Call for Applications

Central and Eastern European Journalism Mentorship Programme

The Ratiu Forum, a partnership between LSE IDEAS (London School of Economics) and the Ratiu Foundation, is now accepting applications for the 2023 Journalism Mentorship Programme. Applications are open to dynamic, early-career young journalists from selected Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries who wish to advance their professional skills and understanding of the region and a variety of thematic issues. One of the mentees will also be selected to attend the Reuters Summer School in 2023.

The Programme will run from January 2023 to July 2023. The bulk of activities will take place online, but beneficiaries of the Programme will also be invited to in-person workshops which will take place in Turda, Romania. Mentees will have the opportunity to learn from seasoned journalists from around the globe with experience working for the Financial Times, BBC, New Eastern Europe Magazine, and the Associated Press, as well as a range of prominent experts on cutting-edge topics relevant to the CEE region.

Applications are now closed.

Information note on the processing of personal data for participants:

For any further information please contact: Maria Branea,


  • To promote skills development among early career journalists through strategic sessions (online, one-on-one and in-person) on key competencies needed for professional journalism and investigative work, such as pitching, writing, and investigative skills;

  • To promote thought leadership by introducing participating journalists to cutting-edge and topical thematic issues such as cyber security, disinformation, NATO forward presence in CEE, and Black Sea security;

  • Supporting young journalists in producing at least one meaningful article or podcast each on issues of particular relevance to the CEE region.


  • One-on-one mentoring with highly accomplished regional and international journalists;

  • Online webinars focusing on skills development and thought leadership;

  • In-person workshops in Turda, Romania, with distinguished journalists and experts.


The project is addressed to journalists who are at the beginning of their career, preferably with one to five years of experience. To honour the legacy of Ion Ratiu, candidates must believe in democratic values and be citizens of Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine. Candidates must also have a working knowledge of English.


In order to apply for the Journalism Mentorship Programme, interested candidates should
submit the following information to Maria Branea, in English:

  • A cover letter explaining their motivation to be part of the Programme, what they would like to achieve in terms of their personal and professional development, and the key issues which they would like to learn about (both with regards to journalistic skills and thematic topics). The letter of motivation should be no longer than 600 words;

  • A pitch for an article or podcast which would be completed as part of the Programme with the guidance of their mentor on any topic of their choice;

  • A CV, preferably not exceeding two pages; and

  • A writing/podcast sample.


The Ratiu Forum will be considering the following criteria when assessing applications:

  • Proven knowledge of and interest in current affairs, particularly in relation to the CEE region.

  • Enthusiasm and curiosity; a desire to understand and document the world around them.

  • An ambition to grow and improve as budding journalists and a desire to develop both professionally and personally.

  • A commitment to engaging fully in the Programme and to making the most of the knowledge and expertise of their mentors.

  • Applications are welcomed from Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine, but the majority of beneficiaries will be Romanian.

The selection procedure will consist of an assessment of submitted applications against the selection criteria listed above and will conclude with the appointment of the successful mentees.


Eva Marie Bulai is a Norwegian senior political journalist. Her training and background is in the Norwegian press culture which boasts clearly defined ethics and standards. She spends her summers back in her native country, working for the National Broadcasting in Norway (NRK) for both TV and radio. She has a bachelor degree in Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian languages, which also included the History of the Balkans, and a bachelor degree in journalism from Oslo University College. She worked as a journalist for the newspaper Dagsavisen, for the domestic department and the department of foreign affairs, and as a political journalist for Norway’s biggest newspaper Aftenposten. She started working for NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation) in 2006.

Alison Mutler studied Romanian literature and language at the University of London and graduated in 1987. She first reported from Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova before communism ended and was in Romania working for British television station ITV during the 1989 anti-communist revolution. She moved to Romania in 1991 and joined the Associated Press which she left last year after 25 years. She has been president of the now defunct Foreign Press Association. She occasionally freelances for Coda Story and Radio Free Europe among others. Starting with 1st of November 2021, Alison is the director of

Diana Oncioiu is currently a reporter working for the alternative publication Dela0. She is also a member of the Să Fie Lumină project, initiated by and the Centre for Media Investigations. Diana has a background in broadcasting, having worked for five years for Realitatea TV and Digi24. She covers mainly social topics – domestic violence, education, social assistance, extreme poverty, and social exclusion – and is the author of a series of in depth reportages covering topic like: the social reintegration of former inmates, life in the undergrounds of the Bucharest neighbourhood Ferentari, human trafficking and the prosecution of sexual crimes against child victims. Diana is the 2020 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Journalism Award.

Dan Perry joined the Associated Press in 1990 where he led various bureaus including the Caribbean, Europe and Africa ones while based in London. He has most recently been leading the Middle East bureau from Cairo. During the years of the Second Palestinian Uprising, he was chairman of the Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem. Since leaving the Associated Press in 2018, Perry has acted as counsellor for Thunder11 and has also served as chief business development and strategy officer for the advertising platform Engageya. The author of two books about Israel, Perry has written on politics and society for publications including the New York Daily News, the Cairo Review of Foreign Affairs, and the Times of Israel.

Adam Reichardt is the Editor-in-Chief of New Eastern Europe. Prior to assuming the role of Editor-in-Chief, Adam served as the Managing Editor of New Eastern Europe. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Central European Journal of International and Strategic Studies (CEJISS) and a member of the executive team of the Three Ukrainian Revolutions project run by the College of Europe, Natolin campus in Warsaw. He previously spent eight years in public policy in Washington DC. Adam has an MA in Public Administration in Public and Non-profit Management from the George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia USA, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. In 2012, he was short-listed for the European Press Prize in the category of “Editing” for his work on New Eastern Europe and in 2014 he was named to the “New Europe 100” list of the region’s top innovators.

Emilia Șercan is an investigative journalist with 24 years of professional experience. She is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences (University of Bucharest). She has worked for national media platforms like the CurierulNaţional and EvenimentulZilei newspapers and for the Realitatea-Cațavencu media trust. As of 2015, her investigations can be read on PressOne. She has authored over 4,000 investigations, interviews and columns, more recently on the topic of plagiarism in doctoral theses. Emilia Șercan has won several scholarships, among which a US State Department Fellowship at Ohio University (2016), a scholarship at Standhal University Grenoble 3 (2012 – 2013) and a Freedom House Scholarship in the USA (2004). Over the years, she has won several professional and academic awards: Journalist of the Year – SuperScrieri Awards (2016), Freedom of Expression Award – Active Watch (2016), Ion Ratiu Journalism Award (2016), “Nicolae Iorga” Award of the Romanian Society of Historical Sciences, European Network for Academic Integrity Award (2019) and the Award the Group for Social Dialogue – GDS (2020).

Ovidiu Vanghele started his career in 2002 working for the Mediafax news agency before joining the Pro TV news team in 2012. In 2013 he set up the Centre for Investigative Media (CIM), an NGO he has headed ever since. His best known investigative pieces focused on abuses in mental health facilities and on the state’s monetary frauds. He spent 2016 working together with Ana Poenariu (RISE Project) on the series “Toți oamenii generalului” (“All the General’s Men”), an investigative saga on Gabriel Oprea. Ovidiu Vanghele has also set-up and headed the editorial team of EurActiv Romania and collaborated with Factual (a Funky Citizens fact-checking initiative) and Since 2017 he has coordinated the Let There Be Light Project (Să Fie Lumină) together with Vlad Stoicescu, with whom he now runs “The Latest Inquest”, a weekly video podcast on Romanian current affairs. He has been teaching investigative journalism at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences – University of Bucharest.