6-8 November 2020: Online Ratiu Forum Journalism Workshop

Our Journalism Workshop in partnership with LSE IDEAS will take place from 6-8th November 2020.

The workshop will be led by John Lloyd, East Europe editor and Moscow Bureau Chief for the Financial Times, with other main speakers including Wojciech Przybylski, Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight, Ovidiu Vanghele, founder of the Center for Investigative Media, universul.net journalist Alison Mutler, and Sifted.eu Central and Eastern Europe correspondent Kit Gillet.

This highly interactive, weekend-long workshop is for professional journalists seeking to expand their investigative skills, to network with regional journalists and to explore the complex challenges the profession faces today.

online journalism workshop

Topics to be explored will include the power of the story, investigating and reporting corruption, covering the crises and state of the world, journalism’s ‘dark spaces’ and the current situation of journalism across Central Europe.

We will confirm the full programme nearer the time. 

Registration is possible and it will be followed by a selection process. 



All times are in Romanian time


Friday 6th November 2020

18:00-19:30 Welcome and introduction to the workshop Following a brief welcome by Nicolae Ratiu, Chairman of the Ratiu Family Foundation, Professor Christopher Coker (LSE IDEAS), will draw on his expertise in international relations and history to explore the need for an international perspective in journalism. Then, John Lloyd will talk about his extensive career in journalism, his experiences reporting from the region and why he co-founded the Reuters Institute for Journalism at the University of Oxford. Followed by Q&A.

19:30-20:30 Optional ‘drinks’ for all participants – informal online conversation ending the workshop day


Saturday 7th November 2020

11:30-13:00 Journalism in Central Europe, Moderator: John Lloyd, Speakers: Wojciech Przybylski and special guest

14:00-15:30 The Nature of Romanian JournalismJohn Lloyd in discussion with Diana Oncioiu (Dela0.ro and recipient of the 2020 Ion Ratiu Journalism Award) and Emilia Șercan.

Longer break – with optional ‘chat session’ 

17:00-18:30 Reporting During a Global Pandemic Kit Gillet and Alison Mutler

18:30-19:30 ‘Drinks’ and conversation – informal online conversation ending the workshop day

Sunday 8th November 2020

11:30-13:00 Covering Corruption John Lloyd and Emilia Șercan

14:00-15:30 Special Guest in Conversation: Michael Ignatieff John Lloyd and Michael Ignatieff, Rector of Central European University

17:00-18:30 Representing Minorities in the Media Kit Gillet, Alison Mutler and Cristiana Grigore, founder of the Roma Peoples Project at Columbia University

18:00-18:30 Wrapping up John Lloyd: what have we learned and what can we take forward into our daily professional lives?


John Lloyd​

John Lloyd co-founded The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford in 2006, where he was Director of Journalism and a Senior Research Fellow. He is a Contributing editor at The Financial Times, and Chairman of the School of Civic Education (Russia). Lloyd was a freelance reporter in Belfast in the early 1970s. He was a reporter on LBC Radio, worked at London Weekend TV as a reporter on the London Programme and producer on Weekend World. At the Financial Times he has been Labour Editor,Labour and Industrial Editor, East Europe Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief; and founding editor of the FT Weekend Magazine. He has edited both Time Out and the New Statesman.

Emilia Șercan

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). In national media, she worked for Curierul Naţional and Evenimentul Zilei newspapers, and also for the Realitatea-Cațavencu media trust. As of 2015, her investigations can be read on PressOne.
She has signed over 4.000 investigations, interviews and columns on various topics of public interest in Romania (Mătuşa Tamara, Afacerile din energie ale “băieţilor deştepţi”, Afacerile de după FNI ale lui SOV, Averea lui Dan Ioan Popescu, Dosarul Bancorex, Ziarişti – foşti informatori ai Securităţii, Afacerile lui Puiu Popoviciu). In the last five years she covered extensively the topic of plagiarism in doctoral theses, publishing investigations about the works of several Romanian politicians or public figures.
In 2013 she obtained her PhD in Communication Sciences with the distinction “excellent”, publishing her doctoral thesis – Cultul secretului. Mecanismele cenzurii în presa comunistă (Polirom). In 2017 she published another book – Fabrica de doctorate: Sau cum se surpă fundamentele unei nații (Humanitas).
Emilia Șercan won several scholarships, both as a teacher and as a journalist. She was thus a US State Department Fellow at Ohio University (2016), a scholarship holder at Standhal University Grenoble 3 (2012 – 2013) and at Freedom House Scholarship in the USA (2004). Over the years, he 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 ), Professor of the Year – ANOSR (2017), “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).

Diana Oncioiu

Currently a reporter working for the alternative publication Dela0,  Diana Oncioiu is also a member of the Să Fie Lumină project, initiated by Dela0.ro and the Center for Media Investigations. She 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, 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 neighborhood Ferentari, human trafficking and the trialing of sexual crimes with child victims. Diana Oncioiu is the 2020 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Journalism Award.


Wojciech Przybylski is the editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight and chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw. Previously Wojciech has been the editor-in-chief of Eurozine – a magazine representing a network of European cultural journals, and – a Polish journal Res Publica Nowa. He has launched and leads the ‘New Europe 100’ project that is networking and bringing forward a community of successful innovators from CEE across the fields of business, research media, NGO and public administration run jointly by Res Publica, Financial Times and Google. He is a member of the advisory board of the European Forum of New Ideas. His expertise includes European and transatlantic affairs as well as policies related to innovation and culture. He has been publishing in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, VoxEurop, Hospodarskenoviny, Internazzionale, Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and several others. His new book ‘Understanding Central Europe’ (co-ed. with Marcin Moskalewicz) has been published in 2017 by Routledge. 

alison mutler

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 revolt.  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 is now a correspondent for Romanian startup news site, universul.net. She occasionally freelances for Coda Story and Radio Free Europe among others.

Kit Gillet

Kit Gillet is a British freelance journalist based in Bucharest, Romania, reporting on the Balkans and further afield. A former features writer for the South China Morning Post, Kit’s work now appears regularly in the international press, including for The New York Times, The Guardian and The Economist. Kit is also the central and eastern Europe correspondent for Sifted.eu, a Financial Times-backed platform focused on European startups and innovators, as well as a contributing editor at The Banker.