• The Eurovision News Exchange for South East Europe (ERNO) has launched an exchange of Roma programmes with a contribution from  Sevdijana Demirova of MKRTV, the EBU’s Member in FYR Macedonia.
    The item describes signature of a twinning agreement between Shuto Orizari, a municipality with a majority Roma population in Skopje, and the Turkish municipality of Keshan – itself the centre of a Roma community.
    Radka Betcheva, senior project manager at EBU partnership Programme welcomed launch of the exchange as an important breakthrough in an proactive approach towards ensuring visibility of Roma communities on Public Service Media.
    Zeljka Lekic, head of ERNO Coordination Office said that  "The first story from the new network of Roma journalists from the region was a huge step forward and future stories about the life, culture and history of Roma people will be an important additional value of the ERNO news exchange among public broadcaster of Southeast Europe" 

    The exchange was established following a conference on public service media and Roma minorities organized by the EBU’s Partnership Programme in the Kosovo capital of Pristina in April. The conference was part of an EBU action plan funded largely by the European Commission following a Memorandum of Understanding signed last July by the EU and the EBU.
    The conference created a network of Roma journalists and editors which will exchange programmes and information of Roma Communities.
    “Roma journalists have to exchange experiences and mainstream Roma topics,” says Orhan Galjus of  Radio Patrin in Netherlands chairman of a taskforce set up at the conference. “Roma-related  issues have to become visible, since we Roma are practically invisible within Europe. True freedom for a group will only be achieved when they are in control of their own image."
    ERNO was created in November 2000 as a regional exchange platform for EBU Members in Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.
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