“How can journalism contribute to democracy?” Bernadett Sebaly opened her session on minorities with a tricky question. Bernadett is working for the Minority Rights Group and asked every participant to express his or her opinion on the question in just a word or two. “By being a watch-dog”, someone said. For others the answer was to raise awareness, uncover human rights abuses or promote positive stories.
During the session they learned about the Concord Code of Conduct on Images and Messages, the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. But most of all, and very important for them as journalists or activists, they got an introduction on how to use the human rights-based approach in their work, especially when it comes to minorities. With Bernadett’s session during the morning, the theoretical part of Minority Voices ended.
In the afternoon everyone got to see more of beautiful Budapest. Native Hungarian Zoltan Nagy gave a tour of the city’s 8th district, a neighborhood most people visiting Budapest probably never go to. It is an interesting area, crossed by cobblestoned roads with many Roma, Chinese and Arabic people living there. Zlotan first introduced us to Béla Radics, the director of Radical Civic Movement for Safeguarding Roma Interests, from the Roma community in Budapest. He talked about the situation of this minority in Budapest and patiently answered all the questions participants had. The tour then continued to a small and hidden synagogue where everyone learned about the history and present age of the Jewish community in Budapest.
After the tour, participants had some free time and many of them used it to work on their pieces for the media production, where they combine the theoretical aspects they learned about with hands-on training in journalism.