Call for Applications: Jiří Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship 2024
Applications for the Jiří Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship are now closed.
Fellowship term: January 3, 2024 - July 31, 2024
Application opens: May 1, 2023
Application deadline: June 1, 2023
Selection results announced by: July 21, 2023
The Fellowship is a seven-month program, which equips Fellows with cutting-edge journalistic skills and involves them in the daily editorial debates and discussions that inform a professional and independent press. Fellows spend six months at RFE/RL’s headquarters in Prague, where they are placed with the Balkan Service to receive daily, on-the-job training and mentoring while working alongside RFE/RL’s seasoned professionals. After Prague, Fellows spend a final month at a local RFE/RL bureau.
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 company
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 abroad. Fellows will be expected to represent themselves and the Fellowship in English at public events and in discussions relating to media freedom in their country.
A monthly stipend at the bureau and in Prague, housing, health insurance, and travel arrangements to and from Prague shall be provided.
The Fellowship accepts applications from journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
Eligible applicants should:
- 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
- be proficient in English
Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis.
A complete application includes the following materials:
- curriculum Vitae, including current contact information
- personal statement
- 2 letters of recommendation
- 3 work samples
- letter to Jiří Dienstbier
Details of each part of the application can be found below.
All application materials must be in English.
In addition, please let us know in the online cover letter how you learned about the Fellowship (e.g., RFE/RL’s website, Facebook, a professional or academic reference, etc.).
Shortlisted candidates will be contacted and asked to participate in a telephone, online or in-person interview as part of the application process.
Please attach your updated curriculum vitae with your current contact information. This shall include your name, e-mail address, social media profile, phone number, present address, and permanent address; a detailed work history since completing your formal education; and educational background. Please also list any noteworthy distinctions or awards, and current or recent memberships in professional, political, or other groups. Please also state if you have received any type of certification (and at what level) of English language proficiency.
Your personal statement is a very important part of your application and will be closely read and considered in the selection process. It should be written in English and not exceed 750 words. In your personal statement, please describe your journalistic experience, including your reasons for pursuing journalism; the values and convictions that guide your work; experiences that have influenced your journalism; and what you hope to accomplish as a journalist. In addition, please explain your reasons for applying for the Jiří Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship and what you hope to gain from it. You are also encouraged to briefly describe your idea for a personal project, which will be completed during the Fellowship.
Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required with your application. One of your letters should be from a current supervisor or colleague who practices journalism and knows you professionally. The writers should explain their relationship to you and describe your qualifications, potential for professional growth and development, and reasons that make you an excellent candidate for the Fellowship. Letters must be submitted in English.
Please attach 3 work samples, on any platform, demonstrating your best professional work. Samples must have been published within the 12 months before the application deadline. All samples must include a date and, if not in English, they must be accompanied by an English translation. In the case of video submissions, an English-language summary is sufficient. If translations are not your own, please state so.
Letter to Jiří Dienstbier, Sr.
Jiří Dienstbier Sr. is credited with being an exemplar of the commitment to human rights that informs Czech foreign policy around the world. In 300 words, please describe a lesson or contribution your country could offer to the world based on its experiences over the last several decades.
Privacy Notice for RFE/RL Fellows
Fellowship at RFE/RL is contingent upon the successful completion of a background security check performed after the acceptance of RFE/RL´s offer. More details and information about the collection and processing of your personal data will be provided to you together with the Fellowship agreement.
Please contact email@example.com
About Jiri Dienstbier
Jiří Dienstbier Sr. was a well-esteemed Czech journalist, dissident, and diplomat. He began his career as a foreign correspondent for Czechoslovak Radio in the 1960s. Called back home after the 1968 invasion that he denounced on air; he was forced to take menial jobs. Dienstbier authored many samizdat articles on the poor state of human rights in Czechoslovakia. In 1977, he became one of the first signatories of Charter 77 and a founding member of the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted. In 1979, the communist regime imprisoned him for three years. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, he became Czechoslovakia’s first post-revolutionary Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was appointed UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia in 1998.