21 Jun 2011 / 11:11

Alumni Win Milena Jesenská Fellowships

Two BFJE fellows will spend three months conducting funded research in Vienna after being selected to participate in the Milena Jesenská Fellowship for Journalists.

The Czech journalist Milena Jesenaska died in Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1944

Two alumni of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence - Ivan Angelovski from Belgrade and Marius Cosmeanu from Bucharest - have been selected to take part in the prestigious Milena Jesenská Fellowship for Journalists.

The award will see Angelovski and Cosmeanu take time out of their current employment and spend three months at Vienna’s Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Institute for Human Sciences), as they pursue funded research into topics of their choice.

The fellowship, supported by ERSTE Foundation and partner organisations, provides a stipend of around €7,630, office space and research facilities. Travel grants of up to €1,820 can be applied for in order to conduct research in neighbouring countries.

For more information, visit the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen website:

Ivan Angelovski, who currently works for the Serbian TV station B92, will conduct further research into his BFJE project on sexual abuse within the Western and Eastern Christian Churches. He intends to work from Vienna from October to December 2011.

Read his original fellowship article, Serbian Church Accused of Sex Abuse Cover-Up.

“During six months of work on fellowship article, the question of how religious people reacted to the allegations emerged, and I decided to investigate its impact on religion. I am glad that I will have a chance to look more closely into that direction now, Angelovski said.

Marius Cosmeanu, who currently works for Romania’s CULT Maganzine, will be in Vienna from January to March 2012. He will be researching a project he calls ‘The Alchemy of the Last Meal: The Culture of Capital Punishment in Eastern and Western Europe’.

More than two decades after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the story of capital punishment in Central and Eastern Europe remains untold – even taboo.

“Former hangmen, members of firing squads, lawyers, witnesses and relatives of sentenced people from the region survived and are living among us. They are potential resources for my project. Also, I intend to compare the topic in the East and West,” Cosmeanu said.

In 2011, journalists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey were, for the first time, also eligible to apply. The fellowships are intended as an award for excellence and are for experienced journalists only.

Milena Jesenská was a Czech journalist and editor who worked with the underground resistance during the Nazi occupation. She was arrested and died in Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1944.


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.