26 Dec 2011 / 14:01

BIRN Macedonia Promotes 2011 Fellowship

The promotion of this year’s collection of articles, entitled Justice: Rights and Wrongs in the Balkans, which wraps up the 2011 edition of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, saw top Macedonian journalists and editors gather on December 19th at the Journalists’ club in Skopje.

This year’s articles present the original research of ten journalists selected from South-East Europe to participate in the 2011 programme.
Editors and journalists from leading Macedonian media such as Vest, Utrinski Vesnik, Dnevnik and Fokus dailies, Kapital,  MTV and Kanal 5 TV came to the promotion.
Representatives from the US Embassy, the OSCE, the Journalists’ Union as well as members of different civil society groups also attended.

BIRN Macedonia director Ana Petruseva introduced the Fellowship programme and announced its continuation next year.

This year’s Macedonian fellow, Slobodanka Jovanovska, a Skopje-based foreign affairs editor at the Macedonian daily newspaper Utrinski Vesnik, said the programme had been a great learning experience for her.
“The stories need diligent work to complete and through the process the participants learn some great journalistic standards that unfortunately are not applied in their own countries and media back home” Jovanovska said.

Her story, ‘Net Closing In On Fugitive Balkan Criminals’ focused on the attempts to cut safe havens for fugitive criminals with multiple passports who often use them to hide in neighbouring countries.
Journalists had four months of research and went through a rigorous editing process before publishing their articles. Local media picked up their stories and some have also been picked up by international media.

The first prize this year was awarded to Juliana Koleva for her article ‘Bulgarian Asylum Policy Pushes Migrants West’. Koleva, an editor and reporter for national daily Bulgarian newspaper Dnevnik, won the first prize of 4,000 euros.
The second prize, and a 3,000 euro award went to Jelena Kulidzan from Montenegro for her article ‘Rough Justice for Balkan Rape Victims.’
Stevan Dojcinovic took third place, winning a 1,000 euro prize, for his investigation entitled ‘Serbian Privatisation: Criminals Still Cashing In.’

Petruseva revealed that the cover topic for next year is Communities, allowing a wide range of possible research articles. She invited journalists to apply.
This year’s edition of the Balkan Fellowship has been the fifth in a row.

Initiated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Erste Foundation in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, the Fellowship is aimed at supporting high-quality reporting, regional networking among journalists and advancing balanced coverage on complex reform issues that are central to the region as well as to the European Union.


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.

Contact Us

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

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.