The use of stereotypes in media reports is driving Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian students out of school. This is just one of the conclusions drawn from the trainings held on media education. The youth of the communities also lack programs for this phenomenon and are at risk from false information. For the latter, not infrequently they have suffered in their lives being stigmatized, bullied and excluded. Civil society activists from the three communities today participated in the workshop held by the News Agency "KosovaPress" and the non-governmental organization "Young Community Leaders Center/YCLD" supported by the American Embassy in Pristina.
The cases of girls and boys from communities who have been prejudiced due to misinformation are not rare, says the activist from Mitrovica, Florentina Jahja. She mentions for KosovaPress the cases when her peers were labeled by the media, even because the news was fake.
"There was a case where a girl was influenced a lot by the media, they used her name and then that girl was prejudiced because they said that she was sexually harassed in a taxi and she was prejudiced by the circle, by the family. While the girl was neither in Mitrovica nor was she there. But someone wanted to hurt him... A media from Facebook wrote that there was a sexual harassment in Mitrovica from our neighborhood and they mentioned the name, the whole neighborhood saw the news. And then that girl was prejudiced that she was alone or 'why did you get into a taxi at night by yourself' and that girl had a lot of problems", she tells KosovaPress.
While mentioning similar cases, Florentina also talks about the importance of media education for young people of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.
"Young people have very little information about how they are using the media and they have no information about how badly they use the media. To show us as a community that we are bad or show only the bad sides of us. For example, they come to the neighborhood and shoot and use the children. They show the garbage and the good sides that we have do not show us at all. And this creates a message that the communities are only bad and there are no people who are educated", she says.
During the seven-month project in four municipalities of Kosovo on media education divided into two phases, six conclusions were drawn.
The manager of this project, Fadil Miftari, says that the main focus during the two-phase training process has been to gather findings and help activists fight misinformation.
"Today was the final meeting of a two-phase training cycle of the disinformation project in question. In fact, today's day was dedicated to civil society activists with whom we shared the findings from trainings that we held in high schools and high school teachers who teach students from the Roma, Ashkali communities. and Egyptian. In fact, we shared the six main findings with civil society activists and to help these organizations to find forms and modalities on how to advance the processes or how to create programs and projects against disinformation", says Miftari.
In the sessions with teachers and students of the communities, the lack of programs for media education, the use of stereotypes in media reports that drive students away from school, talents among students, the role of teachers to encourage young people, opportunities to little for young people to familiarize themselves with the world of media and the danger that comes to them from false information
"One of the main findings we discussed today is the fact that modules for media education are missing. This problem is not only in the communities that we target, but generally in the education system of Kosovo, such a program is missing and it remains for us as media or as civil society to intervene and support the communities to be educated in relation to misinformation and other forms which today are considered under the 'fake news' umbrella", concludes the project manager.
Miftari adds that they are making efforts to continue this program with other communities on media education. According to him, this phenomenon is disturbing all over the world, for which measures are being taken.
This project aims to raise the awareness of the communities against disinformation, as well as to strengthen the role of civil society activists from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.
The project included two phases, where in the first phase the teachers of primary schools from the sixth to the ninth grade were involved. Meanwhile, in the second phase, professors and secondary school students from grades 10 to 12. / Ms. Pajaziti