About the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence

Journalists from the Balkans are increasingly required to cover complex reform issues, taking in a regional and Europe-wide dimension. The fellowship provides editorial guidance, training and adequate funding to do so.

In order to encourage regional networking among journalists and advance balanced coverage on topics that are central to the region as well as to the European Union, the ERSTE Foundation and the Open Society Foundations are supporting  the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN.

Each year, ten Balkan journalists are competitively chosen to receive funding and professional support to conduct their own research project.

Selected journalists receive a fellowship of 2000 euros, a travel allowance of up to 2000 euros and a chance to participate in a seven-month programme for professional advancement.

The fellowship features an introductory seminar in Vienna, mentorship of each fellow's research and reporting, individual research trips to countries of the region and the EU, as well as a concluding seminar and award ceremony.

Experienced editors from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network provide hands-on support to fellows throughout their work, while seminars ensure that fellows learn about current issues of concern in the EU and the region, meet important social, political and economic actors and establish contact with media professionals.

In addition, the independent Selection Committee will award bursaries of € 4,000, € 3,000 and € 1,000 to the authors of the three winning articles.

Fellowship reports are disseminated widely in all local languages as well as in English and German, and published in e-book which assembles the ten works that have been produced in the course of the fellowship year.

Fellows are encouraged to maintain contact and support new intakes through an alumni network.

Fellowship programme was initiated in 2007 by the Robert Bosh Foundation and the ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with BIRN.