Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence Alumni Network

Fellowship Alumni Network is a group of leading journalists and editors from the CEE region that have participated in BIRN's flagship Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programe, and have continued cooperation through the alumni network format.

About the network

Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence Network gathers journalists and editors from CEE region. Activities are aimed at strengthening the network through the provision of means and fora for professional exchange, leaning on the resources and expertise of member journalists. To that end, the network sets up a system of financial and editorial support, and various peer-to-peer and collaboration opportunities. The network is demand-driven and its activities are planned to respond to members needs and ideas.

This network is a spin-off initiative of BIRN’s flagship Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme, founded in 2007 in partnership with the ERSTE Foundation. Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence is designed to foster individual professional development, and its biggest impact is on the development of the new generation of leading journalists and editors across the region.

As one of the first regional media projects, Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence has greatly contributed to regional networking and cooperation between young and mid-career journalists. Developing professional networks with like-minded colleagues was highlighted in evaluations as one of the most important features of the program. In order to extend this positive outcome, Alumni network was set up.


Fellowship Alumni Meetings – the biannual gathering of the network members. Besides networking between generations of fellows these meetings serve as the platform for showcasing the most interesting projects, methodologies, and topics covered by network members, as well as for introducing other interesting and prominent media related individuals and opening debates over the current issues relevant to the regional media scene.

Fellowship Alumni Fund – Local and Cross-border grants available
In order to support quality journalism in the CEE region and to foster cooperation within the Fellowship Alumni Network, we are annually opening the call for grants from the Fellowship Alumni Fund. The Fund is aimed at the production of in-depth or investigative stories that are time-consuming and require additional financial support. Proposed projects should cover original topics of importance for the democratic development of the countries of the CEE region. This includes but is not limited to, topics related to media freedom, the rule of law, security, democracy, and human rights. We especially welcome projects focusing on under-reported issues. There are two types of grants available within the Fund – individual and cross-border teams.

A searchable online directory containing members’ profiles – comprising a photo, areas of expertise, links to Fellowship stories, plus any awards and achievements. The idea is to create a directory that can provide a way for other journalists, news, and other organisations to contact if they want the members’ expertise and would like to cooperate on certain issues/projects – Currently under construction


Website: https://twitter.com/RDFellowship
Name: Dragana Zarkovic Obradovic
Email: dragana.obradovic@birnnetwork.org

Network details

Size: 100+ members
Founded: 2009
Geographical focus: Region
Type of members: Freelancers, Staff journalists
Legal entity: No
Open to new members: Yes


  • Climate
  • Health
  • Migration
  • Organized crime
  • Politics / policy / democracy
  • Social issues


  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Kosovo
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Poland
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovak Republic


  • Editorial support / project management
  • Investigative journalism
  • Multilingual journalism
  • Training

Support/join our network

  • Collaborate on editorial projects
  • Exchange know-how/trainings
  • Join as new members
  • Each year, after the completion of the Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programe, participating journalists can join the Alumni network

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.