The European Conference Devoted to Minority and Local Media this year gathered those employed in the media and journalists, but also the experts from the field of tourism, economy and environmental protection. In the company of numerous visitors from the field of the media, tourist organisations and economy, as well as students from the Vocational Secondary School of Electrical Engineering from Novi Sad, the panellists and organisers agreed that the minority and local media are, in many cases, tourism development resources.
The second day of the Conference was officially opened by the member of the City Council in Charge of Culture Dalibor Rožić, who expressed his pleasure about the fact that the European Conference Devoted to Minority and Local Media lives on and that the programme is more serious and more comprehensive each year.
“It’s good that this year’s central topic is tourism and the role of the minority media in its development, because tourism has been relying on culture more and more, and the connections between the two areas are more ramified,” said Rožić, reminding the audience that the Conference is an integral part of “The Second Europe” platform within the project “Novi Sad CCoC 2021”. “The City Council in Charge of Culture will keep supporting this event, as it is in full accordance with the concept of multiculturalism and decentralisation, but also because the organisers manage to push the reaches of the previous conferences further.”
Friday’s program consisted of four panels preceded by an introductory lecture by Igor Stamenković, PhD and an Assistant Professor from the Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management Department of the Faculty of Sciences from Novi Sad. The lecture addressed the issues of multicultural regions and their development, highlighting the fact that there can be no development unless all the interested parties –including stakeholders, private sector, and the media – work together.
Predrag Mandić, from “Srpske nedeljne novine” (Serbian Weekly Newspaper) from Hungary, Lazar Lazić, professor and PhD from the Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management Department from Novi Sad, Nataša Pavlović, Managing Director of the Tourist Organization of Vojvodina, Marta Varju, Editor-in-Chief of Magyar Szo and Rade Delibašić from the Foundation Novi Sad CCoC 2021 discussed Vojvodina as a tourist region.
The participants of the panel moderated by Dragica Samardžić, Senior Advisor for Tourism of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vojvodina, agreed that Vojvodina is a fast developing tourist region, visited by an increasing number of tourists (in 2018 14%, which is a record). During the panel, where the need for a more modern organisation and management was emphasised, as well as marketing in the field of tourism and tourist organisations, it was concluded that in the context of this field negative phenomena should also be discussed, such as appointments based on party affiliations and low salaries of those employed in tourism.
During the second panel called “European Minority and Majority Media as a Tourism Development Resource”, the participants – editors of the minority and majority media Gwyn Nissen from Denmark, Frank Jung from Germany, András Chirimiciu from Romania and Rajmund Klonowski from Lithuania, and Martina Kreuzer from Italy, who joined the panel in a video call, presented the image of the role of media in other European countries.
The main message of the panel moderated by Nataša Heror, Managing Director of Heror Media Pont, was that all the media need to nurture their own approach to the topics from the field of tourism, regardless of whether they collaborate with other subjects to promote tourist destinations, or if they, through analytical journalism, are engaged in topics emanating from this area.
Due to the fact that in some cases tourism and its development have an adverse effect on environment, one of the panels “The Media and Ecology” – moderated by Vladimira Dorčova Valtnerova, Editor-In-Chief of the portal “Storyteller” was dedicated to “ecological” journalism, i.e. environmental protection.
The participants Izabela Branković, executive director of the Media Association of Serbia, Velimir Cvejanov, editor in chief of the portal www.reciklaza.biz, Dragan Gmizić, journalist, Zoran Trpovski, Secretary of The Industry Association of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vojvodina and Marko Tucakov, correspondent of “Hrvatska riječ” (Croatian Word) concluded that there is no new data or research that would show to what extent the media report about the environment, with the subjective assessment that it is insufficient. They also agreed that reporting about these topics is often sensationalist and short-lived and due to this, new ways and new journalism approaches and narratives about reporting on ecological topics should be discovered.
This year’s conference emphasised that, apart from preserving the cultural heritage, we should also preserve our natural heritage, and that the economic progress cannot be separated from the cultural one. The panel “Ruthenian Culture and Tourism”, whose goal was to present the tourist potential and products of the Ruthenian community, primarily from Ruski Krstur.
The panel participants – Ljubica Njaradi, President of the Tourist Association of Ruski Krstur, Jakim Vinai, journalist for Q media from Kule and Blažena Homa Cvetković on behalf of NIU “Ruske slovo” – presented the cultural-gastronomic and religious tourism developing recently in Ruski Krstur. As a good practice example, they emphasised the cultural-gastronomic-entertainment event “The Days of Krstur Bell Pepper” and reminded those gathered of the excellent music festival Vodova Fest, which used to be organised in this village for several years with great success. The panel was moderated by Jasna Kovač from NIU “Ruske slovo”.
Photo: Csilla Dávid and Branko Vujkov