Insight into the Italian local activities

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

All those who work on social media and express their ideas and points of view have haters. What is the strategy with which they are usually confronted? What do haters have in common? Have you ever left a comment that was discriminatory or so negative that it became an insult? What was your motivation?

In order to combat discriminatory speech, one has to learn to recognize discrimination and hatred even under nice words and vice versa – to recognise good intentions behind a less than kind, polite or correct way of expressing oneself. Keeping in mind that the interlocutor does not always want to offend, maybe he is just ignorant.

Workshops that MineVagatni volunteers from Italy did, served to keep in mind that if we want to fight against this kind of discrimination, we should first of all avoid using words that may be offensive.

Discriminatory speech also stems from the inability to really put oneself in the shoes of others and see things from another point of view. In order to avoid discriminatory speech or to stop it when it occurs, it is necessary to know how to change one's perspective in order to be able to stop in time before saying something wrong or to be able to calm down the aggressor and bring the discussion back to a civilised tone or to change his/her mind.

Some of the exercises that MineVaganti volunteers did are:

  • Interpretation exercise where participants had to choose a topic they hate and talk about it for one minute. At the end of the time, participants should change their viewpoint and talk about the same topic in a positive way. How easy is it to speak well about a subject we hate? How difficult is it to reverse the point of view? What are the mechanisms that are set in motion?
  • Making a speech in favour of a discriminated category but using only discriminatory terms and/or swear words.
  • Making a discriminatory/hate speech, using only non-discriminatory and/or politically correct terms.

Besides the above-mentioned activities and outcomes, trainers presented the SLAM project and manual.

We hope you as readers enjoyed this report as participants of these workshops enjoyed their time attending them.

Structured Learning for Awareness in Media” (SLAM) aims at enhancing young people’s awareness and critical thinking on the role of Mass Media as a challenge and precondition for more inclusive societies towards migrants and refugees.

The Council of Europe’s Report “Media Regulatory Authorities and Hate Speech” (2018) underlines the historical significance of media in enticing and feeding the climate of hatred and violence characterizing West Balkan’s turbulent past. The Balkans are still a primary example of media consciously or even deliberately using hate speech for sensationalistic purposes, thereby supporting it and causing its recurrence and reinforcement at the societal level.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has recently taken a foremost importance as a transit node for migrants and refugees seeking entrance in EU territory, a trend which the UNHCR (2018) recognized as exponentially increasing in 2018, from the 198 arrivals in December 2017 to the 666 registered in the peak month of March 2018. The strain posed on the local relief system by this surge has contributed to a growing sense of local unrest and discontent, which national mass media have so far been able to answer by providing the public with awareness and understanding circa the phenomenon, in many instances providing an amplifier to internal currents of distrust, hate and stereotyping.

From the European perspective, significant indications might be extracted from analysing media coverage about the reception and integration of migrants/refugees.

The CoE in its 2017 Report “Media coverage of the refugee crisis: a cross-European perspective” underlines the role played by media in fuelling societal hate speech as consisting in an abetting/legitimacy factor to explicit hate speech brought about by shallow and sensationalistic coverage.

Against this backdrop, there emerges the opportunity of exploring the similarities, differences and potential synthesis among the different yet interrelated challenges faced by West Balkans countries and Europe within a transnational effort aimed at laying the grounds of a greater media literacy and critical thinking at the level of the youth and, by extension, of society as a means to provide an antidote against phenomena of hate speech and a building block of successful integration processes.

SLAM project presented on two Montenegrin TV stations

The promotion of our project is booming.

Representatives of the NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro Lorena Ujkić and Bojana Žugić were guests on two local TV stations: Gradska RTV Podgorica and TV7.

In addition to presenting the project activities, they also talked about the handbook, outcomes and results, the online campaign, as well as whether the project succeeded in educating young people.

In addition, there was the index of media freedom, media and information literacy, inclusive of migrants and refugees.

 

We would like to sincerely thank our partner organization and their hard-working volunteers who diligently participated in the project, and presented it in the best light on TV appearances.

You can see all this at the following links:

BRAVO and Mladiinfo Volunteers Together in Action – A Workshop in Herceg Novi

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

During the previous period, BRAVO and Mladiinfo volunteers came together in Herceg Novi where they presented the SLAM project, its goals and manual, as well as types of fake news, to university students. After that, students had to read a story by themselves and “give grades” to the characters. Next, the groups of five students were created and this time every group had a task to give grades from one to five to the characters. After that group, three even higher groups were created and they gave their grades too.

Finally, all of the groups presented grades and opinions. Different perspectives and viewpoints could be heard. Additionally, students asked a lot of questions on the issue of fake news and related concepts which made the organizers really satisfied and happy.

Students’ smiles during and upon the completion the workshop were the best comment they could get.

Structured Learning for Awareness in Media” (SLAM) aims at enhancing young people’s awareness and critical thinking on the role of Mass Media as a challenge and precondition for more inclusive societies towards migrants and refugees.

