Writing/Righting Truths Across Borders: Learning from Transnational Peoples’ Journalism and Politics by Shayna Gilana Plaut A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Doctor of Philosophy in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Educational Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) September 2014 © Shayna Gilana Plaut, 2014 ii Abstract My dissertation explores how journalists who self-identify as “transnational” shape their journalism to make human rights claims that trouble, open up and go beyond the nation-state. The project is a multi-sited, ethnographic, comparative case study of journalism education among two different transnational peoples: Romani/Gypsy and Saami (the Indigenous peoples in the current states of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia). Drawing upon 45 interviews with journalists and journalism educators, my research suggests there are two distinct strategies in how transnational peoples’ journalism is conceived, taught and assessed. These strategies influence and are influenced by larger socio-political contexts: the Saami media work within an Indigenous rights framework; their goal is to engage with journalism as a form of self-determination. This differs from Romani media programs, which are funded by non-state donors who aim to use Romani media as a form of claiming citizenship. These citizenship claims are both within a specific state as well as within Europe. In short, the political, economic and cultural contexts shape the journalism, and the journalism in turn shapes the politics. Although the differences are significant, both transnational groups recognized the power of journalism in agenda setting within, between and across borders. Through the framing of information in particular ways, journalists, editors and the media outlets, as well as the funding sources for this journalism, were all engaged in a form of agenda setting (Carpenter, 2007; 2009) and productive power (Barnett & Duvall, 2005). My findings indicate that a unique feature of transnational peoples’ journalism is recognizing and operationalizing power beyond that of the state; another contribution is a more robust understanding of objectivity in journalism – one that demonstrates how journalists can be credible, without pretending to be neutral. These are all important contributions to reimagining human rights advocacy beyond current discussions of transnational advocacy which still often privilege the state and tends to pay scant attention to iii journalists themselves. Learning from transnational peoples who are creating, teaching, and participating in journalism education in its many places, forms, and media allows us to make more sound connections between human rights and journalism. iv Preface This dissertation is an original intellectual product of the author, Shayna Plaut. The fieldwork reported in Chapters 4 and 5 was covered by UBC Ethics Certificate H11-03023 (originally approved December 15, 2011) and H11 – 00971 (originally approved on May, 19, 2011), respectively. Significant portions of Chapter 2 and a bit of Chapter 6 were published as a part of the chapter, “Fact Based Storytelling or Fact Based Activism: Tensions, strategies and next steps of human rights and journalism,” in Anja Mijhr and Mark Gibney (Eds) Sage Handbook of Human Rights. Sage Publications (Plaut, 2014). I am the sole author. A version of Chapter 5 was published in the journal Nordicom Review, “Nation building not ‘resistance radio’: Self determination, the state & Saami media.” Volume 35, No. 1, pp. 81-97. I was the sole researcher and sole author. All images in Chapters 4 and 5 are reproduced with permission of the editor and/or curator and noted as such in the text. v Table of Contents Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... ii Preface............................................................................................................................................ iv Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ v List of Tables ................................................................................................................................ viii List of Figures ................................................................................................................................ ix Glossary .......................................................................................................................................... x Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................ xi Chapter 1 — Introduction ............................................................................................................... 1 Goals and Structure of the Project .............................................................................................. 4 Why Transnational Peoples? ....................................................................................................... 8 The Specific Cases: Romani and Saami Journalism, Journalists, and Journalism Education .. 12 My Places and Perspectives in this Research ........................................................................... 15 Structure of the Dissertation ..................................................................................................... 18 Chapter 2 — Theorizing the Borders of Journalism and Journalism Beyond Borders ................ 23 What is Journalism? .................................................................................................................. 25 Three Different Approaches to Objectivity ............................................................................... 31 Framing, Counter-Framing, and Framing Contests .................................................................. 36 The Contribution of International Relations Theory ................................................................ 38 The (Neglected) Role of Journalism in Constructivist International Relations Theory ........... 42 Where is the Power in the Story? .............................................................................................. 43 A Transnational Journalistic Standpoint ................................................................................... 46 Chapter 3 — The ABCs—From the Arctic to the Balkans to Central Europe: How I Researched Transnational Peoples’ Journalism Education .............................................................................. 