Vienna – ESI at Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence award
On 15 May 2023 the jury of the Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, of which ESI’s Kristof Bender is a member, awarded prizes to the 2021 generation of fellows. The fellowship, run by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and supported by Erste Foundation, supports “longform journalism from the Balkans to the Baltic coast”. Every year, 10 journalists from 14 countries between the Balkans and the Baltic coast are chosen to write compelling long-form stories. The fellowship provides journalists with the financial and sustained editorial support required to uncover the processes shaping societies and democracies in the region.
The first prize went to Maria Wilcek, a Polish journalist, for her investigation into the Belarus football hooligan scene Rage against the regime: The Ultras who stood up to Lukashenko. Anna Koslerova came second with her story about the forced sterilisations of Roma women in the Czech Republic and the difficulties they encounter still today to get compensation (Flawed payouts defer justice for Czech Roma women sterilised by the state).
This year, the jury decided to award two 3rd prizes. They went to Alexia Kalaitzi for her investigation of how the transition out of coal affects Northern Greece (How Greece’s coal-mining heartland won a brief reprieve after the war in Urkaine) and Matea Grgurinovic, a Croatian journalist, for her piece on the neglect of a Croatian region hit by a devastating earthquake in late 2020: Decline and fall: the earthquake that exposed Croatia’s rotten interior.
Nine journalists from Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Poland spent months pursuing in-depth stories and investigations, working closely with Neil Arun, a highly experienced editor. The stories of all fellows are available at the site of the fellowship programme.
- Maria Wilcek, Rage against the regime: The Ultras who stood up to Lukashenko (14 May 2022)
- Anna Koslerova, Flawed payouts defer justice for Czech Roma women sterilised by the state (27 October 2022)
- Alexia Kalaitzi, How Greece’s coal-mining heartland won a brief reprieve after the war in Urkaine (21 February 2023)
- Matea Grgurinovic, Decline and fall: the earthquake that exposed Croatia’s rotten interior (13 January 2022)
- Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence