BIRN – Exchange and Capacity Building Programme for Journalists

How are Balkans seen with the eyes of an Austrian journalist, working from a fellow’s office from this region? How is Vienna portrayed by a journalist from Kosovo? Are journalists using the same research methods in every country? What makes the difference in their work?

BIRN – Exchange and Capacity Building Programme for Journalists

If you’re curious to find out answers to these questions, follow the new Exchange and Capacity Building Programme for journalists developed by The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and, and supported by ERSTE Foundation.

Since April 2010, once a month, a journalist from the Austrian daily spends up to three days in one of BIRN’s offices from Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia. In return, one BIRN journalist from one of these countries will come to Vienna to spend a few days in the editorial office of

During their stay in the foreign city, the journalists run researches and produce substantial articles, which are afterwards published by and BIRN. Participants in the programme receive all needed infrastructure (desks, computers, telephones etc) and support to carry on their researches. The programme reveals interesting findings, for example how a communism symbol in the past can become a true capitalism entity nowadays. Changes from one regime to another left strong marks in the Balkan countries and interesting stories can be told to those who want to listen. 

Will Austrian Serbs receive the status of a national minority soon? Who is going to support them and what are the main obstacles? These are just a few questions to which one of the participant journalists tried to find answers. Let’s all witness the fascinating discoveries of our team of journalists and their inquiry minds!