Democracy and participation, Community development

HumanBodyText winner

Setting up a community mediastudio in North-East Hungary and spreading quality citizen journalism (vlogs, podcasts, blogs) among young people.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Zoltán Weil

Journalist's Association of Eger

http://www.egriszin.hu

Hungary

Who is joining forces?

Harmónium Independent Communication Association

https://www.harmonium.hu/en/

Hungary


Labor Eger Association

http://www.otletverseny.laboreger.hu

Hungary


Idea

Idea pitch

In the HBT project we are creating a well-equipped community studio for young vloggers, podcasters, bloggers with 24/7 access. We help participants become familiar with the responsibility and technique of the media and principles like factuality, science, humanism, progress and democracy.
News consumption requires some educational background. Those who have studied music can understand it better and they are more critical of the pieces and their interpretations.

Where will your project idea take place?

Our project will be implemented in Eger sub-region and parts of Heves and BAZ counties in Hungary.

What is the local challenge?

The state is the largest employer in our region. Most people depend on the state and the political group that governs the state. The entire media market (radios, TVs, print press) belongs to the circles of the majority party. Only a few low-budget independent media exist in the online space. In larger cities, the situation is a little better, but no information reaches the villages that is independent of the propaganda press.
At the same time, a lot of high school and college students commute and maintain contact between the city and the countryside. Due to the online educational constraints of the Covid-19 crisis, the online activity and communication of young people has multiplied. Many of them have become content providers in social media.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

The HBT project helps young people become vloggers, podcasters, bloggers, i.e. influencers in their own community. Through citizen journalism, they can play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating information. They can also implement the control and publicity function of the press being given the opportunity, tools, interface and training to express their opinions.
The HBT Club provides community space 24/7. They will have the opportunity to invite media personalities who they are interested in. Professional mentors, coaches acquaint them with how democratic society works. They can understand how publicity can help the development of a local community. HBT will be an important pillar of local participatory democracy.

Who are you doing it for?

The target group is young people who use social media, high school and college students living in North-East Hungary and their families. We also involve young people belonging to the Roma communities cooperating with our organizations.
Many people are unable to start podcasts and vlogs because they don’t have technical equipment and IT knowledge. They are attracted to the fact that professional mixers, cameras, microphones etc. and a studio become available to them in the project. The only requirement is to learn how to operate them, and become aware of the basic rules of journalistic ethics.
The journalists involved in the project can also learn new skills as they are given the opportunity to understand the thinking of a generation that no longer consumes traditional media.

How do you plan to get there?

Recruitment
We are looking for young people who are intensely interested in using social media. Recruitment takes place in the region’s high schools, universities, NGOs, Roma and LMBTQ communities and social media.
The screening
Applicants will be asked to present material (film, sound, written material) in the format of their choice, followed by a personal interview. Applicants whose goals and statements are the same as those of the project will be given the opportunity to be members of an editorial team.
The editorial team
This team is a group of 6-8 people with a “editor-in-chief” mentor. During the project we are planning to work in three teams (approx. 20 people). When assembling teams, we strive for equal gender balance and the most colorful ethnic composition possible.

What are the expected results?

Our goal is that by the end of the project at least half of the participants become active content owners having their own Youtube, Podcast, Tik-Tok etc. channels, blog, or for example operate a news portal.
Participants make their contents available on the site szovegtorzs.hu and humanbodytext.eu. The goal is to have at least 10,000 engagements (like, share, reaction, answer etc.) by the end of the project.
At the end of the HBT project, we are going to organize a conference where we are going to present a methodological handbook summarizing the experiences of the project, to help people who want to start a project in the field of citizen journalism.
At the end of the project, the activity will not stop, we will continuously operate the community studio from our own resources.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Action needs to be taken against fake news and conspiracy theories. We believe we must stand up for the European idea of common sense, progress and enlightenment.
The anti-cooperative, populist ideology that divides the world is most likely to damage societies where education is not strong enough. Reality can only be distorted where there is no critical thinking, where there is no flow of information.
Populists always take advantage of the media. Remember how horrific the influence of the propaganda coming from the radio and newsreels was in the 1930s.
If we value reality, common sense and credible speech, we will defend European values. That is why the HBT project is important for European democracy, which can only be sustained by well-informed, critically thinking people.

What is your story?

We believe that a paradigm shift in the media requires a new approach at local level as well. Young people communicate on different platforms than their parents. Therefore, they cannot receive usable orientation patterns from either the family or society.
However universal values must be protected again and again. Respect for each other, respect for facts, the power of cooperation, the idea of enlightenment and democracy are core values that must prevail regardless of platform.
In the HBT project, we intend to transfer this knowledge. We take advantage of the fact that the most prestigious journalists from the left, liberal and conservative media stand by us in this mission. Because our core values are common.

€ 39000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 41000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Studio equipments (laptop, camera, mixer, microphone etc.): 17,000 EUR
Office expenses (renting costs, owerhead, stationery) : 5,000 EUR + 2,000 EUR own contribution.
Personnel costs (mentors, trainers, project manager, book keeper, community organizer): 17,000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are planning international programs in the future and to share our experiences and our methodological handbook with young people during/after the program so we would be pleased to swap opinions with other NGOs in this field and cooperate in common projects.

Project Journey

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Team

Labor

torosziget

porcsin

Idea created on May 19, 2020
Last edit on Aug. 3, 2020

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