Projects for schools
Since 2013, our Migration Programme has concentrated on workshops predominantly at secondary schools and universities. Over the past few years the interest of media in the topics of migration and matters concerning refugees has increased dramatically due to the situation known as the refugee crisis. A significant number of young people never come into contact with migrants in their everyday interactions and the way in which media informs about the topic of migration tends to portray them negatively. This results in a fear of foreigners. This is why we focus not only on cultivating the media stage but we also teach young people how to work with media content to augment their ability to understand the media message and to work with it critically.
In the course of the project Face2Face: facilitation of dialogue between migrants and European citizens, implemented by the People in Need Migration Programme between January 2013 and June 2014, we organised a course for students (not only) of journalism entitled International Migration as a topic. The course was led by lecturers selected from among journalists, academians and representatives of the non-profit sector and students acquainted themselves with how migration is written about and how it could be written about, i.e. in an unbiased, informative and also attractive way.
The project produced the tuition manual, the Model Lecture Guide, intended for teachers of journalism and media studies. The MLG builds primarily on experience from the Migration Programme which has been addressing media coverage of migration topics, cooperation with the media and the organisation of media training sessions for migrants and development of their media and communicative skills. At the same time as the creation of the MLG, a round table of experts with practice, academians and active migrants came into being, attended also by representatives of the following servers: Aktuálně.cz, Lidovky.cz, Český rozhlas (Czech Radio), Charles University in Prague and Masaryk University in Brno. Part of the round table activities were discussions about the obstacles preventing quality writing about migration, the personal relationship of the participants towards the topic of migration and discussion of good and bad practice.
We aimed two projects at secondary students. The aim of the project Media and Migration at Secondary Schools was to help the students adopt a critical approach to the media and their content, understand the mechanisms of media work and also to gain the skill to make use of the media for their own ends and to process its information creatively.
A second project, Support of a Tolerant Society in Both Real and Virtual Space, set a target of eliminating prejudice and racial and nationalistic hatred in today’s adolescent generation and the public at large. We motivated young people to participate actively in protecting democratic values and to cultivate discussion concerning minorities and foreign nationals on the social networks. We implemented the project with colleagues from the People in Need department responsible for One World in Schools. Component to this was multicultural education through student team projects and development of debate concerning manifestations of hatred on the social networks. One of the results of the project is also our own analysis “Manifestations of hatred in cyberspace and on the social networks”, which describes the basic socio-demographic originators and disseminators of manifestations of hatred and mechanisms of such manifestations between June and September 2015.