The Council of Europe’s Report “Media Regulatory Authorities and Hate Speech” (2018) underlines the historical significance of media in enticing and feeding the climate of hatred and violence characterizing West Balkan’s turbulent past. The Balkans are still a primary example of media consciously or even deliberately using hate speech for sensationalistic purposes, thereby supporting it and causing its recurrence and reinforcement at the societal level.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has recently taken a foremost importance as a transit node for migrants and refugees seeking entrance in EU territory, a trend which the UNHCR (2018) recognized as exponentially increasing in 2018, from the 198 arrivals in December 2017 to the 666 registered in the peak month of March 2018. The strain posed on the local relief system by this surge has contributed to a growing sense of local unrest and discontent, which national mass media have so far been able to answer by providing the public with awareness and understanding circa the phenomenon, in many instances providing an amplifier to internal currents of distrust, hate and stereotyping.

From the European perspective, significant indications might be extracted from analysing media coverage about the reception and integration of migrants/refugees.

The CoE in its 2017 Report “Media coverage of the refugee crisis: a cross-European perspective” underlines the role played by media in fuelling societal hate speech as consisting in an abetting/legitimacy factor to explicit hate speech brought about by shallow and sensationalistic coverage.

Against this backdrop, there emerges the opportunity of exploring the similarities, differences and potential synthesis among the different yet interrelated challenges faced by West Balkans countries and Europe within a transnational effort aimed at laying the grounds of a greater media literacy and critical thinking at the level of the youth and, by extension, of society as a means to provide an antidote against phenomena of hate speech and a building block of successful integration processes.

Final meeting in Sinop, Turkiye

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

After almost three years of the Structured Learning for Awareness in Media – SLAM project, the time has come for the project consortium to summarize the work done. How far have we progressed, what have we all learned, and have we succeeded in a common goal?

On our website, you had a chance to read about Training Course in Italy, Kickoff meeting, Youth Exchange and Seminar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and midterm evaluation meeting in Montenegro, as well as about all good and bad practices and examples of fake news in the countries participating in the project. Now, it's final meeting turn.

From April 1st to April 4th, SLAM project coordinators from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkiye, Italy, and Montenegro participated in the final meeting in Sinop, where we analyzed all local activities, guide, but also project success in countries’ participants.

On the first day of the event, all the participants visited the mayor and the government of the city of Sinop, where they presented the manual and the project, which was approved by our hosts. After that, each of the project partners had the opportunity to present the implemented local activities and a social campaign aimed at raising critical thinking and awareness of the prevention of fake news. Additionally, we presented and discussed the Final Evaluation Report.

Second day was reserved for discussion of quality and impact of project products, i.e. Guidebook and Webpage. After that, we presented and discussed the Sustainability Plan. But that's not all… We visited the beautiful city of Sinop and enjoyed all of its beauties. On the photos below, you can see our enthusiasm and happiness.

During the third day, project partners brainstormed over the national and international follow-up which was presented later during the day. This day was the official closing of the project.

Here are the daily reports from our social networks if you want more details and atmosphere.

BRAVO is immensely proud and happy that its’ team worked on this project together with incredible members of Youth for Social Changes (Albania), KOM018 (Serbia), Mladiinfo (Montenegro), Bulgarian Sports Development Association (Bulgaria), EPEKA (Turkiye), and Mine Vaganti (Italy). Your thoughtfulness is a gift we will always treasure, and our hearts are still smiling due to the hard work, magnificent events and efforts we all put in the project activities, nice memories, lifelong friendships which turned into families. There are no enough words to express our thankfulness for everything all of you did.

This is not a goodbye, but a see you soon. ‘Til the next project, cheers and love for all of you!

Ajla Aljović

Ajla Aljović

Author of the text

Lejla Srna

Lejla Srna

Published by

LOCAL ACTIVITY IN BULGARIA – A MEETING WITH NGOs

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Bulgarian Sports Development Association held a meeting with local non-governmental organizations on March 19, 2022, at the Klisura Monastery “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”, during which the project “Structured Learning for Awareness in Media” was presented, which explores the similarities, differences and potential synthesis between different, but the interrelated challenges facing the countries of the Western Balkans and Europe, in international efforts to lay the foundations for greater media literacy and critical thinking at the level of young people and society as a whole as a means of ensuring counteracting the phenomena of hate speech and a building block of successful integration processes.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Sunday School at the Church of the Nativity of Christ. Mladost 3, BG and Sports for All, the Association of Bulgarians with Asthma, Allergies and COPD (ABBA), who received a copy of the guide which explains the ways of combating fake news, and they appreciated the highly developed training materials that can be used to work with young people to raise awareness of young people about fake news.

Ajla Aljović

Ajla Aljović

Author of the text

Lejla Srna

Lejla Srna

Published by

Local activity in Tirana, Albania

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

You already know that SLAM project is about media, their role in society and how they influence opinion creation, but also how they present and influence the minorities’ status in society.

Today we bring you an interview held on A2CNN TV, in Tirana, Albania, where two members of Youth for Social Changes NGO and participants of SLAM seminar in Sarajevo, Andon Kello and Denis Dema, talked on the topic “How to be properly informed? Whom to trust?”

