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“Day in your shoes” for more responsible journalism

The first part of the project “Day in your shoes” gathered students of journalism and students with disabilities from Novi Sad and Niš at thethree-day training. Participants discovered what it’s like to be “in the shoes” of persons with disabilities for a short time, but they also learned about theethical standards of reporting about this issue.

According to the Ministry of Labour, which supported this project financially, there are about 700 thousand people with some type of disability in Serbia.Those persons are still portrayed in the media as unfortunate and helpless; as persons which should bepitied, oftenwith a noticeable sensationalism, journalistic incompetence and irrelevance of media content.

Improvement of the standard of reporting on people with disabilitiesin the media by educating future journalists is the main purpose of the project “Day in your shoes.” The seminar provided knowledge of how to align reporting about persons with disabilities with the ethical and professional criteria. Appropriate vocabulary was also discussed.

The project also included the role play exercise, as well as the simulation of the way in which some people with the autism spectrum disorder experience the world around them. Ilija Milosavljević from Niš said that this seminar helped him to be more tolerant and Lorjana Lučić, his colleague from Novi Sad, believes that similar workshops should be introduced in primary schools. Tanja Đurić from Novi Sad Association of Students with Disabilities participated at this seminar for the second time: “This year I gained new knowledg eabout journalism. We have been searching for solutions to problems in a creative way.”

The training was completed by 14 students. In the next month they will prepare TV documentaries about people with disabilities, on the basis of acquired knowledge and with support of Novi Sad School of Journalism and Department of Journalism and Communicologyat Faculty of Philosophy from Niš.

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