US Journalists Win Boston University Fellowships

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 |
Contact: Elizabeth Amrien, 617-358-2778 |

(Boston) — Three American journalists have been awarded Milena Jesenská Fellowships for research in Europe. Sponsored by the Institute for Human Sciences at Boston University, the program enables journalists enlarge their knowledge of European social and political issues. The 2006 recipients follow in the footsteps of recently slain Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a Jesenská Fellow in 2001.

The Fellowships are named for the Czech journalist whose resistance to Nazism led to her death in a concentration camp in 1944. The $12,500 stipends for each will enable the journalist to spend up to three months working in Europe while establishing working contacts with European Journalists, politicians, and opinion makers. The latest Jesenská Fellowship recipients include:

Julie Denesha — A photojournalist based outside Washington, D.C., working as picture editor at the Washington Times, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Time, Newsweek, and The Christian Science Monitor (see Her project takes on the centuries-old difficulty of the Roma being accepted and justly treated in Europe as the European Union moves its boundary further eastward.

Meline Toumani — A freelance writer based in New York City working at The New York Times Magazine as an assistant to editor-in-chief Gerald Marzorati, she will write about the influence of EU membership negotiations on the Turkish legal system and the role of the Turkish courts in shaping Turkey’s international image in the early stages of negotiations. She is in the early stages of writing a book about Turkish-Armenian relations.

Alexandra Starr — A New York City-based journalist and a frequent contributor to Slate Magazine, she will to write a series of dispatches for Slate on how immigration is being understood and handled in three European countries: Austria, Ireland, and Spain.

Each recipient gets an office, PC with Internet connection, and access to research services and programs of the Institute’s sister institution, the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) in Vienna, where they will be based. The IHS fellowships are in their second year; the IWM has sponsored similar fellowships for European journalists since 1998.

Politkovskaya, who was shot dead in Moscow October 7, spent three months at the IWM in Vienna as a Jesenská Fellow writing on her book about the second Chechen war, “A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya.”

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