48 Why Comparative Case Studies? .............................................................................................. 48 Brief Overview of Case Selection......................................................................................... 50 Significantly Different Cases ................................................................................................ 52 Case Selection ........................................................................................................................... 52 Why Romani Journalists? ..................................................................................................... 58 My Background with Romani Media ................................................................................... 59 Why Saami Journalists? ........................................................................................................ 60 My Background with Saami Journalism ............................................................................... 61 A Potential Third Case? Migrant Voice: The Road Not Taken ................................................. 62 What I Bring to this Research ................................................................................................... 64 The Who, What, Where, Why, and How of Interviewing and Multi-Sited Fieldwork ............. 65 Negotiating Gatekeepers and Respectful Yet Critical Research ........................................... 66 Going “Into the Field” with Saami Journalism ................................................................. 69 Narrowing My Approach to Romani Journalism: Focus on Open Society Foundations .. 71 Reflections on My Different Dynamics within Interviews ................................................... 74 vi Locating and Analyzing Transcripts and Primary Source Documents ..................................... 75 Chapter 4 — “A (Romani) Journalist is (Just) a Journalist!”: Roma, the State, and Europe—Crafting Inclusion and Citizenship ............................................................................................... 78 Structure of the Chapter ............................................................................................................ 79 The Who, What, Where, When, and How of Roma in Europe ................................................. 81 The State, Roma, and the Emerging Project of Democracy: A Brief Overview ....................... 84 Combating Romani “Culture Talk” ........................................................................................... 86 The Context: History and Geography of Journalism in Central and Eastern Europe ............... 88 Minority Media as a Right .................................................................................................... 90 Why the “National Minority Rights” Model Does Not Work Well for Roma ...................... 91 The Role of International Funders in Framing Transnational Mobilization ............................. 92 The Role of the Decade of Roma Inclusion and Its Impact on Romani Media ........................ 94 “The Stigma of Donor Dependence” .................................................................................... 96 “Why Do You Eat Today if You are Going to be Hungry Tomorrow?”— The Elusive Goal of “Sustainability” ................................................................................................................. 98 The (Assumed) Role of “Healthy Media” in Ensuring and Maintaining Democracy ............ 100 Roma as the Canary in the Coalmine ...................................................................................... 103 “Roma Should be Seen as Full Citizens; And Media is The Medium [To Do This]” ............ 106 Towards a Progression of Criticality? ..................................................................................... 108 Three Training Models for Romani Journalism and Romani Journalists ................................117 The Roma Mainstream Media Internship Program and Subsequent Spinoff Programs ......119 Co-production Fund ............................................................................................................ 122 “Working with the Stars”: Shoulder-to-Shoulder Reporting as Pioneered by Transitions . 125 The Party Line: A Journalist is a Journalist! ........................................................................... 127 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................. 133 Chapter 5 — “You are thinking from Sápmi, not Oslo!”: Building and Serving the Nation through Saami Journalism........................................................................................................... 137 Media Context Within the Nordic Public Service Model ....................................................... 140 Who and What are Saami, Saami Media Outlets, and Saami Journalism? ............................. 143 History of Saami Journalism ............................................................................................... 146 Understanding the Saami within the Larger Indigenous Movement .................................. 151 The Role of Saami Language .................................................................................................. 152 Media as a Form of Self-Determination: Nation Building, “Watchdogging” and Facilitating “Debate within Society” ......................................................................................................... 154 Speaking Inside; Speaking Outside—The Example of Galdu’s Story on Fishing Rights .. 157 The Role of the Media in Nation Building and the Reality of Multiple Audiences ........... 160 A Saami Starting Point ........................................................................................................ 161 Reindeer Herders on Facebook: How to Negotiate a Saami Starting Point when Working With, and For, a “Double Audience” .................................................................................. 164 Saami Journalism: Cultivating, Strengthening, and Promoting Self-determination ........... 167 vii Sámi Allaskuvla ...................................................................................................................... 170 The Core Elements of Saami Journalism Education ............................................................... 