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Working breakfast organized with the media

On Monday, July 3rd , 2017, at the Center Ville Hotel in Podgorica, from 10 am to 12 am, the NGO Young Roma and a coalition of organizations working within the project "Together for the inclusion of Roma and Egyptians through Transparent and Sustainable Public Policies" organized a working breakfast for Media.

The meeting was attended by representatives of civil society organizations (NGO Young Roma, Civic Alliance, NGO ROM - Phiren Amenca, Center for Democratic Transition, Center for Roma Initiatives) and media representatives (RTCG, Vijesti, Pobjeda, Radio Herceg Novi), representative of Media Self-Regulation Council and researchers of Company "Arhimed".

The occasion for the organization of this event is the recent media reporting and labeling of Roma, especially Roma children, as members of criminal gang dealing with robbery, but also the desire of civil society organizations to contribute to the quality of reporting through closer cooperation between the media and the NGO sector. In this regard, the event was intended to inform the audience about the findings of the research conducted by the company "Arhimed" and opened a space for discussion on the role of the media in the process of integration of the RE population, journalistic ethics and cooperation between the media and civil society organizations. An important segment of monitoring that the company "Archimedes" has conducted categorized posts in relation to whether they contain stereotypes about the RE population. This research aimed at checking the quantitative and qualitative media coverage of the RE population.

In the first quarter of this year, 349 posts were reported in the Montenegrin media, in which the Roma and Egyptian populations were mentioned, while in the second quarter there were 124 more, or 473 in total, according to the result of a survey conducted by Archimedes. It was clarified that the term post includes all the journalistic forms in which this population is mentioned, and that 16 media in Montenegro were analyzed. The survey found that the highest number of posts was recorded in printed media. In the first quarter of this year, most of the articles referring to Roma and Egyptians were in Dan 87, in Pobjeda 43, in Novosti 28, while less were recorded on portals and televisions. The most common topics were integration and education. Seventeen texts were registered in which "stereotypes" were noticed. One of the headlines in support of this claim is: "Every third Roma is illiterateā€. The media affirmatively mentioned the Roma and Egyptians in 46 percent of cases.

During the meeting, numerous topics were opened inspired by research findings. It was discussed about the quality of published news articles, TV and radio articles, as well as comments on portals and social networks and how to influence the censoring of inappropriate content.

Cooperation between civil society organizations and the media is highlighted as an important link in providing timely, accurate and purposeful information.

A representative of the Media Council for Self-Regulation informed the participants about the Council's competencies and suggested sending a letter / complaint to this body in cases when a journalistic code violation was recognized.

During the conversation, it was also mentioned that the great problem of the media houses was the inability to organize additional training programs for journalists that would sensitize individuals to report on vulnerable categories of the population. Barriers are reflected in the financial and personnel limitations of the media.

Also, the journalists' interest in the current problems of the Roma community in Montenegro was expressed, and the discussion also took on the challenges in the field of housing and employment. Specific examples of discrimination and violation of rights have been stated, and journalists have expressed readiness to receive more detailed information on these topics and report them to the public. As a concrete example, violations of labor rights are also indicated through the extension of the contract of the workers of utility companies through the engagement of intermediary employment agencies.

The project "Together for the Inclusion of Roma and Egyptians through Transparent and Sustainable Public Policies" aims at the sustainable integration of Roma and Egyptians into Montenegrin society, as well as the monitoring and improvement of socio-economic policies aimed at sustainable inclusion of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegrin society. The project is financially supported by the Open Society Foundation from Budapest.

Coalition of organizations

NGO Youth Roma, Citizens Alliance, NGO ROM, Phiren Amenca, Center for Democratic Transition, Center for Roma Initiatives

United we reach more!