BIRN Seeks Chief Investigations’ Editor

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Balkan Investigative Regional Reporting Network, BIRN, is looking for a Chief Investigations’ Editor with a wealth of experience in investigative journalism, coordination of journalists and with a strong understanding of current affairs in Southeast and Central Europe.

This remote position is open to any experienced investigative editor from anywhere in the world and is part of one of BIRN’s core programmes, Investigative Reporting Initiative (IRI). IRI is focused on exposing wrongdoings, allegations of bribery and corruption and violations of human rights, among other things, in the Western Balkans and globally, but in relation to the region.

Position – Chief Investigations’ Editor

Terms: Full time

Working Language: English

Experience Level: Minimum five years of editing investigative stories

Start Date: As soon as possible

Deadline to Apply: March 31, 2023

Location: Remote, with the possibility of working from any of BIRN regional offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia

Major duties and responsibilities:

  • Regularly developing investigative story ideas and assigning journalists to work on them;
  • Forming and leading a network of in-house and external investigative journalists to pitch stories and work on programme-related investigations within one or more projects and programmes implemented by BIRN;
  • Maintaining regular contact with journalists who work on investigations (online or offline meetings), providing on the job mentoring, editorial and any other support/assistance;
  • Contributing to/writing investigative stories and other long reads, alone or in conjunction with other editors/investigative journalists;
  • Pre-editing drafts and fully preparing them before sending them to English copy editors;
  • Actively taking part in and organising all programme-related activities, including internship programmes and trainings such as our flagship BIRN Summer School of Investigative Reporting;
  • Reviewing pitches and applications that are part of one or more programmes and projects implemented by BIRN;
  • Communicating with lawyers and arranging legal checks of investigations when necessary;
  • Regular (weekly, monthly and ad hoc) meetings with the Editor-in-Chief of Balkan Insight, editorial staff and with the entire BIRN project/programme staff;
  • Physically attending all offline events that are part of the programme;
  • Contributing to and writing project reports and coordinating other project outputs when needed;
  • Establishing and maintaining regular contacts with prominent investigative regional and international media outlets in a bid to secure cooperation, cross-border collaboration, republishing etc;
  • Working closely with in-house and/or external designers, photographers, cameramen and translators, while preparing stories and other content for publication;
  • Following and implementing trends in investigative journalism.

Other duties and responsibilities:

  • Maintaining appropriate contacts with BIRN country offices and/or personnel, to ensure the proper execution of the above-mentioned duties;
  • Maintaining appropriate contacts with experts (governments, NGOs and other officials), necessary to ensure fact checking of content;
  • Developing a network of sources within the field of coverage;
  • Carrying out any other duties that may reasonably or exceptionally be required to ensure the smooth operation of BIRN’s work, such as substituting for absent colleagues, etc;
  • Preparing input for special web pages and assisting web team monitoring and preparing input – special focus web pages;
  • Keeping track of programme-related activities that are needed for internal/external verification (such as email correspondence, evaluation forms, photos/screenshots, agendas etc);
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Key requirements:

  • Relevant university degree and training
  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience
  • Excellent communication, presentation and leadership skills
  • Deadline-oriented, with strong follow-up and reporting skills
  • Well organised, able to prioritise, goal-oriented and multi-tasker
  • The ability to be proactive and take initiative
  • Ability to work with and manage cross-border teams consisting of different nationalities and different profiles of journalists
  • Efficient in managing and sub-editing copy
  • Understanding of law and ethics in relation to publishing and broadcasting in Southeast and Central Europe
  • A highly developed and authoritative judgement of news and current affairs
  • Good writing skills
  • Exceptional research skills
  • Excellent written and oral skills in English and at least one of the regional languages

How to apply?

To apply for this position, please use the online form from this link.

The call for applications will be active until March 31, 2023.

Only shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview. All candidates will receive information on the status of their application. The selected candidate should start work as soon as possible.


BIRN Hub is a nongovernmental organisation, a part of the Regional BIRN Network, working in the field of media development, promoting freedom of speech, human rights and democratic values in Southern and Eastern Europe. BIRN has local organisations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia, while the Network is editorially also present in Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. More information at BIRN is dedicated to promoting and achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and ethnicity, and so we encourage individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and people with disabilities to apply.

Investigative Reporting Initiative is one of our core programmes dedicated to exposing wrongdoings of powerful individuals and private and public organisations linked to people in power through investigative work. In the previous years, BIRN has won a number of national, regional and international awards for its ground-breaking investigations, such as: EU Award for Investigative Journalism in Montenegro for a story about the family of the fugitive former politician Svetozar Marovic; Investigative Writing Award at the first-ever Irish Food Writing Award in Dublin, looking  into low pay, long hours and poor working conditions of Eastern European workers in Ireland, on which BIRN collaborated with Irish investigative platform Noteworthy; Ibrahim Rexhepi Prize for Economic Journalism by the Kosovo Journalists’ Association and EU Award for Investigative Journalism in Kosovo for the investigation Unclean Energy: The Kosovar Who Would Own the Sun; a Special Recognition given by Global Investigative Journalism Network, GIJN, and the Independent Association of  Journalists of Serbia best online investigation for the series of investigations Making a Killing; the Forum on the Arms Trade award for the best article for the story The Pentagon’s $2.2 Billion Soviet Arms Pipeline Flooding Syria; the EU Investigative Journalism Award in Serbia for the investigation Veselinovic-linked Consortium Bags 75m Dollar Contract in Secret Deal. In October 2020 Reporters Without Borders Austria honoured BIRN for its courageous investigative journalism in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, as well as for its dedication to the fight for human rights, democracy and justice for the victims of war crimes, awarding the organisation the Press Freedom Award – A Signal for Europe.

A large part of our work is devoted to training new generations of journalists – especially those interested in investigative journalism – in the Balkans and beyond. In this regard, the flagship project is BIRN Summer School of Investigative Reporting – an annual, week-long training programme aiming to improve investigative and reporting skills of journalists from SEE and CE. It focuses on key global trends in investigative journalism and is a much-sought opportunity for reporters beyond the aforementioned regions. The trainers are some of the best known women and men investigative editors and journalists in the world,- Kai Bierman (Die Zeit), Simon Bowers (Finance Uncovered), Meg Kelly and Sarah Cahlan (The Washington Post), Alexandra Heal and Max Harlow (Financial Times), Maximilian Popp (Der Spiegel), Michael Montgomery (Reveal, The Centre for Investigative Reporting), Leone Hadavi (Mynamar Witness), the Lighthouse Reports team, Frederik Obermaier (Süddeutsche Zeitung), Olaf Sundermeyer (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg), Blake Morison, (Reuters), Sheila Coronel (Professor and Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia University), Christoph Koettl, (New York Times), Christiaan Triebert (Bellingcat) and others. The vast majority of the trainers have won a number of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, British Press Awards, George Polk awards for Financial Journalism, Robert Whittington Award for Exceptional Reporting, North Gate Award for Excellence in Documentary Production, Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, the Private Eye Paul Foot Award for Investigative Journalism, Grimme Online Awards and more. More information about the previous two Summer Schools that were part of the ADA project can be found on the following links: Summer School 2021 and Summer School 2022.

We are also focused on freedom of information and transparency in the Balkans, which is why we track these important spheres in our annual reports and work with relevant regional and international stakeholders.