Call for Applications: Jiri Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship 2020 – 2021

Required Skill: 
Last date: 
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Detailed Description

RFE/RL is currently accepting applications for the 2020 – 2021 Jirí Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship to help aspiring journalists from the Western Balkans pursue their profession in support of media pluralism and independence.

It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and RFE/RL that is inspired by Jirí Dienstbier Sr.’s contributions to journalism, foreign policy, and human rights. It aims to further RFE/RL’s legacy of promoting more just and open societies through journalism.

The Fellowship is a seven-month program. Fellows will spend six months at RFE/RL’s headquarters in Prague, where they will be placed with the Balkan Service to receive daily, on-the-job training and mentoring while working alongside RFE/RL’s seasoned professionals. For two weeks before the term in Prague, Fellows may be assigned to an RFE/RL bureau in the region to gain an understanding of RFE/RL’s local role and editorial practices, and meet local staff. After Prague, Fellows will return to the bureau for the final month.

A monthly stipend at the bureau and in Prague, housing, health insurance, and travel arrangements to and from Prague shall be provided.

The Fellowship also features workshops on journalistic practices and tools, discussions with government officials, civic leaders and regional analysts; visits to local media and news agencies in Prague; and professional development opportunities in the Czech Republic and elsewhere.

Fellows will be expected to represent themselves and the Fellowship, in English, in public events and discussions relating to media freedom in their country.


The main components of the program are:

  • Professional mentoring alongside RFE/RL’s seasoned professionals.
  • Training and development of journalistic skills on traditional, multi-media, and digital platforms.
  • Participation in the daily editorial discussions that inform a professional and independent press.
  • Independent work on a personal project.Understanding of the mission and practice of a professional, free, and independent media.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The Fellowship accepts applications from journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
  • Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis. Eligible applicants will be from one of the five target countries; have a minimum of two years’ experience working as a journalist in their native language; be committed to working as a journalist in, or for audiences in, their home country; share RFE/RL´s mission; and be proficient in English.


A complete application includes the following materials:

  • Personal statement
  • 3 Work samples
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum Vitae, including current contact information
  • Letter to Jirí Dienstbier Sr.


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