Fellowship Award goes to Bulgarian Journalist

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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 [email protected].