172 “Everyone Knows Everyone”: The Ethics of Journalism in Sápmi ................................... 174 Covering the Reindeer-Herding Crisis from Within the Community ................................. 176 What Does Transnational Formal Saami Journalism Education Look Like? ......................... 180 A Desire to Professionalize in Saami Way(s) ..................................................................... 182 Must there be Tension between Professionalization and Objectivity? ............................... 184 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................. 186 Chapter 6 —“Then People Know and [Then] Maybe Things Can Change”: How Transnational Peoples’ Journalism Shapes and is Shaped by Transnational Politics ........................................ 189 Distinctions between Saami and Romani Journalism and Journalism Education .................. 192 Saami................................................................................................................................... 195 Roma ................................................................................................................................... 197 Transnational People’s Journalism as a Quintain ................................................................... 199 Information as Power: People Can Change Their Minds…If Only They Know Better ......... 202 The Ideals of Journalism and Democracy ............................................................................... 207 Operationalizing Transnational Media Cooperation ............................................................... 210 Transnational Politics Shaping, and Shaped by, Transnational Journalism: Examples .......... 213 Media as a Corrective for All of Society ................................................................................ 217 Specific Contributions to the Various Literatures ................................................................... 219 Next Steps to Thinking and Doing Human Rights Journalism ............................................... 225 Conclusion: How a Transnational Standpoint Helps Write New Possibilities of Doing Human Rights, and Human Right Journalism ......................................................................................... 228 References ................................................................................................................................... 233 Appendix A: Romani Media Interviews ..................................................................................... 254 Appendix B: Saami Media Interviews ........................................................................................ 262 Appendix C: Questions for Romani media outlets and journalism educators: ........................... 266 Appendix D: Questions for Saami Journalists/Journalism Educators ........................................ 267 viii List of Tables Table 3.1: Romani and Saami Media Outlets ............................................................................... 56 Table 3.2 Romani and Saami Journalism Education Programs .................................................... 57 Table 5.1 Saami Media Outlets and Initiatives ........................................................................... 148 Table 6.1Key Differences for Teaching and Producing Romani and Saami Journalism ............ 194 Table 6.2 What is Human Rights Journalism………………………………………………...…227 ix List of Figures Figure 4.1 Estimated Romani population in Europe (Council of Europe). .................................. 82 Figure 5.1 Map of Sápmi. ........................................................................................................... 144 Figure 5.2 Four Typologies and Tensions of Saami Media; designed by Ande Somby. ............. 157 Figure 5.3 The world from up north, seen upon entering Siida, the Saami Museum in Ánar /Inari, Finland. ....................................................................................................................................... 162 x Glossary Roma – plural term to refer to the Roma/Gypsy people. Rom is for a singular male, Romni for a singular female. The term “Gypsy” is considered pejorative by most Roma with the exception of some Roma in Hungary, England and Spain where the Romani language is used very infrequently. Romani – is both the name of the language spoken by Roma (the base of the language is Indic with a lot of Greek and Turkish and it is then heavily influenced by the contact languages) and an adjective. Thus it is more appropriate to speak of ‘Romani media” rather than “Roma media.” Saami/Sámi – Indigenous peoples of the countries that are now known as Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Roma. The term “Saami” can be used as both a noun and an adjective: “s/he is Saami,” “the Saami language,” as well as “the journalism should be done Saami ways.” Sápmi – The traditional land of the Saami people located in the northern areas of the countries that are now known as Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia xi Acknowledgements As this work is about people who cross borders and political space I will begin by acknowledging where I am. I have spent the past five years as a guest on the unceded, ancestral territory of the Musqueam people. I would like to thank the Musqueam nation for being a generous host sharing with me the land, the air, the water, the space and the relationships to engage and learn – all of which have nourished me to meet good people and make good relations. I would also like to thank the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh, Gitxsan, Nisga’a and Haida people. There are many times in this journey where I have found refuge, peace and hospitality on your territory. In Jewish culture, one of the highest honors and responsibilities is to be a teacher and I am deeply grateful to Claudia Ruitenberg, Deirdre Kelly, Sheryl Lightfoot and Michael Byers. Claudia and Deirdre, you two took a risk on me when I arrived at UBC – kicking and screaming about the banality and uselessness of academia. Your patience in being able to hear through what I was saying and push me to rethink my own boxes and categories allowed me to believe I was in the right place. Both of you introduced me to the theorists that could sustain, challenge and support me in my own understanding of making the world better; specifically, thank