasm for their work which will start immediately after the seminar, with three months of research, during which they will travel to neighboring countries and to the EU, exploring different aspects of their projects.

Unfortunately, Croatian journalist Rober Tomic  Zuber, had to give up on his participation in this year’s programme due to his busy schedule and numerous obligations towards his employer.