Nexus:
Cross-Border Center for Investigative Reporting

Training and media support program for journalists and CSOs from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Sub-Saharan Africa and West Balkans

About the program

The project Nexus. Cross-Border Center for Investigative Reporting aims to investigate and counter the Kremlin’s malign influence, including economic coercion, disinformation, cyber-attacks, interference in elections, and support of proxy conflicts. The project team of the International Republican Institute and the Berlin-based NGO Journalists in Need Network (jinn) provides training, mentorship, and finance support for media projects on awareness-raising campaigns, investigative reporting, media content production for media professionals, investigative reporters, and CSO representatives from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Sub-Saharan Africa and West Balkans.

Agenda

Conference

November, 2023

Tirana, Albania

Building a Global Democratic Nexus to Counter Foreign Authoritarian Influence

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The Conference is dedicated to bolstering democratic resilience against foreign authoritarian influence in their countries. The Conference aimed to connect journalists who have experience investigating domestic authoritarianism with democratic stakeholders worldwide on topics similar or related to foreign authoritarian influence in their own countries. Topics covered at the event included tactics for investigating and exposing foreign authoritarian influence and how civil society and media can mitigate the impact of this influence on democratic institutions and processes in their countries.

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Seminar

February 22-23, 2024

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Countering Foreign Malign Influence in Western Balkans

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Two-day in-person training for independent journalists, media representatives, and CSOs from Western Balkans on investigative reporting in cooperation with senior Bosnian, Russian, US, and German media professionals and investigative researchers. The training covers strategies and case studies of the Kremlin’s malign influence in Western Balkans and facilitates the development of media campaigns and cross-border investigative projects. The participants can pitch their individual and cooperation project concepts and be consulted on possible synergies within the Nexus cross-border network, mentorship, and financial support for the project implementation.

The training takes place on February 22-23, 2024 in Sarajevo. We invite journalists, investigative reporters, and media and CSO representatives from Western Balkans and Southeast Europe to participate in the training and apply for media grants.

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Webinar

March 2024 (TBA)

Online

Countering Foreign Malign Influence in the Sub-Saharan Africa

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The webinar covers strategies and case studies of the Kremlin’s malign influence in the Sub-Saharan Africa. It invites independent journalists, media representatives, and CSOs from the target regions to participate and pitch their domestic and cross-border media projects and campaigns. Senior media professionals and investigative journalists from independent Russian media will host and facilitate the webinar.

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Seminar

April 2024 (TBA)

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Countering Foreign Malign Influence in Kazakhstan and Mongolia

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Two-day in-person training for independent journalists, media representatives, and CSOs from Western Balkans on investigative reporting in cooperation with senior Bosnian, Russian, US, and German media professionals and investigative researchers in Ulaanbaatar. The training covers strategies and case studies of the Kremlin’s malign influence in Kazakhstan and Mongolia and facilitates the development of media campaigns and cross-border investigative projects. The participants can pitch their individual and cooperation project concepts and be consulted on possible synergies within the Nexus cross-border network, mentorship, and financial support for the project implementation.

Register

Nexus Media Content Grants

February-November, 2024: Project implementation period

The Nexus project invites media professionals, investigative researchers, and CSO representatives from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Sub-Saharan Africa and West Balkans to apply their individual and cross-border project concepts for media content grants. The projects should focus on foreign malign influence in one or several target regions, including economic coercion, money laundering and corruption, disinformation, and election interference, support of proxy conflicts, etc. The selected media projects will be awarded from $1,000 to $10,000 each in micro-purchase contracts to develop a short-term independent media product that fills a demand in the regional media market. Illustrative examples of different types of media content may include but are not limited to, short audio products or videos, podcasts, social media posts, text articles for print and/or online media, and mini-documentaries. Media projects must be implemented, and publications must be provided until November 30, 2024.

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Application form

Please apply for participation in the training and media content grants via the online form under the following link. Please make sure to read our FAQ section before applying. We will inform you of the selection results via email.

Application deadlines:

February 7, 2024: for training in Sarajevo for participants from West Balkans

March 19, 2024: webinar for participants from the Sub-Saharan Africa

April 1, 2024: for training in Ulaanbaatar for participants from Kazakhstan and Mongolia

May 31, 2024: final deadline for media content grants

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Eligibility criteria

The program is open to teams of journalists, media organizations, and CSOs from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Sub-Saharan Africa and West Balkans;

An application can be submitted by individual participants and teams located in one of the target regions or operating in exile;

Strong commitment to editorial independence and high standards of journalistic ethics;

Applicants must not be connected to a political party, political institution, or businesses and individuals sanctioned by the EU or US government;

For media content grants: Applicants must have published media articles, social media posts, and/or investigative reports in the past 12 months;

FAQ

Who is eligible to apply in the NEXUS program?

Independent investigative media, journalists, and CSOs from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Sub-Saharan Africa and West Balkans are eligible to apply for the trainings and Nexus media grant program.

The Nexus training in Sarajevo is open to participants from the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe. The training in Ulaanbaatar is open to participants from Mongolia and Kazakhstan. The webinar is designed for the participants from the Sahel and South Africa.

If you are applying for the training program on behalf of the media organization or CSO, you can sign up to 2 team members, giving their names, positions in your organization, e-mails, and phone numbers (for Signal)

What are the costs for the training programs?

Trainings are free of charge.

Can travel costs be covered?

Yes, after approval by the project team.

What is the language used during training?

English is the working language of the training program.

What is the publication deadline for the supported projects?

All supported projects must be published by mid-November 2024. The project reporting must be supported by the links to the publications and the statistics on engagement with the material (page views, comments, etc.)

Can I apply for both the grant and the training program?

Yes, we highly recommend applying for training, webinars, and media content grants. Applicants for the training programs have an opportunity to submit information on an initial project idea that they would like to develop during the program.

Who are the trainers and mentors?

Trainers and mentors of the program are senior media professionals, investigative researchers, and independent journalists from Russia, Germany, and target regions.

Who are the organizers of the program?

The project is a part of the Countering Foreign Authoritarian Influence (CFAI) program, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI) of the United States of America and the German non-governmental organization Journalists in Need Network (jinn).

Funding and Partners

The project is a part of the Countering Foreign Authoritarian Influence (CFAI) program, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI) of the United States of America and the German non-governmental organization Journalists in Need Network (jinn).

Please contact us for further questions via
nexus@jinn-media.org