The Roma Get Little Space in the Montenegrin Media

The Roma receive little space in the Montenegrin media and have problems in housing, education, employment and the media in Montenegro. One in six respondents has no confidence in the media in Montenegro, and one in five does not monitor any media in Montenegro, according to a study by the non-governmental organization Phiren amenca, announced on the presentation of the project “From Roma to Roma – Media Promotion of Roma Rights.”

The executive director of the non-governmental organization Phiren amenca, Elvis Berisha, said the Roma Youth Organization “Step in with us — Phiren amenca” has started a project “From Roma to Roma — Media Promotion of Roma Rights” since March. Within this project, the aim is to empower the Roma Youth Organization to monitor the media situation in Montenegro when it comes to promoting or reporting on Roma in Montenegro and beyond. On the other hand, the goal is to empower the Roma community, to become actively involved in media life, Berisha said.

It is well known that Roma, not only in Montenegro but also in the Balkans, face significant problems in terms of housing, education and employment and the like. We felt that it was not adequately promoted, reported on all these issues, and it was pointed out by numerous reports from not only non-governmental organizations but also international organizations. And for that very purpose, we decided to empower the Roma community itself to engage in journalism, Berisha said.
Through this project, we have organized a training course for three journalists, that is, for three young people from the Roma community, and after three months of training from September this year, they began their professional engagement in journalism, Berisha said.
They do this through the Roma Net portal which was launched in 2017 under the name Romalitika, however, since September this year we have redesigned the portal, renamed it and from now on the name Romalitika is actually Roma Net and the portal has various articles and columns about Roma of positive nature and those who talk about problems facing the Roma community, Berisha said.
Roma Net journalist Serdjan Baftijari said that they had received three months of training in how to write text, how to make a text and how to make a presentation. He said that the media have little regard for the Roma community in Montenegro, and this can be seen in various shows where they show old recordings when talking about the Roma community. In its shows and stories about Roma, the public service of Montenegro shows footage from the time when there were barracks and containers, not what is current. The media gives little room for the Roma community in Montenegro, Baftiari said.
We did a project for the young Roma and asked them to what extent they trusted the media in Montenegro. One in six replied that they did not trust, and 53% replied that they trusted the media in Montenegro. Asked to what extent they monitor the media in Montenegro, every fifth responded that he did not monitor any media in Montenegro, Baftiari said.
Roma Net portal journalist Violeta Hajrizaj said Roma Net portal is working to promote Roma and the Roma community.

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