Open Call BIRN is Seeking Data Business Journalists

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network

Relevent Country: Serbia

As part of its new project focusing on Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, in the Balkans, South Caucasus and Central Asia, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) is looking for journalists with strong competence in economic issues and experience in data editing and data journalism

Selected candidates will be working on “Spheres of Influence Uncovered”, a joint project by the Berlin-based media NGO n-ost, BIRN, the cross-Caucasus media outlet JAMnews and an online media outlet from Uzbekistan, Anhor.uz. Its primary focus is mapping and exploring FDI in the Balkans and Central Asia.

Journalists will be researching FDI in their respective countries in a specified timeframe. Most FDI come from three key players – the EU, China and Russia, competing for influence in both regions. Information that journalists collect will form the basis for an online interactive map and a database, which is intended to shed more light on key investment projects and inform the general public in the project countries, but also beyond, about the consequences, criticisms and challenges these investments have provoked.

Selected participants also will attend a series of offline training sessions to boost their data, investigative and journalism skills: to learn how to properly fact-check a story; how to protect themselves in a digital surrounding; and learn more about specific directives and laws that China and Russia often violate. A special focus of the project is fostering cross-border cooperation and transnational and transregional networking of data and investigative journalists.

Benefits

Selected candidates will benefit from:

  • Taking part in a long-lasting journalistic project with enough time and resources to work on complex topics.
  • Boosting their cross-border skills and working closely with colleagues from different regions.
  • The opportunity to expand and deepen their knowledge of their economic and (geo)political context and the consequences of investment and credit projects with foreign partner countries.
  • The opportunity to improve their journalistic skills with a view to investigative research, data journalism, and processing complex issues and large amounts of data.
  • Gaining experience in building and using an international database on international economic cooperation and investment projects.
  • Financial support for innovative and complex publication projects.
  • Integration into an international journalistic network whose members benefit from one another through shared journalistic interests and mutually complementary skills.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The project, which started on September 15 and lasts until December 31, 2025, includes the following countries: Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Reporters with experience in data and business journalism from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia are strongly encouraged to submit their applications.
  • BIRN is looking both for freelancers and permanent employees of national and local media and private and state-owned outlets/public broadcasters. Experience in different media formats is preferable, and experience in business and data journalism is a must.
  • As the project language is English, aspiring candidates must have good oral and written proficiency in English.

Source: https://birn.eu.com/news-and-events/open-call-birn-is-seeking-data-business-journalists/