The theme for this year’s fellowship is Values. Let the topic inspire a new idea for a story. Or think of a story you’ve wanted to do and see if you can link it to the topic.

November 17, 2016

Publishing an exposé of clothing factories in Eastern Europe led to intimidating phone calls, legal pressure and a tour of the factory that sued me.

February 9, 2016

Women in Romania and Bulgaria endure low pay, long hours and gruelling work to make clothes for luxury Western brands.

December 21, 2015

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US have bought millions of dollars of Bulgarian weaponry, much of it likely destined for the war in Syria, a BIRN investigation reveals.

December 15, 2015

Priests in the Balkans are among those helping the thousands reaching Europe’s shores — even as some of their colleagues raise fears about the arrival of large numbers of Muslims

December 10, 2015

Is a long tradition of religious coexistence at risk from the rise of a strain of Islam openly hostile to other faiths?

November 23, 2015

Meet the academics whose devotion to Marxism cost them their jobs in the 1990s — and the thinkers driving Marx back up the political agenda across Europe today.

November 19, 2015

Women in the West are being encouraged to freeze their eggs to have a better chance of conceiving later in life. Will the procedure catch on in Serbia and Croatia?

November 17, 2015

More and more young people are getting university degrees but many end up jobless or in low-skilled work.

September 25, 2015

We meet in a café, after work. She welcomes me with a big smile.  As the topic is very sensitive, she asks me not to publish her real name. So we decide to call her Radmila.

August 3, 2015

That night we ordered Chinese. A friend came over. After a long period of unemployment, she had just started working for a technology startup. We tried to recall the last time we ate Chinese food. Nobody could. “It’s been a long time,” we said and tucked into the noodles as the kids played with the fortune cookies.

July 14, 2015

Late last year, rumours spread through the historic Bulgarian town of Sopot that its most famous landmark, a statue of the great writer Ivan Vazov, might be sold off. The debt-laden local council was unable to pay its creditors so its property was appraised and put up for sale. As it turned out, the statue survived, although the mayor’s chair didn’t – it was sold for 74 levs (about 37 euros).

July 13, 2015

Blerim Cakolli has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the Faculty of Law at the University of Pristina. Since he graduated with his advanced degree three years ago, he has been working full-time – not as a lawyer, but as a waiter in a restaurant.

July 1, 2015

“How come I was born in Bulgaria and I don’t feel Bulgarian?! That’s not right.” Yashar Hassan is angry. We are seated in the middle of the market in Stolipinovo, a Roma neighbourhood in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv with more than 50,000 residents. He is smoking cigarette after cigarette and his voice rises with the temperature of his words.

June 26, 2015

The old lady sitting on a street bench had the elegance of a grandmother dressed for church. She looked intrigued and somewhat amused by my question. After pausing to see whether I was joking, she replied: “You won’t find a shopping mall in this city. No famous brands. People could never afford them.”

June 11, 2015

There is no doubt that Karl Marx is one of the most influential philosophers of all time. Just one illustration: in a BBC poll in 1999, he was voted “the greatest thinker of the millennium”. In my personal life, Karl Marx has also played an important role. Without him, I probably would not have been born.

June 9, 2015

There is an unearthly silence on the isolated beach in the north of Lesvos, a Greek island in the eastern Aegean. The sun has just risen and the sea is dyed in the colours of dawn.