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They mentioned misleading news, media headlines and articles on pandemic of COVID – 19, war in Ukraine, inflation, economic stability, but also the pandemic of fake news, clickbaits, and youth awareness on these issues.

Andon stated that “fake news as the term refers to an unrealistic news and with the spread of social media and mass media, especially here in Albania we are facing with a ‘boom’”. He also explained that, as he could see in different secondary schools in Albania, that youngsters “do not fall prey of fake news or unconfirmed sources.”

Denis explained how to prevent and combat fake news, where he mentioned demonitation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), headline checking, and many options on social media networks which can stop dissemination of misleading content. Additionally, Denis provided an example of a bombastic headline, “the USA attacks Russia“, which is misleading, because the article behind this title explains that the USA attacked Russia in an economic way, i.e. imposed sanctions against Russia. “The best way is to report fake news“, says Denis.

Once again, thanks to our partner organization Youth for Social Changes, its members Andon Kello and Denis Dema, as well as to A2CNN TV, for this great work

Ajla Aljović

Ajla Aljović

Author of the text

Lejla Srna

Lejla Srna

Published by

WORKSHOPS IN ALBANIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

We are immensely proud to share another beautiful story that was written by volunteers of our partner organization from Albania, Youth for Social Changes. This time, the word is about visits to two secondary schools in Tirana.

As a part of dissemination activities for the project Structured Learning for Awareness in Media – SLAM, three incredible guys, Andon Kello, Denis Dema and Marin Gjoka did informing sessions about the project, its aim, activities, fake news, differences among the terms disinformation, misinformation, false information, and much more.

They explained what fake news is, how it is made and why it is so popular. Also, these young educators answered the question how and why fake news causes harm to people, companies or countries.

Next was a discussion on how to distinguish fake news from a real one, what to do to prevent fake news from happening. SLAM manual was also presented.

YSC’s Volunteers were very surprised to see that young people are aware of media and fake news. Every single of them enjoyed these sessions because of interactivity and positive atmosphere.

Ajla Aljović

Ajla Aljović

Author of the text

Lejla Srna

Lejla Srna

Published by

BRAVO Volunteers in Action – A Workshop in Richmond Park International Secondary School

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Three wonderful members of Bosnian Representative Association for Valuable Opportunities Amina Skejić, Mehmed Spahić and Ajla Aljović held a workshop on the topic of fake news and false information in the 3A class of the Richmond Park International Secondary School.

BRAVO members presented the SLAM project, its goals and manual. After that, students had to read a story by themselves and “give grades” to characters. Then, the groups of five students were created and this time every group had a task to give grades from one to five to the characters. After that group, three even higher groups were created and they gave their grades too.

Finally, all of the groups presented grades and opinions. As the class consists of students from Hungary, China, Turkiye, and different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, different perspectives and opinions could be heard.

BRAVO members were really satisfied with students’ active participation and happy that they loved the workshop. Students’ smiles during and upon the completion the workshop are the best comment we could get.

Once again, thanks to the staff and students of Richmond Park International Secondary School.

Ajla Aljović

Ajla Aljović

Author of the text

Lejla Srna

Lejla Srna

Published by

SLAM Local Activity – Italy

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

One more in the series of workshops was held in the secondary school, this time in Italy by the great partner organization of ours: Mine Vaganti NGO.
 
Members of this organization held a workshop on the topic of fake news and false information, but also presented the SLAM project, its aim and manual.
Students and lecturers discussed the importance of fact-checking and media, as well as the difference among migrants and refugees.
They also debated on the term of curiosity and questioning of articles they read.
 
We are really satisfied with students’ active participation and happy that they loved the workshop.

Montenegro volunteers combating fake news

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

In today's world, fake news is becoming a serious issue. People understand what fake news is, but they can't tell the difference between it and real news. Fake news may be found on nearly every social media platform. It is intended to draw the viewer's attention and lead them astray. More than 80% of knowledge on the Internet, according to Tom Nichols, author of the book The Death of Expertise, is spurious.

That is why the Mladiinfo Montenegro volunteers organized a workshop and a meeting with EESTEC.

On February 9, NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro organized a meeting with EESTEC, the Association of Students of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, with the aim of presenting the SLAM project and discussing future cooperation. m! M representatives met with the president of this organization, Filip Marijanović.

The distinction between fake news, false information, misinformation, disinformation, mal-information, and other related words is one of the primary points covered. Participants discussed clickbait headlines that have nothing to do with the texts that follow them, scary photographs and videos that are taken out of context, and the manufacture of such.

The goal of this local activity was to define and discuss fake news and other related issues, as well as look at the current research trend. During this meeting, the “Guide to Winning Fake News” was presented as a result of this project as well.

The workshop was held on February 11 at the Mtel digital factory in Podgorica, and aimed to raise awareness and critical thinking among young people about the role of mass media as a challenge and prerequisite for a more inclusive society towards migrants and refugees.

The workshop was led by participants who participated in the training in Italy as part of the SLAM project, as well as in the youth exchange and seminar in Sarajevo. They talked about their experience and what they learned through these activities. In addition, the “Guide to Winning Fake News” was presented as a result of this project.