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Connecting young people with ex-Yugoslavian background by means of radio production
Start date: Mar 16, 2015, End date: Mar 15, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Project Connecting (ex)You, conceived for young journalists, uses community radio in order to encourage knowledge and experience exchange on the European Union and civic engagement. Connecting (ex)You proposes to train three interrelated groups of young people in radio journalism. The three groups encompass: a) Vienna-based residents with immigrant background, mainly from former Yugoslavia; b) journalism and communication students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and c) journalism and communication students from the Republic of Macedonia. Young people interested in radio journalism and the EU affairs will be trained in both technical and editorial aspects of producing radio programs. These programs will be conducted in such a way as to serve as a learning platform for a variety of topics related to the European Union, understanding common history and cultural diversity, as well as a stage for debates on the EU membership and civic engagement. Studies have demonstrated that citizens of immigrant background need additional information regarding the EU policy-making process and politics, while residents of the future member states often lack the proper information what the membership entails. Considering the size of the immigrant community proceeding from former Yugoslavia in Austria, and the fact that several states that previously belonged to former Yugoslavia aspire to join the Union, Connecting (ex)You proposes to bring these communities together for a joint communication project aimed at the promotion of the common European identity. Twelve program participants, four from each country, will attend international trainings and webinars, during which they will be trained in how to use technical equipment, coached in the concepts of quality journalism and diversity reporting, as well as prepared in conducting debates on EU topics. Radio programs produced throughout the duration of the project will be broadcast by different European radio stations. While community radios will be used for communicating and debating Europe, general aims of the project include: a) knowledge and cultural exchange between Austrian residents of migrant origin and the citizens who remained in their countries of origin, focusing on former Yugoslavia. The aim is to foster better understanding of history, politics and culture, within the EU context. b) Preparing young radio journalist who will have full understanding to the EU and therefore be able to cover its diverse aspects. c) Creating lasting professional networks, among journalists and broadcasters that will continue collaborating after the project’s finalization and continue producing and airing radio programs specializing in EU topics. Further, trainees are expected to train their colleagues in newsrooms. d) Fostering the sense of belonging to the European Union as well as contributing to better understanding between the citizens of the current and the future member states.
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