Youth and media in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Recognize similarities and learn from differences

Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) and Deutsche Welle organized a discussion in Sarajevo on Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Youth and Media. More than 25 young people from the University of Sarajevo and the University of Mostar had an opportunity to learn more about social and personal identities and the various ways of introducing and representing different groups in media. In a multicultural society such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is crucial ensuring access to media platforms that facilitate dialogue among diverse groups. That was the conclusion of the discussion led by Adelheid Feilcke, Deutsche Welle Program Director for Europe, Ines Bulajić from RYCO, Lejla Turčilo from the Faculty of Political Sciences Sarajevo and Hajde platform mentor, as well as Vedran Prodić, Chief Editor of the Youth program of BH Radio 1 and Maida Muminović, Executive Director of Mediacentar Sarajevo.

Sandra Čule, Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office Bosnia and Herzegovina and Aida Sofić Salihbegović from DW welcomed the participants, while Gerda Meuer, Program Director of Deutsche Welle, introduced the unique concept of the Diversity department of this media outlet. Data from local and regional research studies were also presented, with particular attention paid to the way media content adapts to the youth audience and the importance of regional youth programs in creating credible and interesting stories promoting different groups and perspectives. Zorana Tovilović from the Institute for Youth Development KULT and Azem Kurtić from Balkan Booster moderated the discussion.

“Diverse content is very important to keep the media relevant to the audience. Allowing those who often have no opportunity to be heard to send their messages is a prerequisite for combating the social distance that separates different groups. We need to ensure that these groups are present in the media, and this does not necessarily mean that they have to speak only from the perspective of the group they belong to, but we need to enable them to find the right tools and channels to talk about all topics of their interest. We can do this through continuous cooperation, as we have with RYCO.” said Adelheid Feilcke.

Ines Bulajić from RYCO adds: “The cooperation that RYCO and Deutsche Welle have on the Balkan Booster project is an example of successful synergy and regional networking of young journalists who represent the future of responsible reporting and critical thinking in the Western Balkans. Through the Hajde platform, we plan to deepen this cooperation and thus expand the range of stories that young people create and increase the number of those who will have the opportunity to see and hear the content. Encouraging critical reflection on the possibilities of action in the regional communities, impacting the development of youth policies, with priority work on peacebuilding and reconciliation, remains our goal.

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