Media and Value Based Conflicts Exchange in Belgrade

Dates: 27-28 March 2018

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

March_Conf_belgrade_ENND_logoThe Media Diversity Institute Western Balkans and PDCS are inviting participants to attend the Media and Value-based conflicts exchange on 27-28 March in Belgrade. The aim of the Belgrade event is to discuss the role of media in current (and past) conflicts across Europe and to initiate conversation on potential solutions. The exchange will gather individual experts, journalists and civil society representatives from Europe to discuss how media influence conflicts in society, evaluate the situation in different parts of Europe, comparing and brainstorming the solutions. A workshop on the first day of conference will be conducted by Daniel Rzasa, a Google News Lab Teaching Fellow.

MDI Western Balkans and PDCS invite experienced individuals and/or civil society organisations to share their knowledge / good practice to join us in Belgrade. Due to the limited number of places, attentive participants are kindly asked to fill in this form and to submit by 28 February 2018. MDI Western Balkans and PDCS will notify successful applicants by 5. March 2018. For more information please contact Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the organisers.

Populism and extremism are becoming increasingly present across Europe. Some of the European countries are hardly seen as democratic anymore, because they lean more and more towards right wing populism and normalizing discriminatory discourses in the public sphere. In some of the countries governments are increasingly controlling the traditional media. Social media are crammed with antisemitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-migration narratives – hate targeting ‘the others’. IT companies, civil society and other stakeholders are taking actions – some right some questionable; an example of the latter being a recent changes of Facebook news feed which directly affect the visibility of counter-narratives from civil society. Yet, regardless of how right the actions are they seem not able yet to outtalk the ‘haters’. Is there more we could do about the online hate speech? Could the media step in and fight for democratic values of equality, inclusion and respect of basic human rights?

The exchange is organised as part of the process of building European Network for Non-violence and Dialog (ENND) initiated by the PDCS. In ENND we focus on conflicts that currently attract attention of European media and public hence steer public discussions, opinions and form values among citizens. We aim to create a functional movement/network (ENND) of civic actors interested in peaceful interventions in current value based conflicts in the CEE region. We together believe in much stronger voice of joined forces of likeminded individuals and organizations who share European values and nonviolent approach. The purpose is learning from each other, collecting tested conflict intervention approaches, supporting each other’s interventions, and organizing public campaigns promoting common goals and values.