One of Europe’s biggest events dedicated to young journalists and other media makers, the European Youth Media Days (EYMD), takes place on 16–18 October at the European Parliament in Brussels.
The event gathers more than one hundred young journalists and other media makers to work with the theme Communicating elections – How to inform young voters about the European elections. During the three-day workshop each participant will work to produce a report on the topic through medium of their choice: video, photo, radio, print, multimedia, or graphic design.
During the three days in Brussels, participants will experience media workshops, hands-on media production, political discussions and get peak into the European Parliament (EP), interact with high-level European politicians, professional journalists and experts, and engage in intercultural exchange through practical media production.
EYMD 2018 project coordinator Mariell Raisma says that the EYMD gives journalists a great way to learn hands-on and to build life-changing contacts which in the future will shape European journalism, laying the foundations for transnational cooperation projects to happen. In this international environment participants can focus on obtaining new techniques, renewing their passion towards their work or in general focus on such parts of journalism they don’t get to do on a daily basis.
“On the other hand, EYMD enables journalists to get a hint of the everyday life in the EP, and by creating immediate contact between the EP and journalists, it builds preconditions for journalists to write stories about the EP in a way which touches people. This way it brings EU closer to people”, Raisma reminds.
The theme of the event is crucial since young voters are less likely to vote than older ones. In 2014 only 28 percent of 18–24 year olds casted their vote in the European elections, compared to 51 per cent of people over 55 years old. Even though young people are more positive about the EU than older Europeans, this doesn’t show in the ballot box.
According to Raisma, European elections is this year’s EYMD topic because, elections are not an ordinary time for journalism.
“It is a time when problems with disinformation and misinformation become even more topical and when staying impartial and true to the journalistic values is a bigger challenge than at other times. For a journalist, this means that they need to use advanced skills and knowledge during elections. Additionally, it is no doubt the most important topic because it will form the lines of power for the next term of the EP.”
The European Youth Media Days are helping to create a European public space. The event is a part of an intercultural dialogue, promoting a broad discussion and networking on European issues among young people, and creating innovative intercultural media formats under facilitation by young journalists.
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