Fellowship Book to be Launched Throughout the Balkans

A series of articles recently produced by ten journalists participating in this year’s Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, highlighting the need for better movement of people, goods and ideas in the Balkans, is to be launched over the next two weeks in capital cities throughout the region.

Starting with a reception on November 28 in Belgrade, the fellows and their mentors will present the book Moving On: Overcoming Barriers to a European Future at nine events hosted by the Balkan Investigative reporting Network, BIRN. Members of the media and organisations working on themes related to European integration are invited to attend the events, which will also take place in Buchurest, Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Tirana and Zagreb.

The book reflects in-depth research conducted by fellows on the existence and impact of a range of obstacles to political, economic and social development. Articles feature topics as diverse as criminal justice, environmental threats and sport and culture policy, as well as visa regimes, labour flows and the politics of transport.
 
The Fellowship programme, an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and ERSTE Foundation, provides financial and professional support for quality reporting, regional networking among journalists and balanced coverage on an annual theme, selected for its significance in the Balkan region and the EU. Fellows are given practical, professional support by the programme’s local partner, BIRN, a regional network of media development organisations and publisher of Balkan Insight.
 
Moving On is published by BIRN, online in English, German, Albanian, Bulgarian, Bosnian/Croatian, Macedonian, Romanian and Serbian at http://fellowship.birn.eu.com/movingon .
 
For information on the programme, upcoming events, or how to republish and cite reports, contact Anna McTaggart, Fellowship Programme Manager & Editor, on anna@birn.eu.com or tel. +381 11 303 7809.

Fellowship Award goes to Bulgarian Journalist

Nikoleta Popkostadinova, 24, has won the first Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence award for her article on Roma employment.

Jobs Boom in Bulgaria leaves Roma Behind takes a fresh angle on the issue of Roma exclusion, highlighting economic as opposed to human rights arguments for mobilising the beleaguered community out of its poverty trap.

Members of the Fellowship’s Selection Committee – whose members are Alexandra Foderl-Schmid, editor-in-chief of Austrian daily Der Standard, Drago Hedl, editor of Croatian weekly Feral Tribune, Gordana Igrić, director of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Gerald Knaus, president of the European Stability Initiative, Remzi Lani, director of the Albanian Media Institute, Christiane Schlotzer, deputy foreign editor of the Suddeutsche Zeitung, and Wolfgang Wahner-Schmidt, Editor Europe for Reuters – recognised the originality of this approach to covering Roma deprivation, as well as the quality of research and writing.

Popkostadinova, who works for the Kapital weekly, covering social affairs, receives an award of 8000 euros, to spend on professional development.

The award was presented at a seminar in Berlin, hosted by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and attended by all ten fellows. Runners up were Milorad Ivanović, for Rich States Poach Former Yugoslavia’s Sporting Talents, and Davor Konjikušić, for Sound of Music Heals Wounds in former Yugoslavia.

The seminar also marked the launch of a book featuring all fellows’ articles. Moving On: Overcoming Balkan Barriers to a European Future shall be distributed in the coming weeks at events to be held throughout Southeast Europe, and is also available online at http://fellowship.birn.eu.com/movingon.

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.

To find out more about the programme, visit fellowship.birn.eu.com, or contact programme manager & editor Anna McTaggart on anna@birn.eu.com.

Ten New Reports Highlight Need to Ease Balkan Mobility

A series of reports by group of journalists from Southeast Europe was launched today, highlighting the need for better movement of people, goods and ideas to expedite development of the Balkan region and its European integration.

Moving On: Overcoming Balkan Barriers to a European Future provides new insight into the existence and impact of a range of obstacles on political, economic and social issues, through topics as diverse as criminal justice, environmental threats and sport and culture policy, as well as visa regimes, labour flows and the politics of transport.

The ten articles, representing the culmination of months of research within the Balkan region and European Union, were written by journalists selected from throughout Southeast Europe to participate in the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.

The programme was initiated this year by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and ERSTE Foundation to provide financial and professional support for quality reporting, regional networking among journalists and balanced coverage on complex reform issues that are central to the Balkan region, as well as to the EU.

The fellows were given practical, professional support by the programme’s local partner, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, a regional network of media development organisations and publisher of Balkan Insight. Moving On is published by BIRN, online and in a special book edition. Versions of the reports are available in English, German, Albanian, Bulgarian, Bosnian/Croatian, Macedonian, Romanian and Serbian.

