Romanian Resort to Host BIRN Summer School

This year’s BIRN Summer School of Investigative Reporting will be held from August 19th to 25th in Poiana Brasov, a Romanian resort best known for winter sports but also for hiking and other activities.

This is a great opportunity for all those who wish to improve their investigative skills and learn the latest tricks from media experts.

BIRN will be gathering some of the world’s best-known editors and trainers to teach the course members investigative tips and tricks.

Successful applicants will be provided with excellent possibilities for networking – and the possibility of getting a grant for a story idea.

The lead trainer on the course in Romania is one of the best investigative editors in the US, Reuters’ Blake Morrison, a three-times finalist for the Pulitzer investigative award.

Others include the New York Times senior journalist Christoph Koettl; co-creator of one of the best podcast series in US and winner of an Emmy and three Peabody awards Susanne Reber; Knight International Journalism Award winner and OCCRP editor Miranda Patrucic; European Press Prize winner Bellingcats’ Christiaan Triebert; ICIJ journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia and award winning BIRN’s investigative editor, Lawrence Marzouk.

These skilled trainers will teach you where and how to dig for data, how to make people to talk to you, how to best present a story – and how to use video in your work.

Who the Summer School is for:

The training course is suitable for both investigative journalists with a few years’ experience as well as those who are more skilled.

The programme in the morning is designed to suit the entire group, while in the afternoon parallel sessions will he held, so that participants can choose what session suits them best.

Participants have the possibility of one-on-one sessions with trainers in the afternoon, either for themselves alone or as part of small group.

Investigative Story Fund:

This year’s group of 30 journalists, 20 of whom will be from the Balkans and 10 from elsewhere, will be working on their story ideas and able to obtain funds for their investigations.

The three best story ideas will be awarded funds ranging from 1,000 to 3000 euros. Journalists will be guided on their ideas by the lead trainer and by BIRN’s investigative editor.

Forests and Dracula’s Castle:


Poiana Brasov is located 12 kilometres from Brasov and 160 km from Bucharest and can be reached by road and train.

This peaceful resort, surrounded by the forests of Transylvania, makes a perfect setting for the Summer School.

Participants will have time to explore Bran Castle, a Romanian landmark commonly known as Dracula’s Castle, which is located only half-an-hour from the venue.

The venue itself is the charming Teleferic Hotel, which is a fine base for a variety of summer activities.

So, if you wish to expand your journalistic contacts, learn from some of the world’s top journalists and compete for an investigative story grant, this year’s Summer School is an opportunity not to be missed.