PRIZREN – Within the training and mentoring program “Peace Broadcasters: Empowering Young Journalists as Peace Reporters”, the RYCO Local Branch Office in Kosovo in partnership with the OSCE Mission in Kosovo organized the 4-day training on intercultural dialogue and transitional journalism which took place from 8 to 11 July in Prizren.
20 young journalists were warmly welcomed by RYCO Director of Programs Mr Jan Kulenović, Head of RYCO Local Branch Office in Kosovo Ms Krenare Gashi Krasniqi and Chief of Media Section at OSCE Mission in Kosovo Mr Dane Koruga. In their opening remarks they emphasized the crucial role journalists’ from the region play in the peacebuilding processes, and the need for conducting training on such “interesting and thought-provoking” topics as Mr Koruga quoted.
The training was divided into three interactive modules. The first module was on Intercultural Dialogue facilitated by Ms Nora Ahmetaj, expert on Transitional Justice and Intercultural Learning and Dialogue, whereas the second module was conducted by Mr Abit Hoxha, expert on Transitional Journalism, a new branch of journalism that reports on issues related to transitional justice. Finally, the third module was an interactive session, in which Mr Rron Gjinovci, a Civil Society activist, engaged the young journalists in a provocative and stimulating discussion with the aim to increase critical thinking about the topics presented. Furthermore, he also supported the students in brainstorming the topics they would like to cover in the next phase of the program.
“The training was of a very significant importance in preparing the next generation of journalists on how we are dealing with our troubled past. In particular, I liked the organization because it is based completely in a comprehensive approach- as it should. It included discussions about transitional journalism, a well-established discipline of journalism and dealing with the troubled past, discussions about collective memory and journalists’ role on “writing the first rough draft of history” and also new ways of learning and competing narratives and how to deal with historical revisionism through innovative- digital learning tools,” Mr Hoxha underlined.
On the other hand, the young journalists expressed their enthusiasm and the usefulness of such training in order to deepen the knowledge and understanding of intercultural dialogue.
“In regards to this RYCO training, my impressions are the best on this given opportunity to gain new knowledge on topics that have been talked about little or not at all in our society. As a journalist I have gained a lot of information and understanding on the topics related to dealing with the past, and obviously my work will be enhanced in my future reporting on such topics,” Mr Urim Isma, one of the participants of the training, stated.
“The training was fantastic. It was really fun to be a part of it. I have personally learned new things that I was not aware of before. A special feature of the program has been the possibility of interactivity and the free expression of our opinions as well as the professionalism of the trainers who have facilitated the modules,” added Ms Mediana Halili, another participant of the training.
The 20 students who are part of the Program will be mentored by professional journalists in creating articles on the topics covered during the 4-day training, which will afterwards be published in the local and regional mediums. In recognition of their great work and efforts, RYCO Local Branch Office in Pristina will organize an awarding ceremony for the best stories produced, and all the participants of the program will be awarded with certificates.
This program, implemented by RYCO Local Branch Office in Kosovo, is a continuity in the local level of the RYCO’s regional Program for Students of Journalism, which aims to successfully enhance young people’s understanding of regional cooperation, youth mobility and intercultural learning.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.