Juliana Koleva wins 2011 Balkan Fellowship

The top prize for this year’s Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence has been won by Juliana Koleva for her article Bulgarian Asylum Policy Pushes Migrants West. Koleva, an editor and reporter for national Bulgarian daily Dnevnik, won 4,000 euros in prize money. Second place, and a 3,000 euro award, went to Jelena Kulidžan from Montenegro for her article Rough Justice for Balkan Rape Victims. Stevan Dojčinović took third place, winning a 1,000 euro prize, for his investigation entitled Serbian Privatisation: Criminals Still Cashing In.

The three prize-winners were announced at an awards ceremony hosted by ERSTE Foundation and the Robert Bosch Stiftung in Berlin on Friday, 25 November 2011.

The winning articles were selected by an independent panel of judges including Nerma Jelačić, media spokesperson for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Gerald Knaus, president of the European Stability Initiative think tank, Remzi Lani, executive director of the Albanian Media Institute, Milorad Ivanović, executive editor of Serbia’s Novi Magazine, Christiane Schlötzer, deputy foreign editor of Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung and Gerfried Sperl, columnist and consultant editor for Austrian daily Der Standard.

Members of the jury praised the overall quality of reporting but said the top three prize winners had chosen topics that were not only largely unexplored within the mainstream Balkan media but would also trigger debate among the wider public.

The topic for this year’s fellowship was justice, and fellows investigated subjects ranging from employment law, rape sentencing, poorly-managed privatisation and extradition within the region.
Click here for more on the ten journalists who took part in the programme.

The annual fellowship provides financial and professional support to foster quality reporting in the Balkan region. Additionally, the programme encourages regional networking among journalists and provides balanced coverage on 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 early 2012, for more information get in touch with the fellowship team via the website contacts page.