ICFJ Knight Fellow, Data Journalism, Central/Eastern Europe

The International Center for Journalists seeks outstanding applicants with a strong background in data journalism for a one-year ICFJ Knight Fellowship to promote data-driven reporting techniques in Central and Eastern Europe. The Fellow will work with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which supports a network of investigative journalism centers around the region that specialize in uncovering organized crime and large-scale corruption in government and industry. With OCCRP, the Fellow will help selected member centers in the region to produce data-driven investigative journalism faster, more cheaply and more safely. In turn, this will mean more stories can be produced at a lower expense, increasing center sustainability. The Fellow will design projects to ensure that the impact will be measurable and will last beyond the fellowship.

Data-driven reporting has established itself as a key strategy in investigative journalism. The success of major investigations such as the Panama Papers or the Russian Laundromat are dependent on the ability to process, analyze and present data from public sources and leaked datasets. However, many OCCRP member centers lack the skill to perform independent, data-driven investigations. Many neither have the organizational scale nor the budget to hire full-time data reporters. However, ICFJ and OCCRP see an opportunity to establish better data skills within the existing teams through training and project-based collaboration.

The Fellow with improve the quality of research and storytelling of member centers as an “embedded data coach.” Over the course of several weeks in each center, the Fellow will combine short-term trainings and workshops with hands-on guidance for staff working on investigative stories, helping the centers to establish data practices as an essential design element of investigative strategy, rather than an afterthought. The Fellow will also identify the data journalism needs of these member centers and work with OCCRP’s in-house technology team to design and develop long-term infrastructure and algorithmic approaches to support better data-driven reporting. The infrastructure created by the Fellow will be available to all the centers in the OCCRP network, and ultimately will be available to investigative journalists worldwide, together with other stakeholders such as citizen journalists and activists who need support in accessing data.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Significant experience as a data journalist with a knack for finding a good story in data
  • A track record of demonstrating and training others with a limited skill set to learn data acquisition, cleaning, analysis and visualization techniques
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to forge collaborations with newsrooms
  • Proven skills in leading digital and data-journalism teams in newsrooms and several concurrent news projects
  • Experience in the use of secure communication tools for collaborative work
  • Experience and ability to travel extensively within the target region, which may include the Baltics, Balkans and Caucasus. (The Fellow will be based either in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina or other member center hub that will be convenient for travel in the region.)
  • Experience measuring results, such as the impact of content, adoption of technology and audience engagement
  • Ability to communicate results through writing and public speaking
  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of Russian, BCS or other regional languages is a plus.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the goal of the Fellowship starting as soon as possible.

If you are interested in being a candidate, please apply here, and select “Central/Eastern Europe” on page one of the form. You can direct any questions to: Luisa Pires Luciano at lpiresluciano@icfj.org.

For more information on the ICFJ Knight Fellowships, including financial benefits and expenses covered by the fellowship, see our FAQs. We also strongly encourage candidates to view our current projects and fellows to better understand the work of our Knight Fellows.