Call for applications for the 11th edition of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence (BFJE) closed recently and the results will be announced on April 4th. The 2017 topic is “Change”. A total of 130 journalists from 10 countries applied for this year’s programme.
The evaluation of BFJE programme on the occasion of its tenth anniversary, carried by Brankica Petkovic, Researcher and Project Manager at the Peace Institute, Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies in Ljubljana, concluded that the programme had been of high value to the journalists who had been given the opportunity to participate in it up to now.
“For almost all individual fellows interviewed within our review, participation in the BFJE has been a milestone in their professional growth and careers. It has crucially influenced the way they work in and perceive their own profession,” the review said.
“They speak of the emancipatory influence of the programme on them, about expanded horizons and skills, a changed mind-set and spirit, greater openness for cross-border journalism and their own positioning among journalists of the world,” the review added.
The evaluation included semi-structured interviews with 26 relevant stakeholders, including 14 former fellows, but also with members of the Fellowship implementing structure, as well as external observers, such as editors and media experts.
It stressed the considerable evidence of the impact of these stories on society, in terms of increased public awareness, public debates or even policy changes.
“In some cases, stories have even directly affected people’s lives, enabling them, for instance, to initiate legal battles for justice. Some stories led to follow-ups, either by the same journalist after the Fellowship program, or by other journalists in the region but also in international media,” the evaluation said.
In order to foster quality reporting, initiate regional networking among journalists and advance balanced coverage on topics that are central to the region as well as to the EU, the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme is supported by the ERSTE Foundation and the Open Society Foundations, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN.
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.
Prominent German, Austrian and Swiss newspapers, Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Standard and Neue Zürcher Zeitung are media partners of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme. Besides being involved in the selection committee, they participate in seminars, support fellows if needed and seek to republish the best articles produced by them.
Please contact us for any additional information about the programme, or if you have suggestions, remarks or complaints about the web site and its content
The Selection Committee is comprised of seven prominent media figures from the Balkans and Europe. Each year, committee members read, evaluate and select story proposals for the fellowship.
Editors and journalists from across the region and beyond all work together to make the Balkan fellowship a truly international experience. Scroll down this page for more information on our editorial team.