Visegrad Roma Magazine
First Roma Media from Hungary, Romana Television from Slovakia and Romea Television from Czechia jointly created a ten-episode tv magazine, documenting several aspects of the lives of Roma communities in their respective countries. The Visegrad Roma Magazine embraces several topics from language and culture to housing, employment, and best practices.
The special value of the project is that while usually minority content production in the region is dominated by the majorities of the societies, the magazine informs the viewers through the lens of Roma content producers. It means that the issues that each episode is related to, are not represented through the lens and from the perspective of non-Roma television producers. The contributors from the cooperating three television channels made an attempt to show these from the perspective of the local Roma: interviewees, activists, experts, television producers and staff.
The project itself also concentrated on establishing the First Visegrad TV Platform, to which not only preparing the Magazine meant the first step, but the producers also met in the Czech, Slovak and Hungarian capitals for joint workshops and press conferences. These occasions provided them a good opportunity to exchange ideas about the chances and challenges of minority, and specifically Roma media production.
Through the words of the project manager Éva Merenics: “While visiting the press conference in Bratislava, I was really delighted. I have not seen as enthusiastic partners before in any project as Romea and Romana Televisions‘ representatives were, despite not being the Grantee, „only“ partners. Not only the work they invested in the project, that was very equal in share, but their expressed enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge showed their devotedness to produce valuable outcome. Regarding the continuation of the project, witnessing the strong partnership, realizing project applications with the organizations of the cooperation on a rotational basis seems feasible. This is not a frequent case in our practice, and it shows how strong the partners‘ cooperation is.”
The Fund’s hopes for the future are that the partnership can be completed with a Polish contributor in order to reach out to the media audience in Poland. At the same time, sharing knowledge from the perspective from the Roma in Poland within the region would also largely contribute to demolishing the majority-dominated media production in the region, and interpreting the everyday lives of local Roma through a non-Roma lens. We certainly wish that the Visegrad Roma Magazine reaches also the majority of the local societies and makes them acquainted as well with the presented topics from a Roma perspective. In parallel, we strongly believe that establishing a constantly operating TV platform in the region would be also a milestone in minority, and in particular Roma content production.
And project manager´s adding: “Based on my impression from the current project in general, I have no doubts that this project, the magazine and the cooperation have a future. I really enjoyed following the professionally produced episodes, and encourage our readers to watch them on the partners‘ websites or youtube channels.”
*First Roma Media Ltd from Hungary, operating Dikh Tv channel in cooperation with Slov Media Group Ltd. operating Romana Television in Slovakia and Romea Association, operating Romea Television in Czechia.