Eastern Partnership Journalism Fellowship


New Diplomacy's Independent Journalism Fellowship for Eastern Partnership Countries is an National Endowment for Democracy.
initiative to raise standards of journalism covering the post-Soviet space, in particular the Eastern Partnership countries. This will be achieved by a programme of mentoring journalists from Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan or Belarus, including placements of four journalism fellows in EU member states (e.g. the Baltic states and Visegrad Four countries) to work with leading broadcast or print media and engage also with independent non-profit organisations working on the post-Soviet space (human rights organisations, independent media associations and think-tanks). The fellowship scheme is made possible with the support of the US

In the first year of the programme, fellowships (including a five-week placement with a media organisation in the EU) are taking place between August 2016-February 2017. More on the 2016-2017 fellows and the resulting stories can be read here.

Journalists from Eastern Partnership countries, or journalists working for independent or public service media outlets in the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) are eligible for the fellowship. Freelance journalists are also eligible.

Through mentoring and co-operation, the journalists will also link up with each other to strengthen co-operation of newsrooms in different Eastern Partnership countries in terms of sharing content, and also in formulating and promoting high standards of news reporting, public service broadcasting standards, and regulation of propaganda in their home countries.


2016 Fellows

From a field of 19 applicants that met the eligibility requirements, five fellows – three journalists from Ukraine, two from Georgia – were selected for the first fellowship round in 2016 following an open call for applications. The host organisations are internationally recognised media institutions, namely Hamburger Abendblatt, Spiegel Online, and ZDF public television in Germany, DELFI/Lithuania Tribune in Lithuania, and Eastbook.eu in Poland.

The five selected fellows are:

Yana BiliaievaMYMEDIA and Detector Media, Lviv, Ukraine
Host organisation: ZDF public television, Mainz, Germany
Thematic focus: Russia's influence in Germany, media reform for Ukraine.

Yuliana RomanyshynKyiv Post, Ukraine
Host organisation: Spiegel Online, Hamburg, Germany
Thematic focus: Refugee crisis in Germany alongside IDP experience in Ukraine, focus on data visualisation and media standards.

Olena SolodovnikovaRoad Control newspaper, Ukraine
Host organisation: Eastbook.eu, Poland
Thematic focus: Release of hostages in Eastern Ukraine and the propaganda war; comparative reform of coal industry in Poland/Ukraine.

Levani Tchikadze, MA student (Journalism & Media Analysis in Kaunas, Lithuania), Georgia
Host organisation: DELFI/Lithuania Tribune, Vilnius, Lithuania
Thematic focus: Pro-Russian tendencies in Lithuania.

Eter TuradzeBatumelebi newspaper, Batumi, Georgia
Host organisation: Hamburger Abendblatt, Hamburg, Germany
Thematic focus: Refugees in EU.

The journalist work produced during their fellowships by the 2016-2017 fellows is highlighted here.


Project objectives
  • to raise the standards of talented news reporters from Eastern Partnership countries through placements with leading broadcast and print media in EU counties, to strengthen mutual understanding of the challenges facing media in the Eastern Partnership countries, and to improve EU countries' media reporting of events in the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia
  • to formulate and promote common standards and practices in the Eastern Partnership countries concerning public service broadcasting, concerning policies to curb propaganda, and concerning overall standards of independent news reporting
  • to increase interlinkages between leading or emerging media outlets and individual journalists in Eastern Partnership countries with counterparts in other Eastern Partnership countries and in EU member countries, and further adoption of shared standards and co-operation on news gathering and content sharing.

The New Diplomacy Independent Journalism Fellowship for Eastern Partnership Countries 

The fellowships will comprise:
  • mentoring of the fellows so that prior to their fellowship visit they conduct research and interviews in their own countries that can then be used for reports to be printed/broadcast during their placement in the respective EU countries. 
  • linking of all the fellows whereby they would work together on a common series of articles/stories on common themes around democratisation and media reforms - based on the subject focus and complementary experience of the respective journalists.
  • participation in a multi-country effort to strengthen standards on public service broadcasting, on control and sanctions against propaganda, and on common quality standards for independent news reporting
  • a five-week stay at a host media outlet in the EU, including: 
  1. visits to media regulatory authorities and independent media watchdogs/media institutes to research existing practice and standards in independent journalism and media regulation
  2. visits to NGOs, media professional associations, and human rights organizations/independent think-tanks working on democracy, media and human rights in Eastern Partner countries
  3. work/cooperation on news stories for the host media institution, resulting in printed articles and/or broadcast news stories
  4. work/cooperation on news stories for the fellow's own media outlet in her/his respective home country
  5. participation in roundtable event on independent media and the parallel challenges of journalism quality standards and Russian propaganda (to be organised by the mentor and/or host media organization)
  6. research by each fellow into selected aspects of journalism standards and regulations (agreed with the mentors in close consultation with New Diplomacy)

Mentoring

Each fellow will work with a mentor (a media expert based in the host country, either directly working for the hosting media organisation, or an expert able to liaise with the host organisation) for a four-month period of project co-operation and mentoring. Within this four-month period, the fellow will spend up to five weeks in the office of the hosting media organisation. 


