International competition for young journalists found its winner!

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According to the independent jury, the best work submitted for the “Journey: journalism boot camp” journalistic project competition was video report “ Ignoring me“ produced by Stephanie Strauss (USA). Stephanie’s project dealt with Czech education system’s approach towards dyslectic children and the jury praised both the choice of subject and journalistic qual ity of the project.

You can watch the report here:

The general subject of this year’s competition was “People Power: Organizing for Change”. Selection of specific subject was up to each individua l participant and the submissions came in various formats, ranging from written text to multimedia reports to online infographics and covering great number of issues, among others for example the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine, LGBT movement or ref ugee issues in Europe.

The competition was held exclusively for participants of the “Journey: journalism boot camp” course, organized by the Bakala Foundation in cooperation with the US Embassy in Prague. Through the competition, students had the support of assigned “Mentors”, experienced journalists and pedagogues who provided feedback and assistance.

All final submissions were reviewed by an indepen dent jury, consisting of Mr. Ray Castillo, Counselor for Public Affairs, US Embassy in Prague; Mr. Alexand er Lukashuk, Director of Belarus service, RFE/RL and Mr. Michael Kahn, Correspondent for Central Europe and Balkans, Reuters . The main prize for the winner is a 6 – week internship at Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty in Prague with all expenses covered by the Bakala Foundation.

“Our jury was very pleasantly surprised by the colorful subjects participants selected and their precise coverage. The final decision came after a long discussion and the winning piece impressed the jurors as it talked about a serious issue that is not yet being publicly discussed,” says Vaclav Pecha, Director of the Bakala Foundation.

Journey: journalism boot camp is a two – week intensive course of journalistic skills and abilities for students of journalism from 8 selected countries. Besides five talented Czech students, the course also welcomed participants from Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and the USA. Working language of the course was English.

Only 20 of 24 7 applicants were accepted into the program. The intensive summer course consisted of series of workshops conducted by experts from renown media outlets, including two Pulitzer Prize winners, Mr. Charles Ornstein and Mr. Jesse Eisinger. Participants learne d for example how to work with online databases, how to verify information gathered online, how to prepare for and conduct an interview or how to work with whistleblowers and participated in a three day field exercise under tutelage of experienced editors from Reuters.