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Vaclav Havel and Jiri Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship Programs

RFE/RL offers fellowship programs that provide mentoring and support for outstanding journalists dedicated to promoting human rights and democracy in our target regions.

  • The Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship is available to aspiring, independent journalists in the European Union's Eastern Partnership countries and Russia.
  • The Jiri Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship is available to aspiring, independent journalists in the western Balkans.

Call for Applications

Fellowship term:

November 18, 2019 – June 26, 2020
Deadline for applications: June 9, 2019

Call for Applications:

About Fellowship Programs

Fellows are selected as a result of a highly competitive process. They are placed with an appropriate language service at RFE/RL's Prague headquarters to receive on-the-job training and mentoring, while working alongside RFE/RL’s seasoned professionals. Programs equip Fellows with cutting-edge journalistic skills, and involve them in the daily editorial debates and discussions that inform a professional and independent press so that they may become standard-bearers of the profession and leaders in their communities, on-line, on air, and in the world.

The Václav 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 2018 Statement on the Occasion of World Press Freedom Day

The Jiri Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship (JDJF) is a joint program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and RFE/RL, funded by the Ministry. Launched in 2014, it is inspired by Jiri Dienstbier Sr.’s contributions to the fields of journalism, foreign policy, and human rights, and intended to further RFE/RL’s legacy of promoting more just and open societies through journalism. More information about the Jiri Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship is available here.

Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs cites the JDJF in its 2018 Statement on the Occasion of World Press Freedom Day

Fellowship Focus Map

Map of countries where the Václav Havel and Jiří Dienstbier Journalism Fellowships are available.

  • Blue: The Václav Havel Journalism Fellowship
  • Red: The Jiri Dienstbier Journalism Fellowship
Map

Are you interested in fellowship goals, application conditions and how to apply?

For more information click here →

2019-2020 Vaclav Havel And Jiri Dienstbier Journalism Fellows Met Foreign Minister Of The Czech Republic Tomas Petricek

Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic Tomas Petricek welcomed the 2019-2020 Vaclav Havel and Jiri Dienstbier Journalism Fellows to the Cernin Palace on January 23, 2020.

Minister Petricek remarked on the importance of the independent media in promoting democracy and human rights, and praised the Fellows’ commitment to this mission. He acknowledged the ministry’s longstanding partnership with RFE/RL in support of this mission, and the importance of the fellowship programs as a concrete example of their shared goals. The minister said that the fellowship programs are one of several projects the ministry supports to promote press freedom globally.

The Fellows spoke to the minister about their personal experiences in journalism and the political and financial challenges to media independence in their countries.

About Havel and Dienstbier

​About Vaclav Havel​

​Václav 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.
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​About Jiri Dienstbier

While Havel is well-known internationally as the “philosopher king,” a former political prisoner who became president, there is another, less well-known figure in many of the iconic photographs of Havel from that time pictured with him, smiling warmly under a thick, tobacco-stained mustache.
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Current Fellows

Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellows 2019-2020

Anastasiya Boika, Belarus

Anastasiya Boika is still a journalism student at the Belarusian University, Faculty of Journalism. She started working as a freelance correspondent for Lidskaya Gazeta when she was still at the Lyceum. During studies at the Lyceum, she became the editor of the newspaper Lyceum Vestnik. In 2016, she began cooperation with the Belarusian portal TUT.BY. She covered various topics: from culture to politics. Nevertheless, her interests focused mostly on judicial, criminal and sharply social journalism. In early 2018, she acquired a university degree by correspondence course. Since January 2018, she has worked as an accredited correspondent for the European Radio for Belarus. Anastasiya attended many journalism training courses, first at the Belarusian Association of Journalists, then at the school on the rights of creative youth from the human rights center "Spring", ending with seminars on citizen journalism in Ukraine and courses on Social Media Marketing in the Czech Republic. She speaks Belarusian, Russian, and English.

