Eastern Europe / Germany Marion Gräfin Dönhoff Fellowship

The Marion Gräfin Dönhoff Journalism Fellowship was founded in 2001. Back then, Russia was a reasonably free country, seeking a modernisation partnership with the West. IJP promoted the exchange of journalists between Germany and the former Soviet states. Young German journalists spent a two-months fellowship at “Novaya Gazeta” or “Echo Moskvy” in Moscow or “Ukrainskaya Pravda” in Ukraine, while journalists from Russia and other Eastern European countries worked in German media organizations in Berlin, Bonn, Hamburg or Munich.

This changed, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. For security reasons, IJP does not currently send German journalists to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus. IJP has shifted its cooperation with Eastern European editorial offices to countries where peace prevails and German journalists can move freely and are accredited, including Georgia, Armenia and Moldova. Journalists from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus (as well as Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan) are still eligible to apply to the programme.

The scholarship is intended to give 10 – 12 young journalists from Germany and Eastern Europe annually the opportunity to gain a personal impression of current political, economic and cultural developments and backgrounds. Participants work in a foreign journalistic environment and thereby gain insights into the media landscape of their host country.

The IJP programme for Eastern Europe is named after Marion Gräfin Dönhoff (02.12.1909 – 11.03.2002), long-time editor of the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT.  She did not miss the opportunity to meet the first fellows in Hamburg in 2001, despite her illness, and emphasized the importance of fostering an understanding between East and West.



Dönhoff fellows meeting the president of Georgia Salome Surabischwili
Fellow Irina Peter during her stay in Georgia

“Thanks to IJP, I got a job in Germany and met professionals from different countries. We did joint projects with some of these journalists. Two months that have changed and defined my life ever since.”

Elena Barysheva, Alumna 2008
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