14 Dec 2013 / 13:47

Romanian Reporter Wins 2013 Balkan Fellowship Award

The top prize in the 2013 Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence has been awarded to Vlad Odobescu, a Romanian reporter who described how his country’s politicians have bounced back from corruption investigations.

The second prize was won by Dino Jahic, a Bosnian reporter who investigated bribery within the education system.

The third prize was won by Elena Stancu, a Romanian reporter who examined corruption in the job market for doctors.

The top prize is accompanied by an award of €4,000. The second prize is worth €3,000 and the third prize is worth €1,000.

The winning articles were selected by an independent panel of judges, comprised of Florian Hassel, Balkans correspondent for German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung; Remzi Lani, the executive director of the Albanian Media Institute; Gerald Knaus, founding chairman of the European Stability Initiative; Milorad Ivanovic, executive editor of the Serbian weekly, Novi Magazin; Markus Spielman, editor of the Swiss newspaper, Neue Zurcher Zeitung; and Adelheid Wölfl, an editor at the Austrian daily, Der Standard.

The jury members praised Odobescu’s report for its use of a strong storyline with a colourful central character to illustrate a region-wide problem.

Odobescu says the fellowship helped him “prioritise and structure information, especially when huge amounts of data are gathered”.

The winners were announced on the evening of Friday, 13 December, at a ceremony at the Croatian Journalists’ Association in Zagreb.
The theme for this year’s competition was “integrity”. Journalists on the programme spanning the legacy of war, bad government and the politicisation of civil society.

Initiated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and ERSTE Foundation in 2007, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, the annual fellowship provides financial and professional support to foster quality reporting in the Balkan region.
The programme also seeks to encourage regional networking among journalists and to provide balanced coverage of complex reform issues that are central to the region and the European Union.
This year’s ten fellows were selected from more than 120 applicants from nine Balkan countries.
Next year’s programme will be open for applications from January 2014.


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.