MJRC Young Media Researchers Program

In an age where the media landscape is rapidly evolving, there is a pressing need for fresh perspectives and innovative strategies. Herein lies the importance of nurturing young, dynamic minds interested in media research.

The MJRC Young Media Researchers Program is a training and mentorship initiative aimed at discovering and promoting young talents with an interest in media research. Launched in early 2023, the program seeks to equip the participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the media landscape and contribute meaningfully to it.

The program is not merely a platform for learning; it’s an avenue for young enthusiasts to engage with experts in the field, gain valuable insights, and build a robust network that could open doors to numerous opportunities. The program is designed to empower the participants, helping them carve out a successful career path in media research.

Who Is the Program For? Targeting Young Talents in Media Research

The MJRC Young Media Researchers Program is tailored for aspiring media researchers keen on expanding their knowledge base and honing their skills. These individuals are typically in their learning stages, actively seeking opportunities to learn, grow, and make their mark in the media industry.

The program welcomes young students from diverse academic backgrounds – from media studies, journalism, and communication to sociology, psychology, and data analysis. This diversity enriches the learning environment, fostering a multi-dimensional understanding of media research.

The program isn’t exclusive to those with a formal education in media. Passionate self-learners, independent researchers, and even curious hobbyists are encouraged to participate. The primary criteria for selection are a keen interest in media research, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to contribute to the study of media and journalism.

The program also welcomes young people studying for the BA degree who want to diversify their studies with a more practical experience. Participants can join the program as part of internships required by their university or to conduct school projects.

How the Program Promotes Young Talent in Media Research

The program adopts a comprehensive approach, combining theoretical instruction with practical, hands-on experiences. This blend of learning strategies ensures that the participants are well-versed in the principles of media research and adept at applying these principles in real-world contexts.

The program also offers guidance and mentorship from seasoned media professionals. These mentors share their experiences, insights, and wisdom with the participants, offering them a glimpse into the reality of the media industry. They provide constructive feedback, help participants refine their research techniques, and assist them in navigating the challenges of the industry.

Moreover, the program encourages collaboration and networking among participants. By working on group projects and participating in discussions, participants build strong relationships with their peers. These connections can prove invaluable as they advance in their careers, opening doors to collaborations, partnerships, and job opportunities.

However, the program aims to be highly practical. Participants are guided through the methodological process but are then assigned a research project to conduct on their own. The purpose is to engage them in research, help them produce highly qualitative work, and give them exposure through studies and articles published by MJRC and its partners. 

How to apply

We receive applications for this program on an ongoing basis. Preferably, a letter of recommendation or an internship request from one of the applicant’s mentors is appreciated. However, we strongly encourage young people with an interest in media and journalism research to apply with their own research idea or with an expression of interest in engaging in one of our center’s ongoing projects.

The program is conducted remotely. In 2024, MJRC plans to also launch a formal course component of the program, with an in-person workshop, that will issue academically recognized attendance certificates.

The applications (a letter in English of 1-2 pages expressing their interest) should be sent to [email protected] with the subject “MJRC Young Media Researchers Program.”

Program Participants

Zara Aftab

Paola Castro

Paola is studying the Erasmus Mundus Masters in Public Policy at Central European University and Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals. Paola has over six years of professional experience working for the public sector and think tanks. Originally from Peru, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Universidad del Pacifico. At MJRC, Paola works on the Global Media Funding and Ownership Project where she maps the media market in the region of Catalonia, Spain.

David Gheorghe

David is a dedicated and intellectually curious individual currently pursuing his education at the esteemed National College Scoala Centrala in the city of Bucharest, Romania. David is carving his path towards a future steeped in the realms of philosophy, history, and geopolitics with a passion for collaborative media. At MJRC, Gheorghe is working on updating the center’s study about Romanian media and journalism in the Media Influence Matrix project.

Leonardo Ingannamorte

Leonardo is a master’s student in International Relations at Central European University, Vienna. His interests include conflicts, defense and security, and new and emerging technologies in security and military affairs. Originally from Russia, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees of Laws from Togliatti State University but decided to change his major after the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and stability. At MJRC, Leonardo is working on measuring the impact of new media technologies on military behavior in war.

Sydney Martin

Sydney is a graduate student from the East coast of United States with a keen interest in policy, law and freedom of speech. She holds a BA degree from D.C.’s American University in Communications, Law, Economics and Government (CLEG), and is currently enrolled in the Erasmus Mundus MAPP program with an expected completion date in 2025. She is thrilled about the opportunity to explore the relatively uncharted topic of of AI solutions in media and journalism with MJRC.

Nikolas Schäfer

Nikolas is fluent in German, English, Spanish, and French, and is a Master’s student in the Erasmus Mundus Masters Program in Public Policy in the Global Public Policy track. He has a bachelor’s degree in Politics, Administration and International Relations from Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany, with his semester abroad taking place at American University of Beirut in Lebanon. At MJRC he works on a project mapping and analyzing EU funding for media and journalism projects.