Opatija , Croatia , 28/2 - 10/3/2006

A model of international co-operation…

Young TV journalists from Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia Montenegro, Kosovo and Malta working together on the Circom course.Eighteen young journalists from 11 countries have just taken part in a two week TV workshop which is being hailed as a triumph because of the way in which Balkan rivals worked together.

“It was wonderful to meet colleagues from other countries, especially the ones we used only to fight and hate”, Artan Haraqija, a participant from Kosovo, has told the Thomson Foundation.

“It was great to see that the others didn't have such tales about us that we had to stay away from them. Kosovo's journalists - like others from my country - very rarely have the possibility of showing that we are not like we are usually described. So thank you for a really great opportunity”, he wrote after the course, held in Opatija, Croatia, under the auspices of Circom Regional.
The workshop, funded by the Council of Europe’s Directorate of Youth and Sport, was attended by young journalists – all in their 20s – from Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Romanian, and Serbia Montenegro.

Course organiser Karol Cioma said: “It was a wonderful achievement to have such an international spread of young journalists. To see them all co-operating and sharing information was a real bonus”.

The workshop – in which participants produced a ½-hour news magazine – focused on news and current affairs broadcasting.

Like the participants, the tutors were a truly international crew – Karol Cioma and Ian Masters (Thomson Foundation, UK), Didier Desormeaux (FR3, France) and Hans Jessen (ARD, Germany), with technicians from Wales and Croatia.

The last word goes to Artan from Kosovo: “The lessons we learned were a must for journalists, especially young journalists”.

"A Change of Perspective" by Ljubica Vujadinovic, Television Novi Sad

opatija2Ljubica Vujadinovic receiving here certificate from Circom Regional Trainers – left to right Didier Desormeaux, Hans Jessen, Ljubica and Karol CiomaThe South East Europe Television Journalism workshop in Opatija, Croatia was another unforgettable Circom experience.

Although we all come from different countries, which in some cases still see each other as enemies, the way we worked together as journalists and became friends proved that we have so much in common. Dedication to our professions and the will to improve our knowledge and skills has put us all together in the same position. The workshop helped us realise that we cope with the same kind of problems. When we viewed our programmes together and analysed them it was obvious that we make very similar mistakes in our work. Implementation of the things we learnt in Opatija is necessary to make our programs more attractive to viewers. In my opinion, in countries like ours, the role of the media has key importance on further democratisation and Europeanization of our societies. As young television journalists we are the ones who can do a lot to improve those processes by doing our jobs in a proper way and the Circom trainers and technicians were just a great role model of absolute professionals.

 From a more personal point of view, two weeks in Opatija gave me chance to meet young people from the region with whom I share so many things and have so much in common although previously our religions and nationalities were not always in great and friendly relations. So from now when I hear "Kosovo Albanians" or "Bosnian Muslins" it won’t be a picture in my mind of some very different people somewhere in Kosovo or Bosnia – there will be a picture of Artan and Skumbi or Mediha who are young people and journalists just as I am, and who have all the same needs and wishes for their future as I have. There has been a great change of perspective in my mind, hasn’t there?