Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence 2020, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Serbia

Publish Date: Feb 20, 2020

Deadline: Mar 10, 2020

Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence

Our flagship Fellowship programme is expanding. After 14 years of supporting journalists across the Balkans, we are now also accepting applications from Visegrad Group countries — Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

The Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence provides financial and editorial support to professional journalists who have strong ideas for cross-border stories. This year’s theme is the Rule of Law.

Send us your application with your proposal by March 10.


Who can participate?

Individuals from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia with demonstrable journalistic experience are eligible to apply for the Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence. Applicants should have citizenship of one of the countries covered by the programme. Applicants should be proficient in English (speaking, reading and comprehension), although reports may be written in local languages.

Employer consent

Applicants must be able to dedicate adequate time to the fellowship, in terms of research, trips, attending the opening and closing seminars, writing and attending publicity events. To that end, any necessary permission from the applicant’s employer to participate in the fellowship should be secured in advance.


The theme of this year’s Fellowship is Rule of Law. The phrase refers to the principle that no one should be above the law; that a commonly agreed set of rules should apply equally to everyone in society. In the broader sense, this year’s theme is about fairness as well as justice. It is about the many rules – spoken and unspoken, public and hidden – that influence our everyday lives in a democracy.

If you are still searching for a story, the theme can help by making you ask the right questions. If you already have a story that you want to pursue, you can try and link it to the theme. This link can be a literal one – for instance, if you propose an investigation into an abuse of power. However, the link does not have to be literal, and nor does your story have to be an investigation. You can also propose a ground-breaking feature story that revisits basic questions about right and wrong, fair and unfair, or that says something new about the relationship between the powerful and the weak. 

We will always prefer a strong proposal that is loosely linked to the theme over a weak proposal that is tightly linked to the theme. In the end, we want deeply reported stories that reveal something new about our world – or that reveal the familiar in a new light.

What will your story reveal that has not already been reported? What will it tell us that we could not have guessed? Your proposal cannot answer all these questions with certainty – that will be the work of your story, over several months. However, your proposal should offer hypothetical answers to these questions based on the facts at hand. 

Your proposal should demonstrate that you have researched the story as far as you can without actually hitting the road and reporting it. It should also try to articulate what you do not know and hope eventually to uncover – the mystery at the heart of your story. 


The Fellowship is a bursary for cross-border reporting. Its scope and audience are international. While your core story may seem intensely local, the underlying phenomena are unlikely to be confined to one country alone. Please research those interesting elements of your story that extend beyond the country where you live. Make sure your proposal includes appropriate comparisons or case studies from another country in the region, as well as in the broader European Union.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below. 




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