Dimiter Kenarov, Bulgaria, member of AEJ-BULGARIA, is among the top ten journalists selected for the 2012 Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.
Robert Bosch Stiftung and the ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, have initiated the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme in 2007 in order to encourage regional networking among journalists and advance balanced coverage on topics that are central to the region as well as to the European Union. Each year, ten Balkan journalists are competitively chosen to receive funding and professional support to conduct their own research project.
Fellowship reports are disseminated widely in all local languages as well as in English and German, and published in a book which assembles the ten works that have been produced in the course of the fellowship year.
Dimiter Kenarov is a freelance journalist and contributing editor at The Virginia Quarterly Review. His work has appeared in The International Herald Tribune, Boston Review, Esquire, The Nation, Outside, Columbia Journalism Review, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in American and Russian literature from Middlebury College and a master’s in English from the University of California, Berkeley.
One of the latest report of Dimiter Kenarov is about the situation with media freedom in Belarus : “Tongue Oppressor. How Lukashenko’s Belarus muzzles the press”. The story is published in Columbia Journalism Review.
“Last summer I traveled to Belarus on assignment for The Virginia Quarterly Review. It was the most bizarre reporting trip I had ever made. Following a series of misadventures, during which my passport mysteriously went missing, I was apprehended by operatives from the KGB—as the security services are still called in that part of the world—and after a grueling interrogation, locked up in solitary confinement. Publicly, the reason behind my detention was simple enough: verification of identity. That could have happened in the United States, or about anywhere else. During a routine immigration check, a tourist fails to provide a valid document and is detained until replacements are issued. On the record, I was just unlucky. On the record, the Republic of Belarus is a democratic state in Eastern Europe, where people are arrested only on strictly legal grounds.”
You can read the full text of the article on http://www.cjr.org/feature/tongue_oppressor.php