Project background

A cornerstone in modern democracy is the freedom of speech and not least free media. For many years great efforts had been made to secure this in Europe and globally. The latest developments and changes in several countries demonstrate and remind us about that democracy is not something we can take for granted. This due to the rise of challenges in both the “old” western European countries, in some of the “new” post communist democracies, as well as the massive possibility to spread and receive free information through the internet and social media.

About the project

The project took place on the digital platform Zoom. During two weekends we worked together in a youth driven, temporary news desk focusing on the question “What is it like for young people to have their voices heard in 2021?”. Participants (four journalists/students from Sweden and four journalists/students from Belarus) made their own media productions and presented the results for the group and honorary guests. All material is published on the website Ung Press.

Media production

The participants chose what kind of media production or journalistic project they wished to do. This method, a temporary news desk, is based on the participants being active and creative. They needed to be curious and be able to form their own questions. We wanted the participants to finish their work while working in the temporary news desk, in order to make sure that they finish what they have started and also to improve their ability to meet deadlines. Participants from both Sweden and Belarus were provided a news desk coach. The coaches helped the participants to plan, create and finish their media productions. The Swedish participants worked with news desk coach Eleni Terzitane, journalist.

Credibility is about objectiveness – not age!

Young journalist Kajsa Lidin from Sweden wrote a piece on ageism during NordBel Temporary News Desk Digest 2021.

In this day and age, where the majority of young people get most of their information through social media and search engines, the practise of source-criticism and objectiveness becomes more important than ever. Engaging young people to care about politics and expressing their opinions, as well as listening to opposing opinions, becomes more important than ever in order to ensure a democratic future.

Kajsa Lidin @ Instragram

Two participants conjoined and created an Instagram account, in which young people around the world are welcomed to speak on freedom of expression. The creators are Maja Andersson from Sweden and ”Y” from Belarus, who due to safety reasons will remain anonymous.