Link to reports: http://fellowship.birn.eu.com/movingon

For additional information, including on how to republish and cite reports, go to http://fellowship.birn.eu.com/movingon/publishing.html, or contact Anna McTaggart, Programme Manager & Editor, anna@birn.eu.com

Balkan Journalism Fellows Present their Articles in Berlin

Ten journalists participating in the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence travelled to Berlin on November 13 to present the results of individual research and writing projects carried out as part of the 2007 programme.

The fellows, who are from throughout the Balkan region, shall attend a five-day seminar, marking the publication of reports they produced with the programme’s financial and professional support. The series of reports, which feature topics related to the mobility of people, goods and ideas in the Balkans, is entitled “Moving On: Overcoming Balkan Barriers to a European Future.” It is to be distributed both in the Balkans and throughout Europe in a special book edition, via the Balkan Insight email newsletter, as well as appearing online – in eight languages – at fellowship.birn.eu.com/movingon/ .

On the basis of these reports, the Fellowship’s Selection Committee, comprising journalists and experts from throughout Europe, shall award one fellow with financial support to develop his or her professional skills. The award shall be announced on Friday, November 16.

The seminar’s programme also features discussions with Berlin-based experts on a variety of issues current in the Balkans and Europe as a whole, including the geopolitics of energy supply, demographic changes and religious coexistence, as well as a visit to the German foreign ministry.

The event is organised and hosted by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, which ,with the ERSTE Foundation, initiated the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence. The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, the programme’s partner in the region, provided professional support to the fellows during their research, and produced the Moving On publication.

For more information on the programme, and to read the fellows’ articles, visit fellowship.birn.eu.com. For copies of the publication, contact Fellowship Programme Manager & Editor, Anna McTaggart, on anna@birn.eu.com.

Balkan Journalism Fellow Participates in Exit Debate

Davor Konjikusic, one of the ten journalists engaged in this year’s Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence participated in a panel discussion on Friday, July 13, at Novi Sad’s Exit Festival. The debate, which addressed issues such as student travel in EU and the Western Balkans and the availability of EU educational programmes for Balkan countries applying for EU membership, was organised by the Citizens’ Pact for Southeast Europe, EXIT and the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe.

Other speakers at the Friday night event, which was moderated by Goran Svilanovic of the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe, included:
Janez Potocnik, EU Commissioner for Science and Research
Marijana Grandits, Stability Pact for Southeast Europe
Ana Pesikan, Minister of science in the Serbian government
Jelena Kleut, University of Novi Sad

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. To find out more about the programme and to read the fellows’ blogs, visit fellowship@birn.eu.com, or contact programme manager Anna McTaggart on anna@birn.eu.com.

Fellows Start Blogging

Research on aspects of Balkan mobility, conducted by ten journalists participating in the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, can be tracked via a new blog section on the programme’s website. As the fellows report at home and abroad, they are to write about their experiences and impressions on their individual pages, posting also photographs and short films. Journalists interested in applying in future years for the Fellowship should find these accounts particularly interesting and informative.

2007’s fellows’ reports, to be completed later this year, will form the basis for selecting one fellow to receive a further award of an opportunity for professional development.

For more information about the fellowship programme, and to read the latest blogs, please visit its website, fellowship.birn.eu.com.

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.

First Fellowship Seminar Concluded in Vienna

The first seminar for ten journalists selected for 2007’s Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence was held from 27-31 May in Vienna.

The seminar was organised by the Erste Foundation and hosted by the Fellowship’s Austrian Media Partner, the Vienna-based Der Standard newspaper.

Over these four days, the fellows from Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia, attended group and individual sessions where they discussed the reporting they are to undertake as part of the programme. Training also helped journalists to sharpen their professional approach to research and writing and to improve their understanding of European affairs.

In addition, the fellows were given the opportunity to meet journalists and editors from Der Standard newspaper and Der Standard online, while presentations related to the topics of their research were given by experts and politicians from The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, Institute for Human Sciences, Erste Bank, European Stability Initiative and Citizens’ Pact for Southeast Europe.

Over the next few months, the fellows will hold individual research trips to other countries in the region and to the EU, followed by a seminar and award ceremony in Berlin in November.

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.

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, anna@birn.eu.com.

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.