UNESCO fosters tolerance and understanding in the media
The UNESCO Venice Office is supporting the roundtable “Media, Communication and Culture of Tolerance”, which will take place on 28 February 2012 in Skopje, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The event, which is organized by the School of Journalism and Public Relations, will begin with a promotion of the activities undertaken by the UNESCO Chair in Media, Dialogue and Mutual Understanding: postgraduate courses infused with topics related to intercultural communication and diversity and the web platform “Res Public”, intended for media and citizens as part of the project “Developing Inclusive and Diversity Sensitive Media through Education and Monitoring”. Panche Kralev, Minister of Education and Science and Elizabeta Kanceska Milevska, Minister of Culture and President of the National Commission for UNESCO, will officially address the participants and, during the official part of this event, a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the Ministry of Education and Science and the School of Journalism and Public Relations.
In the second part of the roundtable, the participants will discuss the latest events that raised concerns of the relations among different ethnic and religious communities and the way the media reported these issues. The research team of the School of Journalism and Public Relations will present the results from the qualitative research on two case studies of media reporting on sensitive issues as a basis for discussion.
The project aims to contribute to improving qualitatively the existing interethnic, interreligious and intercultural relations in the country by establishing a higher education program for journalists and communication professionals infused with intercultural and diversity topics, as well as by developing a monitoring system and online resource mechanism, which would respond when such values are endangered by media or by other actors that use the media for spreading views and opinions that are dividing rather than integrating communities.
The overall aim of the postgraduate courses is to equip students with the necessary skills and tools to handle the challenges and opportunities of multiculturalism, which is a prominent characteristic of society in the country, as well as to promote values related to the promotion of human rights, intercultural dialogue and mutual tolerance.
The web platform is strongly linked with the Pool of Facilitation Expertise created by UNDP in the country with the aim of making a positive contribution to debates on sensitive multi-cultural and multi-religious issues. Target groups are: general public, media newsrooms, editors and journalists, experts and opinion makers, etc. This component consists of two stages: (1) preparation of the basic platform documents for functioning of such a mechanism (analysis, comparative review, methodology) and (2) implementation of the mechanism adapted to the circumstances in the country (web platform, panel of experts, monitoring system, regularly reports and ad hoc reactions etc.)
Main objectives of the projects are:
1) to introduce new teaching content at postgraduate level and new types of lifelong training to improve intercultural communication in everyday life, both through regular media reporting and through communication in public affairs and in the business world;
2) to enrich qualitatively the public debate on cross‐cultural issues and to contribute towards changing negative stereotypes and prejudices created either by the media themselves o by other actors in the society;
3) to create a network of domestic and foreign experts on cross‐cultural and diversity issues; and,
4) to provide an online resource for journalists and media professionals to consult on different aspects on cross‐cultural and diversity reporting.
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).
Multimedia: Zojka Naskova Speech [6:34]
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