Poynter Institute and Zašto ne call for training program applications

Zašto ne from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute announce a training program to build and increase capacity in fact-checking in the Balkans.



The goal is to provide newsrooms and non-profit organizations with fact-checking skills and connect them with the existing verified signatories through mentorship and monitoring to assure the beneficiary organizations in Bulgaria, Hungary, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia will be compliant to IFCN’s Code of Principles.

The Poynter Institute, home to the IFCN, is known for its excellence in journalism instruction with expertise in ethics, leadership, media literacy and storytelling. Through this initiative, the IFCN and Zašto ne will bridge their existing fact checking expertise and training programs with aspiring fact-checkers in the Balkans.

Trainees will be provided with instruction to build skill sets in:

  • Fact-checking techniques
  •  Addressing health related mis/disinformation
  • Business development
  • Ethics and leadership
  • Multimedia journalism
  • Audience building

“Our objective is to help the growing fact-checking community in the Balkans with essential know-how on building a fact-checking unit and providing the public with accurate and reliable information amid this global pandemic and the anticipated debates around vaccination efforts. We have seen that the fact-checking community in the Balkans have been instrumental in helping consumers and disseminators of information during times of uncertainty,” said Baybars Orsek, director of the IFCN.

“We are excited for this program that will provide the opportunity for the newsrooms and independent journalists in the region to acquire new skills and knowledge under the guidance of the renowned Poynter Institute. As a founding member of the regional SEE Check fact-checking network and a long-time IFCN verified signatory, we hope initiatives like this will help both our regional fact-checking “family” and the global fact-checking community grow and thrive in these challenging times.“, said Tijana Cvjetićanin, editor-in-chief of Zašto ne’s Raskrinkavanje platform.



The program will start in June and finish in October. It will be presented in three stages:

– Video-course with pre-recorded materials (June)
– Self-directed courses, webinars and live discussions (July/August)
– Mentorship and monitoring for newsrooms/organizations (September/October)

Translations into local languages will be provided for the video-course and self directed courses. Webinars and mentorship by verified signatories of the Code of Principles will be conducted in English.

Participants are expected to commit to the entire program (all three stages for newsrooms/organizations and the first two stages for individuals). Upon the program completion, all participants will be issued certificates by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.



Newsrooms can apply to the training program as well as independent journalists from Bulgaria, Hungary, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. Mentoring will be provided to the newsrooms for IFCN’s Code of Principles application process.

Priority will be given to newsrooms and organizations with existing fact-checking programs, as well as media outlets who are in the process of establishing fact checking operations. IFCN verified signatories are also welcome to apply.

For independent journalists/editors, a minimum of 2 years of experience in the field is required. Priority will be given to journalists with previous experience in fact checking.

Working knowledge of English is preferred.


Newsrooms and organizations can apply on this link.
Application for individual journalists and editors is available on this link.

The deadline for applications is May 21st, Friday and participants will be notified by their acceptance to the program during the week of May 24th.

You can contact us at [email protected] for any additional inquiries.

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