Are you a journalist from Central and South-Eastern Europe who has an idea for a story that needs dedicated on-the-ground reporting, in-depth research, funding and editorial attention to do it justice? If yes, then apply now for the Reporting Democracy Fellowship 2023.
Reporting Democracy is awarding 10 fellowships to journalists from Central and South-Eastern Europe who have an idea for a story that needs dedicated on-the-ground reporting, in-depth research, generous funding and sustained editorial attention to do it justice.
Applications are solicited under this year’s theme, Security. Successful applicants will be selected by an independent committee to take part in the programme for professional development, culminating in the production of a compelling longform story to be published by BIRN and its media partners.
The output takes the form of features, analysis and investigations, presented in depth for a global audience. They emphasise strong storytelling and rigorous, on-the-ground reporting – qualities traditionally associated with the best magazine journalism.
- The chance to improve your reporting skills by working in close collaboration with world-class editors
- Ongoing mentoring and support from BIRN’s leading regional journalistic network, present in 14 countries of the Central and SEE region
- Fellowship bursary of €3,000
- An introductory seminar focused on reporting and storytelling techniques
- Regular intensive editing sessions with the programme editor
- Final event and the award ceremony
- Worldwide publication of reports in local languages and English
- Membership of Fellowship alumni network, designed to support continued cooperation and networking between fellows who have participated in the programme since 2007
- The Fellowship is itself an award, given to 10 journalists every year. In addition to this, awards are given to the three best stories at the end of the programme. The author of the top prize-winning story shall receive €3,000, the second €2,000 and the third €1,000. Winning articles will be selected by members of the Selection Committee, based on transparent evaluation criteria. Selection Committee members will judge the original, unedited, versions of articles submitted by the Fellows.
- Journalists from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia with demonstrable professional experience are eligible to apply.
- Applicants should have citizenship or permanent residence of one of the countries covered by the programme.
- They provide editorial support in English, so applicants should be proficient in English (speaking, reading and comprehension), although they may produce their stories in local languages.
- Fellows must be able to dedicate adequate time to the Fellowship, in terms of research, reporting trips, attending seminars, writing and revising drafts and participating in editorial sessions.
- In accepting the Fellowship, the Fellow understands the prestige of this opportunity and pledges to uphold the honour and reputation of the programme at all times
- Fellows are expected to produce a magazine-style article of maximum 3,000 words, based on the research proposal they submit
- The article should feature original reporting with fresh, exclusive information and interviews
- The article may be written in a local language or in English, at the fellows’ discretion. However, editorial support will not be available in the local language, only in English.
- The Fellowship program will be launched at the opening seminar in Vienna, May 13th – 16th.
- Research and reporting phase lasts up to 6 months.
- During that time, Fellows are expected to be in regular touch with the BIRN team, stick to the agreed deadlines or to inform the editor on time about any potential delays.
- First drafts of reports will be thoroughly reviewed by the editor. Fellows will then have an additional two weeks to address editors’ comments and submit their final article, which will be judged by the Selection Committee and also go through an intensive editing process.
- Individual editorial meetings are organised in the second part of the programme cycle, followed by the publication of the stories.
- The final seminar and the awards ceremony are organised at the very end of the programme.
- Fellows must attend the opening and closing programme seminars, and work cooperatively with the BIRN editorial team throughout the training, research, reporting and editorial phases. During the programme, fellows must keep in regular touch with the Fellowship editor and programme manager.
For more information, visit Reporting Democracy.