07.03.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice/School of Journalism and Public Relations in Skopje

Media, Dialogue and Mutual Understanding in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Ministry of Education and Science to cooperate with the School of Journalism and Public Relations

© A. Delcevski, School of Journalism and Public Relations - Pance Kralev and Zaneta Trajkoska sign the Memorandum of Cooperation

The Ministry of Education and Science signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the School of Journalism and Public Relations to promote the activities of the recently opened UNESCO Chair in Media, Dialogue and Mutual Understanding. The signing ceremony was a part of a round table titled “Media, Communication and Culture of Tolerance” - which took place on 28 February 2012 in Skopje, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Pance Kralev, the Minister of Education and Science in the country, noted that the Memorandum will focus on common activities that promote the work of the UNESCO Chair and its study programmes. “Especially important is that postgraduate studies will be part of UNESCO Chair, which promotes very similar, I would say, identical values with the Ministry of Education and Science. We should include here also intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. We hope that postgraduate studies and our cooperation will contribute to improvement of higher education and will be an opportunity for knowledge reestablishment, according to UNESCO's values and principles”, said Kralev.

Zojka Naskova, UNESCO National Professional Officer in Skopje, emphasized the important role that media has in informing and shaping public perceptions. “In a country where so many communities live together, the role of media is a crucial one. As our primary means of information, media strongly shape the perceptions of ourselves and others, and therefore have the power to bring people together as well as to tear them apart. As much as media can liberate and inform, they can obscure and polarize. They can reinforce social patterns of separation along ethnic lines and present obstacles, rather than engines for dialogue, communication, and mutual understanding”, said Naskova.

Zaneta Trajkoska, Director of the School of Journalism and Public Relations, said that the new study programme offers a preparation for new media and multimedia platforms and professional and responsible journalism. “Postgraduate studies will emphasize leadership of every individual, and promote ethical standards in public relations. We hope it will put the position of public relations at managerial level, because the basis of public relations is planning communication that is open and transparent regardless of whether they are private or public institutions”, said Trajkoska in her remarks.

For the first generation of postgraduate students, UNESCO secured a total of 50 scholarships in the amount of €500 each. The curriculum was created in cooperation with professors and experts from the School of Media at Windesheim University in the Netherlands, the Danish School of Media and Journalism and Cardiff University in the UK.

This project is implemented within the United Nations Joint Programme to Enhance Inter-Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, implemented by UNDP, UNESCO and UNICEF with financial support from the Government of Spain under the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F).

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