Media are a powerful weapon in the fight against hate speech

NGO Young Roma - Herceg Novi organized from 19 to 21 February 2021 in Podgorica the second training within the project MNE Youth against Hate Speech which brought together 20 participants from the Roma and majority community - high school students, as well as media and journalism students.

 

                            

 

Through eight sessions and lectures, they were informed about hate speech, media literacy, PR techniques and campaign production.

Maida Gorcevic, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Minority Rights, spoke about human rights, media literacy, media, and media freedom. She said that by adopting anti-discrimination laws, Montenegro has decided to fight against all forms of discrimination, but that the cooperation between the Government, the media and the non-governmental sector should be stronger for the laws to be respected in practice.

Angela Longo, Programme Manager for East/South East Europe in Anti-discrimination Department of Council of Europe, also spoke via Zoom Call. She pointed out the importance of implementing recommendations on combat hate speech and the key role of institutions and the media.

Journalist Dusko Vukovic discussed the threats of media reporting and ways to fight them with the participants. He informed the participants about media techniques, click bate and fake news.

With Bozena Jelusic, professor of literature and member of the Parliament of Montenegro, the participants talked about consuming media content, the concept of media literacy and its importance, as well as prejudices and stereotypes that the media can create.

Media analyst Jelena Jovanovic Marovic explained to the participants what the most important mechanisms for the protection of human rights are and presented the media image of the Roma community in our country. Through interactive participation, young people talked about stereotypes in reporting, as well as discriminatory experiences. Communicologist Svetlana Pesic trained participants to use their potentials in the right way during the presentation in public.

                           

The third module of the project was realized through the practical part of the participants work through the #REspect campaign where students created a video material about hate speech and human rights of marginalized groups.

Teodora Basekic, a regular participant in human rights workshops, for the first time at one that deals with the rights of members of the Roma community, believes that these initiatives are important to get to know the Roma community, raising awareness of the importance of protecting their rights.

- Through conversation, socializing, group work, we got to know each other's customs and culture - said the student at the high school Sergije Stanic.

Elmedina Jasaraj, who also attends workshops and seminars on human rights, agrees with her.

- Knowledge adoption, new skills, broadening of horizons is very important and that is why I am looking forward to these initiatives. The information about the unpleasant event from `95 about the expulsion of Roma from Danilovgrad meant a lot to me and I hope that it will never happen again - points out a student of the Medical school in Podgorica.

Project MNE Youth against Hate Speech is supported through the action Promotion of Diversity and Equality in Montenegro, which is part of the joint regional program of the European Union and the Council of Europe - Horizontal Facility II for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022.

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