Eight stories about the experience of migrants in Greece were broadcast on TV100, a TV channel serving northern Greece, following a TV & radio production training course on migration and diversity, organised jointly by the Media Diversity Institute and Symβiosis, in partnership with TV100, between 14 – 23 May 2012.
During the 10 day training course, 8 migrants were taught how to produce TV & radio news programmes, and were mentored by TV100 journalists. This learning by doing training for migrants and journalists gave the participants the opportunity to exchange experiences, work together and get to understand diversity through practicing it.
The objective of the initiative, titled “Migrant Voices”, was to foster a better understanding of immigrant integration processes at a time when social cohesion and integration policies are put to the test by an acute economic, social and political crisis in Greece. “Migrant Voices” enabled members of migrant communities whose voices are not usually heard, to express their views on the issues affecting their lives, and to address the public, challenging the imbalance in the way migrants are represented across large parts of the media in Greece.
The story “Before and now”, produced by Vahagn Karapetyan, born in Armenia, talks about how the crisis affects the work, housing, residence status and life of migrant communities, while “Leaving another life behind?” by Jorida Demba, born in Albania, shows how the Greek economic crisis forces a family to consider returning to Albania, bringing to the fore the different wishes and feelings of belonging of parents and children, and the burning issue of citizenship for migrants’ children. Tamara Elidou, born in Russia, presents “Salaho”, the proud dance that unites the people of the Caucuses - Azeris, Russians, Black Sea Greeks and Georgians - as they construct their lives in Thessaloniki, Greece.
A collection of Thessaloniki inhabitant’s views on migrants are explored in the film “And the city says?” by Sikandar Khan, born in Pakistan. This is a city with over a thousand years of multicultural history, where different religious and ethnic communities have lived together, where over a hundred years ago Albanian poets met in their club close to the sea, a few metres from the café where their contemporary compatriots, wage labourers persisting in producing literature, meet today, as Bedri Hoxha, born in Albania, describes in his “The Poets’ Club”. A similar story is narrated by Jelena Vujanovic, born in Serbia, in her “European Balkans” about the Serbian community which has lived and perished in Thessaloniki over the centuries, while she also investigates how both countries today ponder their European future.
Walking in a park surrounded by an Orthodox Christian basilica dating from the 11th century, an 15th century Ottoman hamam, the contemporary Trade Union Centre and a statue of Eleftherios Venizelos, modern Greece’s most important politician, and today’s meeting point for migrants, Tayna Stephanie Diniz, born in Brazil, looks at Islam and the city as a woman wearing the scarf in her film “Praying differently”. The future of the city is captured by Hristina Koutsoumbina, born in Albania, in “The Balkans studying”, about how migrant youth and intercultural learning are shaping the Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies department of the University of Thessaloniki.
The stories produced during the training course were broadcast during primetime on TV100, a TV channel serving an audience of two million in northern Greece, on 13 June 2012, and due to the positive audience response, they were re-broadcast on 16 June 2012. The films were included in a special a 2-hour TV show also involving a studio debate on migrant issues.
On 18 June 2012, Symbiosis followed up on the broadcasts with a roundtable debate on multiculturalism, during which the films were shown, as part of Thessaloniki’s Migrant Festival.
The team of young migrant journalists created by the TV & radio production training course will start their own radio show in September 2012 on FM100.6, the radio wing of TV100. The team has also been invited by Professor Pavlos Pantazis to organise a series of workshops and lectures at Aristotle’s University of Thessaloniki Department of Film Studies.
The Media Diversity Institute, Symβiosis, and TV100 plan to cooperate on seeking funding for a future project that will give the trainees the opportunity to produce regular TV and radio programmes for TV100 and its associated radio stations.
The training course was part of the Ethical Journalism Initiative conducted by the International Federation of Journalists in cooperation with the Media Diversity Institute and ARTICLE 19, in partnership with the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers (ESIEMTH), the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists (SSN) and the Lithuanian Journalists’ Union (LZS). Its aim is to improve media coverage of ethnicity, race, religion and migration issues throughout the EU. The project is funded by the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations.
The films produced during the workshop
Videos giving an insight into the training course
Participants preparing for stand up newsreading practise
Participants practising desk newsreading
An interviewee with trainee Sikandar about the course
An interviewee with trainee Hristina about the course
An interviewee with trainee Jelena about the course
Participants watching the final stories produced during the course
The directors of TV100, Symβiosis, and MDI meet to plan the training