Participant Selection for PCRC's “Media Literacy and Resisting Manipulation” Workshop

Grantee Project Update

The Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC) recently finished the process of selecting applicants to participate in its “Media Literacy and Resisting Manipulation” youth workshop being held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) from October 25 – 29, 2014.

To recruit participants, PCRC published a “Call to Apply” on various online and social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Peace Net, the Bosnian Youth Portal and the regional web portal mreža-mira. We also reached out to our network of universities, high schools and youth organizations who have helped us to promote the workshop and recruit interested youth from their communities. An application form was provided on the Balkan Diskurs website and required that potential participants provide their basic information, as well as relevant professional and educational background details and their motivation for applying.

Participant Selection

The workshop will be held for youth from BiH between the ages of 16 to 30 years old, who are interested in contributing to Balkan Diskurs over the next several months. To ensure the diversity of our participants, several factors were considered during the selection process. Some of these factors included gender, geographic representation, and motivation. Ethnic and religious affiliation were also an important factors in the selection process because a crucial part of this project’s design is dedicated to exposing our participants to different perspectives that exist within the country as well as to building new relationships and creating new networks that bridge the ethnic divides that currently exist.

PCRC aims to use an inclusive, multi-ethnic approach when selecting participants for all its projects, and this workshop is no exception. We have selected trainees from each of BiH’s constituent ethnic groups – Bosniak Muslims, Bosnian Serbs, and Bosnian Croats – as well as participants from Bosnia’s “others” category. The “others” category includes members of the Jewish and Roma communities as well as those from mixed marriages.

Other factors that played a role in the selection process, included previous work experience, academic strengths and aptitude, and the applicants’ willingness to engage in reporting on topics that are important to discuss, not only within their communities, but on a broader, country-wide scale. PCRC also considered each applicant's motivation, which was addressed within the application as well as through follow-up Skype interviews.

Results of the “Call to Apply”

PCRC received an overwhelming response from interested members of the youth community throughout BiH. We received applications from Živnice, Olovo, Tešanj, Novi Travnik, Mostar, Tuzla, Brčko, Istočno Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Banovići, Visoko, Bijeljina, Livno, Banja Luka, Jajce, Laktaši, Goražde, Gračanica, Kakanj, Lukavac, Prijedor, and Sarajevo. In the map below, the red dots indicate the locations of these cities.

Media Workshop Applicants Map

To see this kind of response is really exciting for PCRC. We are also extremely happy that we can give this kind of opportunity to youth living not only in larger cities such as Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka, and Tuzla, but also in smaller cities, which don’t get as much media coverage, but are just as important. It was extremely difficult to select our final group of participants, and we hope to run more workshops in the future so that in the future we can include all of those who weren’t selected for this round of training. We are, however, looking forward to working with this talented young group and can't wait to publish the work they produce as a result of this training on the Balkan Diskurs website.

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