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» Europe: A Homeland for the Roma

Europe: A Homeland for the Roma is a project aimed at increasing the visibility of problems that Europe’s Roma communities face with a view to contributing in that way to ending discrimination against the Roma and creating conditions for their social inclusion.

Building on the success of Colorful but Clorblind—which in 2010 and 2011 gathered 50 Roma and majority-community journalists from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia—the project brings together seven media development, education and Roma rights organisations from these countries and the United States in a 24-month effort that will, among other things, result in a TV documentary.

The project, which centres on utilizing multimedia in combating prejudice and equiping journalists with advanced storytelling skills, will be in the following five principal parts:

- A ten-day training in advanced multimedia skills for the project’s core group of 20 journalists from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, half of them Roma, half from other communities. The training will feature five simultaneous in-county classes, each made of four journalists and one trainer, with all five classes then gathering in Prague for the final days of training and story development.

- A ten-day content gathering, with the trained journalists working in teams of two made of one Roma and one non-Roma journalist, each team joined by a graduate student from the School of Communication at the University of Miami or a coach. The teams will cover stories reflecting contemporary Roma life in their own countries as well as other EU countries where Roma issues have come to the fore of public attention.

- A ten-day production activity, with the teams coming back to the project’s central newsroom with raw footage to be produced into content for publication in the following formats: 1. A half an hour TV documentary 2. A full-length festival format documentary 3. Ten 6-10 minutes video stories. The content will be produced in Slovak, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Romani and English.

- Dissemination and public events. The produced content will be republished widely in traditional and online media outlets. The festival-length documentary will be offered to organisers of documentary film festivals, such as the One World festivals. In the second year of implementation, we will organise public screenings of project content followed by panel debates in Sofia, Bucharest, Budapest, Bratislava, Prague, Brussels, Paris, Milan and London. We will also organise a series of screenings of project material in secondary schools and universities.

- Follow-up online training lab. In the second year, the participating journalists will use project equipment to produce additional stories on their own with distance support from the trainers. To this end, we will build an online training lab, a multimedia interactive website that will enable participants to watch videoed lessons on multimedia storytelling; access training manuals; and interact with trainers. This activity will result in 25 completed stories (6-10 minutes videos, furnished with photo, textual and data visualisation elements) to be published in Transitions Online magazine, the online publications of the partner organisations and in other outlets.

The project, which is co-funded by the European Union through the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme, is implemented between November 2012 and December 2014 by Transitions (TOL), a Prague-headquartered Internet publisher and media development organisation, in close cooperation with the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) in Budapest, MEMO 98 in Bratislava, the Media Development Center in Sofia, Romea in Prague, the Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest and the School of Communication at the University of Miami.