The project „European Scholarships – Journalists in Dialogue” (BEJD) has its origins in the year 2007, in the context of Romania’s accession into the EU, and consists of a series of seminars on European studies, dedicated to young, independent Romanian journalists.
In addition to seminars and study visits to Brussels, the best journalists are awarded and benefit from internships / exchanges of experience at publishing houses in Brussels such as Euronews, Financial Times, The Economist, Euractiv, Radio France Internationale.
Initially aiming to anchor Romanian journalists into the EU media space and increase the quality and quantity of articles, analyses and reports on European issues, the mission of the project evolved qualitatively and managed to develop a network of specialists on current European issues.
BEJD aims to support young journalists in adapting to Romania’s new European demands, giving them the opportunity to understand how the international press reflects EU-related issues and the functioning of the European institutions.
Among the topics addressed within BEJD, so far, we can find the following: Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, How we treat local issues to have a European dimension, Introduction to the system of European institutions and decision-making, European Funds allocated to Romania between the years 2014-2020, Funds allocated to regional development in Romania and absorption strategies, European Semester and face-to-face country report with Eurobarometer data, Free online tools to illustrate journalistic investigations, Euinmyregion project, Brexit, Fighting corruption, Climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity, Union response to the Ukrainian Crisis and the Impact on the Region, Romania’s Accession to Schengen, Justice from a Competition Perspective (Competitive Market – Aspects of Increasing Economic Competitiveness), Migration. The refugee crisis and the European Union’s asylum policy, the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, the EU’s security relations with Russia, the EU’s response to the Russian Federation’s disinformation campaign, etc.
BEJD scholarships are structured as follows: an introductory training for journalists, which takes place in Romania, some of the journalists participating in the training are selected for a study visit to Brussels, and among the participants in the study visit 2-3 journalists receive an internship in a reputable media institution.
Annually, this project from Freedom House Romania benefits approximately 30 journalists from the local press – print, online, radio, TV – as well as bloggers and freelancers, who show interest in European issues and Romania’s position in the EU. Thus, the number of beneficiaries in 2019 reached a number of over 360 persons.
he 2020 edition adapts its programme according to the rigors dictated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, the seminars will be transformed into webinars, and the study visit will be replaced with scholarships on European topics for journalists from the local press in Romania.
The „European Scholarships for Journalists” programme has a history of over two decades, being a continuation of the „Freedom House Scholarships for Journalists”.
Freedom House scholarships have contributed during all these years to the development of the Romanian press, supporting the professionalization of journalists and facilitating internships in newsrooms from the United States, as well as in European institutions, numerous newspapers and associations in London and Brussels after joining the EU.
Over 360 journalists have benefited from the European Scholarships – Journalists in Dialogue programmes offered by Freedom House Romania, among which: Bogdan Oprea, Silvia Vrânceanu, Paul Ciurari, Sorin Mihai Șchiopu, Marius Țucă, Dan Apostol, Angela Avram, Alina Stancu, Camelia Csiki, Robert Veress, Florin Negruțiu, Emilia Șercan, Melania Medeleanu, Dan Tăpălagă, Anne Marie Blăjan and Teodor Tiță.
„There are some formative experiences that cannot be missing from the career of any journalist, and an internship with a leading international press point is certainly among them. European scholarships – Journalists in Dialogue Programme gives me the chance to work in the Euronews office in Brussels. The wonderful people from Freedom House Romania, the European Commission and Bancpost have all my gratitude.”
„My congratulations to everyone who contributed to the making of this programme. We rarely have the opportunity to see such a movement of forces. I think this programme could be a source of ideas and a model for others as well. It has managed to combine the support of the Foundation – Freedom House Romania, a public authority – the Representation of the European Commission and a representative of the business sector – Bancpost, a group that covers the most important segments of society. „
„I had the opportunity to work daily, for a period of three weeks, with a Euronews correspondent and I can say that I had the chance to meet and get to know many important figures in European affairs. I understood how the decisions are negotiated and what their final impact is. There is only one way to do this – you have to work there! Now that I understand these issues, it will be much easier for me to write about European affairs, to think differently about a news story, and to shape it to ensure the greatest relevance and impact. Another benefit of the scholarship for me was that I now have contacts that will allow me to get the information I need about the European institutions first hand and in a timely manner.„
„I would urge all journalists to apply for a place in the European Scholarships – Journalists in Dialogue programme, as it is also an excellent opportunity to continue professional progress. And not just in European affairs. The programme is all the more welcome as it is designed for local media journalists. With such an opportunity, local journalists can surpass their „provincial journalists,” who rarely have the opportunity to meet with the complex of leading personalities. „
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