The Summer School of Investigative Reporting, which will be held this year in Croatia’s picturesque coastal village of Mlini from August 23-30, will again put together top journalists and editors for a week-long training programme.
Due to the global pandemic, BIRN has changed its usual programme in order to ensure that health and safety measures are respected. This year’s hybrid programme will include both online and offline sessions.
This year, BIRN is teaming up with journalists and trainers from Lighthouse Reports, an award-winning non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands which leads complex transnational investigations blending traditional journalistic methods with emerging techniques like open source intelligence and specialisms like data science.
For the first time this summer, applicants will have the chance to choose one of four course themes: Arms, Surveillance, Agriculture and Waste. Part of the training programme will be focused on the three themes that attract most interest from the participants.
In the mornings, participants will have joint sessions in hands-on investigative journalism skills, such as open source techniques, financial forensics and data journalism.
In the afternoon sessions, participants will be divided into three groups, depending on the theme they are following. Each group will have its lead trainers and will work with them on specific investigations, covering their group’s topic, applying the skills and techniques acquired during the morning sessions. Specific ideas and story angles, as well as the materials needed, will be prepared prior to the Summer School and participants will receive them during a briefing on the first day.
Work on the investigations is expected to be finalised during the Summer School, with only minor final work to be left for afterwards. Journalists from other media outlets are encouraged to co-publish the investigations originate at the Summer School.
The agenda and a detailed list of trainers will be published in the coming weeks.
We are providing 30 full scholarships for selected participants. This will cover accommodation, meals, as well as transportation expenses of up to 150 euros. Apart from the training, editorial support and mentorship, BIRN will, through our Investigative Initiative Fund, provide participants with fees.
Eligible participants include journalists who have experience in investigative reporting and who have covered the course theme they have chosen. Journalists from the following countries are eligible to apply: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Turkey.
Journalists who had previously participated in our Summer Schools are again eligible to apply.
Since the first Summer School in 2010, BIRN has trained more than 300 journalists from the Balkans and beyond, providing them with financial, editorial, mentorship and publication support. The participants, who are usually a mixture of experienced investigative journalists and those who have only a few years of experience in the field, are also provided with excellent opportunities for networking.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, there is a possibility that some trainers will not be able to come to Croatia, so they will join us online via Zoom. BIRN also aims to undertake all the necessary preventive and protection measures and will inform the participants of COVID-19 related rules and procedures. In case the offline setting is not possible, school will most likely take place online.
The application procedure includes sending a completed application form and CV as well as a sample of your work.
Applications close on June 30.
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