Eugen Muravschi, Moldova

Eugen Muravschi is currently working for sic.md, Chișinău as an analyst and fact-checker. Eugen started his career first as a translator working for Jurnal Trust Media and Info-Prim Neo News Agency in Chișinău. He translated news and reports from Romanian into English. He worked for IPN News agency as a journalist and later for the Moldova.org website as editor-in-chief, coordinating the activity of a team of four journalists, editing texts in both Romanian and English, and also producing his own stories. He is a sociology undergraduate from the Bucharest University. Eugen is pursuing a master’s degree in sociology at Istanbul University but has paused his studies at the moment. His mother tongue is Romanian, but he can speak Russian, English, and Turkish.

Ani Arveladze, Georgia

Ani Arveladze started to acquire journalism experience during her journalism studies at the university. She worked for an economics magazine writing articles about Georgia and the world business topics. Ani was a leading reporter for TV IMEDI writing, editing and reporting breaking news. She was also a video editor for the web portal News.ge. Ani is currently working for TV IMEDI again, this time for the morning show as a journalist producing news packages, doing research, writing, editing and reporting stories from all over the world. She is a graduate of the Caucasus University in Tbilisi majoring in journalism. She can speak Georgian, Russian, English, and French.

Marina Bocharova, Russia

Marina Bocharova is currently working as a multimedia projects editor at Kommersant, a leading independent business and political Russian newspaper. She is also a freelancer for Forbes Russia and Coda story. Prior to that, she worked as a news reporter at The Bell, a business and financial media startup, and later Marina was a creative producer of online documentary projects Outreach and Voices from Zazarkalye.
Marina has a bachelor’s degree in TV and business journalism from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. Marina was an intern at the University of Washington Tacoma's Department of Journalism in the U.S. in 2016. She speaks Russian and fluent English.

Fylyp Lebediev, Ukraine

Fylyp Lebediev is currently a freelance journalist for Crimea.Realities, Reuters, and BBC. He lives and works in Sevastopol, Crimea and covers local political, cultural, and economic events. For Crimea.Realities, he writes feature stories, provides audio and video content for online publication, as well as multimedia stories. For Reuters, he prepares investigative content, performs thorough research and fact-checking, and secures information sources. Fylyp also collaborates with Reuters journalists based in Moscow and provides assistance to Reuters journalists when they come to Crimea. For BBC, he contributes stories and comments to the BBC Russian website, writes and edits articles in accordance with BBC policies and ethical standards. Prior to being a freelance journalist, Fylyp worked for the magazine Arguments of the Week providing full coverage of regional, cultural, and economic events. He has a bachelor of law degree from the Wise National Law University in Yaroslav. He speaks Ukrainian, Russian, and English.

Jiri Dienstbier Journalism Fellows 2018 - 2019

Marija Servrieva, North Macedonia

Marija Sevrieva has more than 12 years of experience as a journalist. In the past year, she worked as a freelance multimedia journalist for Samoprasaj.mk, MKD.mk, and Deutsche Welle, and is a reporter at the TV show “Agenda 35” broadcasted on the public broadcasting service Macedonian Radio Television. She conducts analytical and investigative reporting on EU integration policies, court cases and judiciary reforms, and environmental issues. Marija has also worked for various Macedonian media outlets, including Television 24, Akademik.mk, Telegraf.mk, Kapital Business Daily and Kapital Business Magazine, Anticorruptionkirilica.com.mk, and Kanal 5 Plus Television. Marija has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Istinianus Primus Faculty of Law at St. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. She speaks Macedonian and English.

Filip Lukic, Serbia

Filip Lukic is currently working for Europeanwesternbalkans.rs as a senior journalist writing analysis and articles concerning European integration and doing interviews with experts, foreign political actors, journalists and ambassadors about Serbian progress on the path towards the EU. Filip also worked for Deutsche Welle and Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability. He was a fact-checking journalist and researcher in Istinomer (Truth-o-meter), covering topics related to European integration, such as judicial system reform, human rights, security, and foreign policy. He has a Bachelor‘s degree in Journalism, Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade, Serbia and recently he got his master’s degree in Sociology from Free University, Berlin. He speaks Serbian and English.

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