Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship
About the Fellowship
The Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship (VHJF) is a joint initiative of RFE/RL and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, generously supported by the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation Vize97. Launched in 2011, it is inspired by the late Czech leader’s belief in the transformational power of free speech and builds on RFE/RL’s legacy of promoting more open societies through journalism. More information about the Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship is available here.
- Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs cites the VHJF in its 2017 Statement on the Occasion of World Press Freedom Day
2016 - 2017 Fellows
About Vaclav Havel
Vaclav Havel was the first post-revolutionary president of independent Czechoslovakia in 1989, and the first Czech president in 1993. He was also a renowned playwright, poet and essayist. Vaclav Havel's name is synonymous with peaceful resistance to authoritarianism and commitment to individual liberty and dignity. In his career as a writer and playwright, Havel established himself as Europe’s most renowned dissident voice. During his time as president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, Havel used his position of influence to speak out as an unyielding advocate for democratic voices the world over. Long a listener and supporter of RFE/RL, Havel invited RFE/RL to take up residence in Prague in 1995, planting RFE/RL’s headquarters in a city where its broadcasts were once banned.
Fellows pay tribute to Havel
Fellowship Projects 2016 – 2017
Salome Apkhazishvili (Georgia) examines the question of digital natives in her project. How do they evaluate information from the internet? What are the main challenges and threats related to disinformation and fake news for young people? What role does media literacy play in this issue?
Ksenia Churmanova (Russia) investigates the Transnistrian post-soviet generation, revealing what they think about the current state of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. What path does this generation consider the most appropriate for its homeland – being a part of Russia, a part of Moldova, or independent? Do they feel as attached to the Soviet Union as the previous generations who still live there with the USSR passports? Do they find themselves isolated there?
- Article and video (in Russian)
Yaroslava Kutsai (Ukraine) focuses on the right to water in Slovenia in her project. Slovenia is the first country in the European Union (and the 16th in the whole world) to enshrine the human right to water in their constitution. In order to prevent commercialization of the nation’s water resources, the parliament adopted an amendment declaring that abundant clean supplies are “a public good managed by the state” and “not a market commodity.”