An exciting journey begins for 40 young journalists in European newsrooms

Meet the 2019 Google News Initiative Fellowship cohort that will join data, product, audience development and fact-checking teams

Paula Montañà Tor
European Journalism Centre
4 min readMay 17, 2019


In less than two months, over 800 students applied for the GNI Fellowship in Europe, which offers summer placements in a wide range of media organisations across 11 countries. The European Journalism Centre (EJC) was thrilled with the enthusiastic response. Today we are proud to announce the recipients of the 40 fellowships.

When we announced the launch of the GNI Fellowship programme earlier this year, we explained why we wanted to connect young talent with leading news organisations in Europe. In order to embrace change, news organisations must learn how to best use technology and integrate young professionals into multidisciplinary teams.

The GNI Fellowship provides fellows with the chance to step into the professional world in a highly competitive job market. All positions will be paid. Fellows will be embedded in some of the most innovative newsrooms in Europe and, at the same time, these newsrooms will benefit from their energy and new ideas.

The selection process carried out by each host organisation was hard-won and we were awed by the motivation and richness of experience of many candidates.

Meet the 40 GNI Fellows of 2019

The group is a diverse pool of aspiring journalists with backgrounds that range from design and engineering, to computer science and economics. They will soon join their selected newsrooms to explore the intersection of journalism and technology.

Here are the names of the 40 fellows and the areas of work they will be focusing on:

Data journalism and visualisation

“This is the first time I get the chance to be a valuable part of a journalistic project — instead of just being the young intern. Also, I am finally able to apply my knowledge and creative ideas to a ‘real-life’ environment.” Lea Weinmann

Design and product development

  • Russmedia: Nicola Ritter, Fachhochschule Salzburg (Austria)
  • Rheinische Post: Sidney-Marie Schiefer, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (Germany)
  • Spiegel Online: Leon Fryszer, Hasso-Plattner-Institute, University of Potsdam (Germany)
  • Tagesspiegel: Lubena Awan, HMKW University of Media, Communication and Economics (Germany)
  • VICE: Bianca Ferrari, University of Amsterdam (Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree) (The Netherlands)
  • Expressen: Olivia Almgren, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
  • Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Julia Monn, Universität Zürich (Switzerland)

“What fascinates me most about journalism is its unstoppable speed. As a designer it is absolutely necessary to follow, and to be ahead. How to master this challenge is nowhere better to learn than in journalism.” Nicola Ritter

Audience engagement and digital storytelling

  • Dagens Nyheter: Abtin Salahshor, Lund University (Sweden)
  • Reuters TV: Kwame Amoah Mensah, Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)
  • RTÉ: Aoife Ryan-Christensen, University College Dublin (Ireland)
  • La Montagne: Gaël Camba, Académie de l’Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme and University of Lille (France)
  • Sylvia Bouhadra, CELSA, Sorbonne Université (France)
  • Nice-Matin: Anaïs Delmas, Sciences Po (France)
  • Ouest-France: Dorian Girard, IUT de Lannion, Côtes d’Armor (France)
  • De Standaard: Yannick Lenaerts, KU Leuven (Belgium)
  • Le Soir: Guillaume Derclaye, Institut des Hautes Études des Communications Sociales (Belgium)
  • Berliner Zeitung: Anna Klein, University of Augsburg (Germany)

“Having a strong record in local journalism, I want to learn how to apply new means of researching, telling and displaying stories to this sector of news — because local stories tend to affect people more.” Anna Klein

Fact-checking, verification and investigative journalism

  • Agence France-Presse (AFP): Marion Lefèvre, Sciences Po (France)
  • Libération: Sarah Boumghar, École de journalisme et de communication d’Aix-Marseille and Institut d’études politiques d’Aix-en-Provence (France)
  • The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: Bethan John, Goldsmiths College, University of London (UK)
  • Elise Bijl, Hogeschool Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
  • Orla Dwyer, Dublin City University (Ireland)
  • Full Fact: Eugene Smith, City, University of London (UK)

“I’m most looking forward to knowing more about the latest technological tools used in fact-checking. I cannot wait to meet and learn from leading journalists.” Marion Lefèvre

In June, the EJC will bring together the 40 fellows in Brussels for a day of networking and preparation for a summer of hard work. It will be a chance to get to know each other, learn from previous participants, and to share advice, concerns and hopes for the journey they are about to embark on. This kick-off will set the foundation of an international community of individuals who are passionate about journalism and innovation.

We hope the GNI Fellowship experience will equip them with the network and resources to contribute to building a thriving news ecosystem, with an innovative and collaborative spirit.

We want to thank all the applicants, the 40 host organisations, and extend a heartfelt congratulation to the class of 2019 GNI Fellows.

The GNI Fellowship is funded by the Google News Initiative and is also available worldwide. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, you can write to us at



Paula Montañà Tor
European Journalism Centre

Journalist & project manager | Creating learning opportunities & making things happen | I doubt (almost) everything