Media Wheel: Romano Them – The Most Widespread Broadcast at Radio Belgrade

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Foto: Flickr/Louis

More than 500,000 Rroma live in Serbia, and by launching this radio program the constitutional and legal right to information in the mother tongue was realized for them. The polls show that, apart from the Rroma, Romano Them is listened to by non-Roma in a very high percentage, whether it is about the majority population or other minorities in Serbia, who in this way are acquainted with the history, culture and tradition of their Rroma fellow-citizens but also with the problems that the Rroma are facing in their everyday life.

The first show was aired on October 1, 2001, as one of the first daily radio shows in Europe dedicated to the Rroma, and there have been 6,300 broadcasts so far. The newsroom preparing and realizing the show consists of three journalists, who are also the editors of the show. They advocate for objective, professional and affirmative reporting on the Rroma, and they consider that an ideal editorial for such a work is just like theirs, made up of Rroma and non-Rroma journalists. They have, as they say, succeeded in pointing out the need for such a program, which informs about the Rroma in an objective way.

This is essential for better ethnic tolerance, understanding and achievement of basic social interaction. Our colleagues from Radio Belgrade, but also from Television, seek our advice and suggestions when dealing with the Rroma topics, and we often prepare their reports for broadcast.

In addition, when interviewed for Phralipen, they described the concept of the program.

We organized the Romano Them radio program in a way that the first five week days are of informative character and we report on events related to the Rroma community in Serbia and around the world, but we also report on various other issues related to the Rroma, but other peoples as well. We follow the work of Rromani intellectuals, works and activities of Rromani artists or, for example, the success of Rromani sportspersons. Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for multi-century Rromani history, culture and tradition. For example, on Saturdays, we broadcasted interesting feuilleton “Six Centuries of Rroma in Belgrade”, “The Journey of Rroma from India to Europe“, or passages about the Rroma in world literature, and on Sundays we broadcast interviews and reports on events from Rromani history and present world famous people of Rromani origin, for example Charlie Chaplin, Ava Gardner, Yul Brynner and others. Every show is accompanied by the authentic Rromani music performed by musicians from Serbia, from the region as well as from around the world.

Asked which issues today demand the greatest media attention, they highlighted growing nationalism at European level, forced displacements and frequent protests against members of the Rroma community as topics to be constantly talked about warning of the inadmissibility of such behaviour. In one word, antiziganism deserves much more media attention, both in the Rromani media and in the media in general.

Romano Them show is one of the ten most-listened-to shows on Radio Belgrade, representing an additional motivation for further work. Additionally, they are highly motivated and praised by listeners who are very happy with the program.

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