Achilles Data is a three-month course for aspiring journalists and media students from the Czech Republic with the aim of familiarizing participants with the basic tools, current trends and in-depth methods of modern  journalism. This course accepts 3- to 4-member teams of students.

The Course

  • Teams first undergo a three-day series of workshops
  • Each team is assigned a mentor, whom the students consult with for the duration of the course
  • Teams submit their final project, which usually consists of an article plus interview and infographics
  • The course ends with a final meeting during which the best project is chosen and participants receive a written evaluation of their work from the judges

Achilles’ Data IV

A total of six teams of students from Prague and Ostrava were accepted for the fourth Achilles Data course in 2016 (photo gallery here).

Aspiring journalists completed a three-day series of workshops at the American Center in Prague. The workshops were led by experts on various topics from the Czech Republic and abroad (in Czech and English).

The teams were given until May 22, 2016 to independently compile their final thesis on their chosen topics.

Among the mentors this year were:                                                                                                              

Jana Ustohalová (MF Dnes)
Pavla Holcová (Czech Centre for Investigative Journalism)
Jindřich Šídlo (Hospodářské noviny)
Tomáš Němeček (journalist)
Markéta Dobiášová (Czech Television)
Štěpánka Černá (KPMG)
Ondřej Kundra (Respekt)
Jaroslav Spurný (Respekt)
Magdalena Sodomková (journalist)
Vojtěch Blažek (Hospodářské noviny)
Paul Myers (Research Clinic, BBC Academy)
Jan Cibulka (Samizdat)

Final projects (article, interview and infographics) were submitted by May 22nd, 2016. The teams could offer their texts to the media for publication after this date.

The entire course ended with a final meeting on June 23, 2016, where the best project was chosen and all the participants received a written evaluation of their work from the judges.

The course is organized by the Bakala Foundation and the Czech Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Information for candidates

We are not yet accepting applications for the Achilles’ Data V course. Please watch for updates on our website and Facebook page.

Admission and selection criteria for Achilles Data courses

  • A team of 3-4 students or recent graduates from journalism and media schools in the Czech Republic
  • Very good knowledge of English
  • Electronic submission of a complete application including a motivation letter (max. 1,500 words)
  • Graduates of the course Achilles’ Data II and III and IV will not be accepted. Participants of Achilles’ Data I can apply
  • No knowledge of specific technology is required. Students are advised to bring their own laptop

Price of the course

Achilles’ Data course is free of charge. Transport, accommodation and meals are paid by the participants.

Participants from out of Prague can apply for reimbursement of travel costs and accommodation. This request and the reason for the stipend along with an estimated budget must be sent along with the application to info@bakalafoundation.org.

Conditions for successful completion of the course

  • Course enrollment
  • Participation in the opening three-day training course in Prague
  • Independent investigative team activities throughout the duration of the course, brief written notes from a team meeting once a week
  • Active cooperation with the mentor
  • Successfully presented thesis work