The Journalism Master Class is one of the key-programmes of the Ratiu Forum. It aims to address the challenges and opportunities of journalism in Romania and the CEE region and to support journalists in strengthening practical skills.


10-11 February 2024


The Ratiu Forum – a partnership between LSE IDEAS (London School of Economics) and the Ratiu Foundations – will host the 2024 Journalism Master Class on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th of February at the Ratiu Democracy Centre in Turda, Romania. 

The event aims to explore the current situation of journalism in Romania and the Central and East European (CEE) region, addressing timely topics such as corruption, the war in Ukraine, and the rise of fake news and disinformation, as well as the power of journalism to record and tackle such issues. Participants will also benefit from workshops on key journalistic techniques and skills and will have access to a Romanian and regional network of professionals and experts. The panellists and speakers list includes a leading group of Romanian journalists and specialists from LSE IDEAS and the region.

Covered topics

  • The state of journalism in the world: the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Gaza conflict
  • The state of journalism in Romania
  • The ethics of journalism and media companies
  • Reporting on the far right
  • Investigating Andrew Tate

The selected participants will be accommodated in Turda at the Ratiu Compound

Free event. Application is required.

The application call is now closed. Selected participants will be informed soon. 

The Master Class is primarily addressed to professional Romanian journalists. Applications are also open to journalists from Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine. Candidates must have a working knowledge of English. 

Interested candidates are required to submit to the following documents: a motivation letter, a resume (not exceeding two pages) and a writing sample. 

Please read here the information note on the processing of personal data for participants.

Please fill out and send us also the GDPR form available here.

The following criteria will be considered when assessing applications:

  • Proven knowledge of and interest in current affairs, particularly about the CEE region
  • Ambition to grow and improve as journalists 
  • Commitment to engaging fully in the Master Class and to making the most of the knowledge and expertise on offer
14 January – application deadline
15 – 22 January – participants selection
22 January – final results*
Selected participants will be contacted by the project team.

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.

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

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 Curierul Naţional and Evenimentul Zilei 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 (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).

John Florescu has had a distinguished career as media entrepreneur, television producer and businessman with broad experience in the United States and Europe. A journalist by training and foreign policy generalist, Florescu is the son of one of America’s top Balkan scholars and the grandson of one of Romania’s most celebrated pre-war diplomats. Florescu has produced over 150 specials, documentaries and interviews for PBS, HBO, A&E, History Channel, Discovery-Times, Disney Channel, CBS Cable and other broadcast outlets in the US and overseas. He was Co- Executive Producer of Talking with David Frost, served as Director of Communications for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and was Vice President of Boston-based APB. Today, he serves as CEO of Centrade, a family- owned, Houston-based media company. Florescu produced “The King Who Tricked Hitler”, (2016) about King Michael of Romania and, in 2017, two programmes on President Trump and Senator Clinton, and a 2018 TV film, “Queen Marie: Heart of Romania”. He also produced “King Michael: The Last King Behind the Iron Curtain”. In 2016, Florescu was granted the title of “Cavalier” by King Michael of Romania. Two of his most recent films have won “People’s Choice” award at the Transylvanian Film Festival. 

Victor Ilie graduated from the Faculty of Journalism at the University of Iasi in 2012. He has written for Opinia Veche, Jurnalul Național, Casa Jurnalistului, Rise Project and Inclusiv. He joined the Recorder team in September 2020. 

Adam Jasser has co-hosted a foreign policy podcast “About the World at Onet” for Poland’s leading web portal since 2021. He has worked as a business and policy consultant, including with the World Bank on competition, privatisation and regulatory reforms in transition economies. In 2014-16, Adam was head of the Polish competition authority. He served as Secretary of State in the Chancellery of Prime Minister Donald Tusk in 2010-14. He was Secretary of the PM’s Economic Council and oversaw the analytical and policy impact assessment department. Before joining the government, Adam was Programme Director at Warsaw-based think-tank demosEuropa – Centre for European Strategy. Earlier, he spent almost 20 years at Reuters news agency, in roles stretching from translator and head of economic reporting in Warsaw, to bureau chief in Frankfurt and regional editor for central Europe, the Balkans and Turkey.

Luiza Vasiliu, 38 yo, Romania, studied literature and became a journalist by contagion. In 2016 she co-founded Scena9, a platform for the young generation of artists and thinkers. In the meantime, she discovered the thrill of investigative journalism. She published a series about one of the most famous Romanian doctors, who performed unauthorized experimental procedures which killed children or left them crippled. This investigation was a finalist for the European Science Writer of The Year Award. She interviewed John Oliver, Tom Hardy, Charlie Brooker et al. She wrote about astrophysicists studying micro black holes, a teacher chastised for showing her students a movie about Verlaine and Rimbaud, a communism dissident setting Stalin’s statue on fire. In 2023 she exposed together with Victor Ilie the ties between infamous influencers Andrew and Tristan Tate and Romanian organized crime.

Mircea Barbu is a Romanian journalist covering foreign affairs, conflict zones and human rights. Mr Barbu has worked on a number of stories from Syria, Iraq, the Gaza Strip, the Balkans, Ukraine and Transnistria just to name a few, reporting mostly on social aspects of armed conflicts, the toll wars take on civilian population, organized crime in the region and various human rights violations. In Romania he is currently covering the Andrew Tate case for BBC News. Current and past bylines include BBC, The Times, Al-Jazeera, DW, France24, ARTE, Libertatea and Europa FM.

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. 


The Ratiu Forum 2022-2023 Annual Review is now available. Click here to read: