Serbian Web Journalism School: Creating Future Trends in Journalism

Blogging in Serbia is less popular compared to many other countries in Europe. Ljubisa Bojic, a Serbian journalist and a bridge blogger in Global Voices decided to do something about it. With the support of Serbian Journalist Association he helped start an web journalism school in Belgrade in March 2008 to train experienced and novice journalists in New Media and Social Web. The idea is that these journalists will learn to use these new technologies and apply them in their everyday work, creating future trends in Serbian journalism. The School is not only unique in Serbia, but also in the South-East Europe. Rising Voices has provided funding to support the outreach work from the second round of Serbian Web Journalism school.

Some students of the second round of workshops of the Serbian Web Journalism School

Online journalism is defined as the reporting of facts produced and distributed via the Internet (Wikipedia). Traditional journalists often do not consider bloggers without professional practices as journalists. But, as of 2005, blogging has generally gained at least more attention and has led to some effects on mainstream journalism. Most Internet users agree that on-line sources are often less biased and more informative than the official media. Now a days professional journalists are also harnessing this powerful media. This school will help aspiring Serbian journalists to embrace web journalism.

You can learn about the curriculum of the Serbian Web Journalism School here. Basically the students learn here how to use blogs, edit their web contents, work with photo and video journalism, learn about podcasts, social bookmarking, social networking, etc. They also get familiar with cyber activism, online marketing and new media. All of these are done in 12 course modules in 12 weeks.

The second round of the workshop started on November 23, 2008. The participants of this round are mostly young postgraduates in journalism, political sciences and professional Serbian journalists. The brief profiles of the participants including pictures can be found here.

The Serbian Journalists Association and the Ministry of Culture of Serbia had approved grants for seven out of fourteen student journalists to compensate for fees and for those who are left without work for the workshop.

On November 29th, journalist Predrag Prokopljevic conducted a theoretical session about two forms in journalism: report and news and a practical session followed. Slavoljub Kacarevic, the chief-in editor of Balkan magazine, a Serbian e-zine did a lecture on how to take interviews.

On November 30th Ljubisa Bojic presented a short history of Internet and discussed about the civil journalism, new media, digital promotion, the use of Gmail, and opening blogs using WordPress. According to their project blog in Rising Voices, the students were motivated to explore the web and create their first blogs on their own.

Here are the links of the new blogs created by these participants:

This Netvibes page compiles all the feeds from the students blogs in Serbian language. You can use Google translate to read the contents in your language.

Here are some highlights in English from the student blogs. You will be amazed to see that how emphatically these students are expressing themselves with blogs using pictures and texts.

Russell Gordon in the Serbian Web Journalism School. Photo: Goran Necin

On December 6th, American photographer and reporter Russell Gordon gave his lecture on the subject “Media War – use and misuse of photography”. Read here about the presentation and the reactions of some of the students who wrote about it in their blogs.

After the presentation the students took an interview of Russell Gordon:

In the coming Sunday Russell Gordon is scheduled to conduct a crash course on photo journalism for the students of the web journalism school. Here are glimpses of the slides to be presented:

On December 13th The School of Web Journalism had one special guest: Mrs. Milica Stojković, a famous violinist and painter. She is 77 years old and the oldest but very active web-journalist in Serbia. Few months ago she had participated in the first round of workshops of the Serbian Web Journalism School and received a diploma being one of the most successful students. Integrating musical parts of big compositors and her paintings in oil, Milica Stojković can now create little master-pieces, musical and commercial videos, that can be used for publicity and announcement of musical events.

Here are details about her session on commercial videos and the bloggers take on her presentation.

The lecture slides are available here. Here are the slides created by the participants.

We hope that by using new media tools these web journalists will create a different culture in journalism in Serbia, built on interactivity with fewer rules and fewer limits.


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