UNICEF AWARDS JOURNALISTS FOR REPORTING ON INCLUSION OF MOST VULNERABLE CHILDREN
Belgrade, 21 November 2011 - UNICEF Serbia awarded today its award for media reporting on social inclusion of most vulnerable children in print, radio and television.
The jury unanimously singled out and awarded:
- Mr. Mirko Rudic for the TV story "ISON - a story of an inclusive choir in Novi Sad". The choir is located at primary school "Milan Petrovic" in the city of Novi Sad, north Serbia. In the beginning, the hosts were only children with disabilities, but over time the guests from other schools, other streets and parts of the city started to feel cozy and domestic there and became permanent members. And thus, the usual way of the much needed inclusion turned its direction.
TV programme by Mirko Rudic, produced by "A-media," was broadcast on TV B92. It is simple and honest. The participants in this endeavour talk about the spontaneous creation of the choir and its multiple significance. What is important, since television is in question, is that the images speak with equal conviction and at moments with even more fervour. They shows children's faces focused on practicing during the choir rehearsal, immersed in their joint song which develops led by the guitar sound. The viewer, as well as the listener, finds this song beautiful regardless of the way in which it is sung, precisely because of the combination of all these and such voices.
- Ms. Marija Obrenovic, for the article "There is a shortage of bread, let alone a doll", published in the "Kragujevacke" weekly. The journalists has diligently collected and systemized the bleak data using the example of the city of Kragujevac, central Serbia, to depict poverty in children who need fuller and more substantive social inclusion.
The value of her text is reflected not only in a sequence of devastating figures and convincing examples of children's poverty, but also in stating the current efforts aimed at helping these children. She searched for collocutors at the City Administration, Red Cross, primary schools, and conscientiously marked down many efforts to facilitate and embellish the everyday life of the children living in poverty. But no matter how much is done – and this is the conclusion of this well-structured and well written newspaper article – it is too little as there are more and more poor people in the city by the day.
- Mr. Sasa Stojkovic, for a radio story "Children, the largest victims of the readmission". The radio programme, broadcast on O.K. Radio in Vranje, south Serbia, is primarily intended for the Roma population. But the topic dealt with by Sasa Stojkovic also concerns other citizens of Serbia, all of those who have been forcefully returned to the country after a long illegal stay abroad. The problems listed in this radio report will have to be quickly resolved by the state as it has committed itself by law to accept back thousands of these unwilling returnees to their homeland.
The journalists focused on the difficulties of the children from these families to get included into the regular education system. Along with the fact that they are frequently slowed down in their learning because of a poor knowledge of the Serbian language, the biggest impediment lies in the bureaucratic procedures for the recognition of their foreign school certificates. The value of this radio programme is enhanced by the emotional accounts of dramatic moments of such deportations from the West European countries, as well as of the prejudices and unhelpfulness of the environment in the home country which are difficult to overcome.
The five-member Jury consisted of journalist Branka Otasevic; Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Suzana Paunovic; journalist Sanja Lubardic; Telenor Communications Manager Ana Davico; and UNICEF Communication Officer Jadranka Milanovic.
The media entries were reviewed based on the criteria related to the promotion of child rights and general criteria of professional reporting, including the quality and ethics in reporting and public benefit, and also whether the material could be considered as an initiator of positive changes in society and changes of social norms.