Media outlets often receive requests from young people wanting an internship, practical experience and opportunity to do field work, but rarely are they able to offer structured or formal programmes. Our partner, BIRN, created a four-month traineeship programme for a total of 24 trainees.
The programme is designed to support journalism students, recent graduates and young journalists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The first group of 12 participants started their internship in November 2020 with a set of intensive two-week training sessions on basics of journalism led by a senior BIRN editor, who taught the trainees a range of skills and techniques they would need to work in a busy newsroom.
After the training, they were introduced to their mentors, journalists and editors, and became full-time members of staff at selected host media. Over the course of the programme, trainees learned about pitching stories, interviewing techniques, factchecking, editing and other practical skills. As a result, 12 trainees produced over 300 different journalistic pieces from December 2020 until February 2021.
Creating the next generation of journalists
The Media for All Traineeship Programme for Young Journalists proved to be very successful. Three of the 12 trainees were offered jobs with the host media outlets after completing the programme. Four trainees were also offered temporary contracts at BIRN. One former trainee now has her own show at TV Vijesti in Montenegro.
Four of the participants from the first group have also had their feature stories published in Balkan Insight, BIRN’s flagship English language website which provides news, investigations and insights into key issues in Southern and Eastern Europe. You can read their articles here, here, here and here.