23 Feb 2016 / 17:25

Fellowship Journalist Commended for Trafficking Investigation

Lindita Cela, a 2015 alumni of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, has received a commendation from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Albania, UN Women, for the “creation of a professional model of investigative journalism for the reporting on trafficking of women and girls.”    

Lindita Cela, photo by: BIRN

The commendation was issued to Cela by David Sander, representative of UN Women in Albania, during a roundtable held in Tirana by UN Women and the Interior Ministry entitled “Reporting in the Media of the Phenomenon of Trafficking of Women and Girls: Problems and Recommendations”.

Cela was recognized for her story Vicious Circle: Albanian Victims Struggle to Escape Shadow of Sex Trade, published as part of the 2015 Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme.

The investigation highlighted the plight of Albanian women and girls trafficked and exploited as sex slaves and their struggle to rebuild their lives with little help from the state and a society that often refuses to treat them as victims. 

Every year the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence awards ten journalists from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Greece, financial and professional support to conduct in-depth research into a topic of regional and EU significance.

The project, which is supported by ERSTE Foundation and the Open Society Foundations, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN,  aims 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.

About

About Us

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.

What is the Fellowship?

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.

Our Partners

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.

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Selection Committee

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.

Fellowship Team

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.