News Box

Open Call for Digital Rights Programme for Journalists

Illustration: BIRN/Igor Vujcic
Journalists from Central and Southeastern Europe are invited to apply for BIRN’s Digital Rights Programme for Journalists that aims to explore the effects of digitalisation processes and to go deeper into the challenges facing digital rights.

Through BIRN’s new “Digital Rights Programme for Journalists“ we are looking for journalists interested in fast-evolving digitalisation processes and their impact on democracy, society and lives in Central and Southeastern Europe, particularly the following:

  • The use of the algorithms
  • The forces fuelling hate speech and discrimination in the digital environment and their implications
  • Digital security and phishing campaigns
  • Privacy and personal data breaches and (non)existing protection mechanisms
  • Surveillance policy and use of technology by authoritarian regimes
  • Accountability of the major Internet platforms and online safety of users
  • Information security breaches
  • Arrests for social media posts and pressure applied over online expression and activities
  • Blocking and filtering of content
  • Holding intermediaries liable
  • Manipulation and propaganda in the digital environment
  • Machine learning algorithms and algorithmic decision-making processes
  • 5G technology in the region
  • Cryptocurrencies/blockchains in the world of financial crime
  • Social media bots and troll farms

We are offering a comprehensive, 10-month programme that includes: regular networking opportunities and meetings with actors and experts dealing with digital rights and emerging tech challenges, financial support, on-the-job mentoring and editorial sessions to produce high-quality journalism and educational sessions focused on digital security for media.

The programme aims to cover under-reported topics related to the health of the digital ecosystem and digital rights violations in Central and Southeastern Europe.

If you already have a story on your mind but you lack resources and guidance, this is the programme for you.

Each journalist will receive a bursary of 2,000 euros to support their reporting.

In order to apply for the programme, use the application form attached below to send us a proposal for a regional investigative story.

As part of our Reporting Democracy platform, BIRN’s “Digital Rights Programme for Journalists” will enable media workers to cover under-reported topics relating to growing digital rights challenges in the region.  The stories produced will be published on BIRN’s flagship website Balkan Insight, and by prominent European, regional and international media outlets. The programme is supported by European Artificial Intelligence Fund and ERSTE Foundation.

The call is open until February, 21, 2021.

Who can apply?

The programme is open to all journalists who believe they have a good story on an under-reported topic concerning the health of the digital ecosystem in Central and Southeastern Europe. We also welcome applications from staff reporters from local and national media who wish to co-publish the story with us.

BIRN is committed to gender diversity and freedom from prejudice on any grounds.

Story requirements

o The story must deal with at least one of the topics listed above

o The story must be relevant to Central and Southeastern Europe and must cover at least two countries in the region

o We are looking for in-depth, investigative stories

o The story should be around 2,000 words long

o Each selected story must be published within eight months of receipt of the first installment of the bursary.

How to apply?

Send us your story proposal using the story grant form, downloadable here.

Please send the completed form together with a signed declaration and your CV to no later than February 21, 2021.

Download the Story Grant Form

Download the Declaration

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