Vicinities receives the Media Initiative of the Year Award
Vicinities was awarded a special recognition for the Media Initiative of the Year by the ‘European Citizenship Awards 2016’ at the last night’s ceremony in London City Hall. Vicinities was recognized, among one hundred applicants, representatives of the European media community, as a project which especially contributes to the promotion of democratic values and positive change in European media. Zvezdana Kovac, Executive Director of CDRSEE and Editor in Chief of Vicinities accepted the prestigious award, given annually by the European Civic Forum and Voluntereurope. She gave thanks on behalf of herself and her team, which has been a part of this project for five years. ‘We began five years ago with a simple, yet great idea – to have honest communication between ‘ordinary’ people broadcast on television channels across the region, and we believed that can make a difference. Many had their doubts, whether we should connect former Yugoslavs in such a way, having them discuss topics which separated them in a television studio; however, we knew that we can change circumstance. Thank you for recognizing the difference we’ve made.’
At the round table, traditionally held before the awards ceremony, the participants spoke about the values promoted in European media at the beginning of the 21st century. This was a great opportunity to present the work of the organizations whose joint project is Vicinities: the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe (CDRSEE) and the European Fund for Balkans, as well as the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Germany which supports the project financially. ‘We are promoting something that probably sounds really simple to you – a culture of listening and speaking, therefore an exchange of well argumented opinions. Our guests from the region don’t always share opinions but their different perspectives are always a cause for reconsideration of one’s own, and not for enmity. Vicinities does not have ‘sensitive’ topics, we speak openly about everything’, said Zvezdana Kovac and showed the participants the promotional video ‘Five Years of Vicinities’.