Fellows' outputs

Each fellow should produce/cooperate on: 
  • news stories for the host media institution, resulting in printed articles and/or broadcast news stories
  • news stories from the host country for the fellow's own media outlet in her/his respective home country
  • research by fellow into selected aspects of journalism standards and regulations (agreed with the mentors in close consultation with New Diplomacy)

The fellow should participate in:
  • a multi-country effort to formulate standards on public service broadcasting, on control and sanctions against propaganda, and on common quality standards for independent news reporting
  • a roundtable event on independent media and the parallel challenges of journalism quality standards and Russian propaganda (to be organised by the mentor and/or host media organisation)

Fellowship budget

For each fellow, New Diplomacy will cover international travel to the host country and back, and in addition up to a maximum of US$ 3,000 in expenses, covering local travel, visa costs where necessary, and subsistence and accommodation for the five weeks spent at the host organisation. 

Each mentor (or host organisation if the mentor is provided by the host organisation) will receive US$ 1,800 in mentoring fees. Each host organisation will receive US$ 500 in overhead costs for hosting the fellow. The host organisation or mentor will also receive US$ 300 for the venue/equipment costs of organising the roundtable event.


Selection Procedure and eligibility

Selection will be based on the submission of a sound proposal reflecting the criteria set out in the call for proposals, and of a letter of recommendation from the hosting organisation. 

To be eligible, fellowship applicants should be journalists from Eastern Partnership countries, or journalists working for independent or public service media outlets in the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine). Freelance journalists are also welcome to apply.

Fellows will be selected by the Fellowship Programme Committee composed of three voting members, including two of the co-founders of New Diplomacy (see below), and in a non-voting capacity the Chair of New Diplomacy.

The Fellowship Programme Committee members include:

Krzysztof Bobiński, President of Unia & Polska, a think-tank in Warsaw, and previously worked for the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM). From 1976-2000, he was the Warsaw correspondent of the Financial Times, covering the period of martial law, the rise of Solidarity, and the fall of communism. He has also reported for the BBC, Washington Post, and European Voice, was later the publisher of Unia & Polska magazine, and was actively engaged in Poland’s negotiations to join the European Union. In 2013, President Bronislaw Komorowski awarded him the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Poland’s Rebirth for outstanding services in supporting democratic changes in Poland, for his reporting on the situation in Poland during martial law, and for his journalistic achievements. He is one of the contributing authors to European Foreign Policies: Does Europe Still Matter? (Europe Today, 2010), and is an Associated Editor of the Europe section of Europe’s World, published by Friends of Europe. He served as co-chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in 2013 and again in 2015. 
                                                                     
Jan Piekło, based in Poland and Ukraine, has been Executive Director of the Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation (PAUCI) since 2005, where he has managed trans-border projects with Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia. From 1982 to 1988, he contributed to clandestine Solidarity print publications. As a journalist, he covered the Romanian revolution of 1989 and from 1991-1997 the wars in former Yugoslavia. He was editor of Tygodnik Powszechny, a leading weekly of the Polish anti-Communist opposition. From July 2000, he was editor of the online magazine FORUM, dedicated to Christian-Jewish relations and co-operation. He received the SDP (Polish Journalists Association) Award for “introducing into the Internet the important issues of dialogue and cooperation of people of different backgrounds, traditions and value systems".


About New Diplomacy

NEW DIPLOMACY was launched in 2015 to address the policy challenges facing global and regional policymakers in the eastern and southern neighbourhoods of the European Union, not least the insecurity in the post-Soviet space and the crises of democracy and instability in the Middle East.

NEW DIPLOMACY focuses on security policy, diplomacy, and media standards, including raising the quality and accuracy of factual information available to policymakers and the wider public.

NEW DIPLOMACY’s activities will include:
  • international projects on media, diplomacy, and security; 
  • policy analysis and advice on the challenges facing policymakers and the public throughout Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East; 
  • international advocacy and engagement with other players in the fields of media and diplomacy.
NEW DIPLOMACY is a new initiative, launched in August 2015 by a group of policy analysts and media professionals, each with several decades’ experience leading projects in promoting EU integration and closer Euro-Atlantic relations, and in strengthening civil society in the post-Soviet space. The founder and Chair is Jeff Lovitt, formerly Executive Director of the PASOS network of independent think-tanks. 

For more information, visit www.newdiplomacy.net

Download the call for fellows here.

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