CIVIL – Center for Freedom held the fifth and final seminar on “Be a citizen journalist” in Hotel Gardenia, in Veles, on December 19 and 20, 2015, within the framework of the “Civic Lenses” Project. The seminar was attended by activists, citizens and supporters of CIVIL from Kumanovo, Tetovo, Delchevo, Bitola, Sveti Nikole, Skopje, Struga and neighboring municipalities.
The training had the aim of conveying basic knowledge on video-activism, monitoring and reporting, through educational modules on research and activism. Through lectures, workshops and practical exercise, the participants of the seminar gained knowledge and skills for long-term monitoring of elections and human rights and freedoms. Leading professionals with extensive experience and internationally renown, as lecturers, shared their experiences with the participants, through lively discussions.
Lecturers at the final seminar were distinguished professionals and experts in journalism, art and activism. In addition to the team of trainers from CIVIL- Sinisa Stankovic, Goran Naumovski and Xhabir Deralla, Uranija Pirovska, Saso Ordanovski, Robert Atanasovski and Zlatko Origjanski were also lecturers.
The President of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of Macedonia, Uranija Pirovska, as a former employee of the Ombudsman’s Office and a longtime civic activist spoke on the current human rights situation in Macedonia, on the work of the HC and the Ombudsman for a ten year period, on the attitude of the government and of the Macedonian society towards the human rights sphere and on the changes that have been taking place in this respect.
Analyst and columnist Saso Ordanoski initiated an interesting discussion with the participants on journalism, the truth, the manner of objectively seeing events and on the consequences of the technological revolution on the media and social relations, but also in general, on humanity. Through examples from his rich experience, Ordanoski spoke also about the public interest, about the tasks and challenges of journalism, the characteristics of the public, the absence of a polemic spirit and debate in Macedonia ...
Photographer Robert Atanasovski, a longtime associate of the France-Presse news agency, who has been along with several colleagues following the migrant crisis in the past several months, almost everyday on the south or north border, spoke on his own dilemmas and emotions, while noting the tragic examples and fates of the people coming from the war zones. He stressed the indifferent attitude of the Macedonian media towards the tragedy that is taking place on the territory of Macedonia, and the unreadiness of the institutions of the system to manage the crisis.
Artist Zlatko Origjanski, a well-known musician and composer, problematized the artificially created dilemma on the identity and origin of ethnic Macedonians, and spoke also on the relation of the intelectual and of the artist towards politics. Speekimg inspiratinally on traditional and original music and on the necessity of Macedonia to create its own, original product that would be successfully marketed in Europe, on the success of the film “Before the Rain” and on the attempts to restrain the creative spirit in Macedonia, Origjanski initiated a debate among the participants about the interpretation of the concept of partriotism and the cultural heritage that the current governmennt will leave to the next generations.
All of the participants of the previous seminars in Skopje, Bitola, Veles and Strumica, at which the participants were from these cities and neighboring municipalities, and of the concluding seminar in Veles as well, where participants were from throughout Macedonia, received certificates for having completed the training.
After New Year, the competitive part of the “Civic Lenses” project begins, in which all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia can participate, with photos, video and audio recordings and texts on all types of threats, blackmail, corruption in the electoral context and violations of the voting rights. Each month, the five most successful submissions will be rewarded with vouchers for the purchase of photo/video and computer equipment. The highest monthly prize is 110 dollars!
Everyone with a smart phone, camera or camcorder of any kind can be a citizen journalist and is invited to get involved in our project.
The Project is supported by the Foundation National Endowment for Democracy.
This post is also available in: Macedonian