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22. 06. 2012

Press Conference – Promotion of results of ANEM project “Crossing the Bridge of Diversity”

Aiming to promote the results of its project "Crossing the Bridge of Diversity", on June 22, 2012,  ANEM organized a press conference in the Belgrade Media Centre. Speakers at the conference were Sasa Mirkovic (ANEM President); Snjezana Milivojevic, Professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade, ANEM partner on the project (leader of the project research team); Sandra Mandic (journalist of TV series "Connecting"); Uros Urosevic (journalist of ANEM radio series "Connecting"), Hasna Ziljkic (interlocutor in the TV program of the  series "Connecting" recorded in Novi Pazar) and Aleksandra Krstic (member of the research team and journalist from the independent television production "Mreza"). The event was attended by 20 journalists, representatives of NGOs and donor sector, as well as competent state bodies.

The main purpose of this press conference was to present the results of ANEM project "Crossing the Bridge of Diversity", which ANEM has implemented in partnership with the Faculty of Political Sciences since June 2011, with the financial support of the European Union through the program "Support to civil society". During the course of this project, a series of activities were carried out, such as research on the media coverage of ethnic cultural diversity topics, education of journalists in the area and production of radio and TV series on ethnic cultural diversity, titled "Connecting". TV programs were created by the production team of the selected production company "A-media", while the radio programs were made by selected radio journalists from ANEM radio stations, under the mentorship of experienced colleagues in the above production company. Episodes of radio and TV series were aired on ANEM stations from April until June 2012, and were made available for wide public on ANEM web portal "Bolja Srbija" (Better Serbia) and ANEM YouTube Channel. Present at the press conference had the opportunity to listen to the best parts of selected radio and TV episodes of the series.

At the beginning of the conference, ANEM President Sasa Mirkovic remindend the audience of the activities implemented under ANEM project "Crossing the Bridge of Diversity", emphasizing at that the conducted research and produced Recommendations on reporting on ethnic cultural diversity that Snjezana Milivojevic, professor at the FPS, as the leader of the project research team, had carried out together with her team. They served as the basis for a ten-minute production of the "Connecting", series of 10 radio and 10 TV programs, which a large number of ANEM radio stations were airing (41 stations) and TV series (27 TV stations) across Serbia. He also emphasized the importance of educational components of these programs, noting that the project was ending with the creation of the Guide, which would further educate the journalists and be used a starting point for all those dealing with these issues in the future.

Snjezana Milivojevic, Professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences and the project research team leader, said that this project and cooperation with ANEM had three qualities - first, the fact that a tertiary education institution and a media organization were involved and focused on the same common goal, in an interesting area as was a study about stereotypes, the way we saw each other, how we tolerated and appreciated one another, how we recognized our qualities, similarities and differences; secondly, the affirmation of a new type of education within the media community - by organizing constructive meetings, workshops and the Guide for journalists on how to report on cultural differences of ethnic minorities, a new kind of permanent educational platform has been established. Finally the third quality - a fantastic production and excellent radio and TV programs. "All programs show that people recognize and celebrate diversity, celebrate their everyday life that is rich, lavishly beautiful and enriched, precisely because it involves people who have different characteristics, quality and features. This can be sensed and observed in each program", the professor concluded. She stressed that all of these were exactly the recommendations of the research team, which were the product of the research, formulated as mini-instructions and insights for journalists on how to report on the cultural diversity of ethnic minorities. At the end of her address, the professor warmly recommended to the audience to see the program if they had not done so by now.

Sandra Mandic, one of the journalists working on ANEM TV series "Connecting", presented the production team that she had cooperated with in the course of the series' production, such as fellow-journalist Ana Stjepanovic, editor Jugoslava Siroka and mentor for radio programs Mitko Jakovlevski. During the work on the series, the production team had the opportunity to visit more than 10 cities and talk to the nearly 100 interlocutors. During the recording of the programs, the journalists were striving to use a different approach to interlocutors and thus learn many new things about their daily lives, traditions, etc. As an added value of the series, the journalist indicated that young people were presented in a different way than usually, and that they were given a chance in these programs to show the public that they had various qualities with which they could teach others that the diversity was a wealth they inherited from their multicultural environments.

Uros Urosevic, journalist of ANEM radio series and author of the program treating the the Vlach tradition in village Laznica, talked about his experience he had gained while working on this story. His story, along with a story from Golubinci about mixed marriages, was voted the best story of the radio series on ANEM web portal "Bolja Srbija". Urosevic pointed out that the quality of this story, which the participants had the opportunity to hear during the conference, lied in the fact that it conveyed the message that one's home was where one felt good, noting that this program was aimed, in its core, to change the public attitude towards these topics, because the media was reporting on national minorities only superficially, while these stories were good bases and guides for other media to use when reporting on the cultural diversity of ethnic minorities.

Hasna Ziljkic, interlocutor in the TV program of the series "Connecting", recorded in Novi Pazar (which was voted the best TV program of the series, treating the choice of women from Novi Pazar to wear hijab), said that knowing and understanding the customs and tradition of other nations and their specifics contributed to tolerance and mutual cooperation. She also added that the program, that she participated in, really introduced the viewers with something that not many people knew much about or could read only negative speculations in the media. She said that the program did not represent an ideology, but rather a realistic picture of today. She particularly thanked ANEM and the whole production team for making such a quality series about bridging the differences.

Aleksandra Krstic, journalist of the independent TV production company "Mreza", as a participant in the research part of the project before the Faculty of Political Sciences, said that every radio and TV program of the series "Connecting" had really lived up to the expectations of the research. The series indeed followed the recommendations, and even went a step further. On other hand, as a journalist of PG "Mreza", she praized TV programs in terms of professional journalism, emphasizing that they were interesting, dynamic and had a large number of interviewees and interlocutors, who had contributed, with their quality and expertise, to programs' becoming a model for other journalists while reporting on minorities. She particularly emphasize the quality of picture and high level of professionalism of cameramen and picture editor.

At the end of the press conference, journalists of ANEM stations that had participated in tre project shared their impressions of the radio and TV  programs "Connecting", by saying that the work on this series had indeed enriched journalists, while the stories showed that we had something really beautiful in our country, which needed to be nurtured. They also stressed the need for more such projects, and that the programs of the series "Connecting" were good examples of different reporting on minorities, which were much needed in order that the media would fulfill their role in a society in the best possible way.

This project is financially supported by the European Union through the project "Support to Civil Society", managed by the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and implemented by GOPA Consultants.

The contents of this text are the sole responsibility of ANEM and can in no way be taken to reflect the views and stands of the European Union.

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

  • Photo: MC Belgrade

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