you for broadening my understanding of feminist theory and methods. Claudia, I am especially grateful for pushing my clarity of language and argument – for helping me think through what was often a complicated and very fast paced web in my mind. And Deirdre, that summer coding at your dining room where I learned Atlas.ti and developed our “code Torah,” was invaluable. I was taught the practice of qualitative analysis from the best and I use that method to teach others. Both of you were always and continue to be incredibly supportive of my goals and passions and helping me achieve those goals in my own way…while being deeply pragmatic and always xii dotting the Is and crossing the Ts. I could not have had a better team of supervisors. Michael, when I first arrived at UBC and took your class on International Relations and International Organizations and you mentioned “The Arctic” I was ready to get up and leave. Straight out of Chicago, I had no idea why I should care about that melting world of ice for 15 weeks. But I am glad I stayed. Thank you for introducing me to the North, and for all the opportunities to work with you and learn by doing and never accepting “no.” Thank you also for always having the mischievous glean in your eye whenever I wanted to bring things back to the real world. And lastly, but certainly not least, Sheryl. Little did I know when I approached you in the spring of 2010 to supervise a directed reading about transnational human rights and media that you would be such an instrumental part of my intellectual, professional and emotional growth. Thank you for opening, bridging and translating so many worlds and showing me the respect to always push me harder. Thank you for your mentorship and friendship. I have benefited from the generous support of the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Council, the UBC Four Year Fellowship and the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement. My first trip to Sápmi during the midnight sun of 2011 was financed in part by the Liu Institute for Global Issues Bottom Billion Fund. In addition to my department of Educational Studies, I would like to thank the Liu Institute for Global Issues in providing me a home base to engage in the activist-scholarship that drives me. Through the writing groups I was able to work and rework my academic pieces and, perhaps more importantly, be exposed to the challenging work of others. The Liu provided a consistent home when I was feeling restless and rootless. Access to simple things like a printer, xiii photocopier, paper and free coffee, which seem so small, made this big task doable. But most importantly I am grateful for the connections I was able to make as a Liu Scholar; connections with staff, faculty and students – other people who think, do and laugh across disciplines and other such borders. Thank you also to Peter Klein and the staff and faculty of the UBC Graduate school of Journalism for hosting my course, “Ethics, Tactics and Tensions of Human Rights Reporting” thus providing journalism students with a basic literacy in human rights while challenging the traditional methods of doing journalism. Thank you also to my students in the class who wrestled with these theories in the real world and created some fantastic pieces of work. I learned more from you then you will know. Of course nothing gets done in universities without the shrewd wisdom and skill of departmental staff and the department of Educational Studies is no different; Shermila Salgadoe and Roweena Bacchus, you two were always amazingly supportive of me and my work and I am very grateful. It is my strong belief that research should be useful and relevant and for that reason I hope I have kept my promise to the journalists, journalism instructors, and academics at Saami University College as well as Rune Fjellheim at the Saami Parliament in Norway; thank you for inviting and hosting me on your land. I am especially grateful to Kent Valio and Silja Somby for locating people and documents and for their encouragement over the years and to my adopted aunties Kristine Nystad and Sunniva Skolas and adopted uncle Jon Todal. Thank you also to Marie Struthers of the Open Society Foundation for literally opening her office and (electronic) rolodex of contacts and to Tihomir Loza, Jeremy Druker and Ilona Moricz for their hours and hours of patience with my unending questions. xiv I would not have gone through this entire process if it was not for the amazing staff at the Tipper (best salmon burger ever!). For over four years I would sit for hours at a time, at my table on the North East corner facing Kingsway. Colin and Conner and Mel – where is my banana? And to others whom I have met here in Vancouver and have nourished and challenged me as colleagues and friends, even as I bemoaned the grey: Amy Parent, Jeannie Kerr, Oralia Gomez-Ramirez, Sharalyn Jordan, Lilach Marom, Asad Kiyani, Naureen Madhani, David Kirk, Sebastian Salamanca, Elizabeth Brin and Nicole Latham. A special thank you to those who have edited and reedited the same (insert expletive) chapters and still want to be friends: Yana Gorokhovskaia, Katherine (Kat) Fobear, other members of the Transitional Justice/Social Change writing group as well as Eben Friedman, Safia Swimelar and Hans Peter Schmitz. I am a person with many homes and I am deeply grateful for people that are far from Vancouver but always very close. My friends, mentors and family who have walked with me down many roads…who remind me of who I am and where I come from and all the possibilities that lay ahead: Nabeel Hamid, Mahruq Khan, Amanda Loos Logan, Jilana Ordman, Neil Gilbert, Curtis and Gail Chandler, Victor Friedman, Diana Mikhail, Michelle Patterson, Nancy Chiswick-Patterson, Stephanie Plaut, Melanie Miller Weiss, Adam Weiss, Denis Durmis and Krisztina Bekássy-Boczonádi. And for once I may be at a loss of words in expressing my gratitude for the unwavering support I have received from Craig Stewart—support and friendship that manifests in so many different (cranky) ways. I am deeply thankful to Shawn Samuel and Tara Chandler—two friendships that go way beyond friendship. You see me true. And coming full circle to where one comes from: thank you very much to Shelley Plaut Middleton. I know that being my mom has not always easy—but your unconditional love and xv support is so solid and so strong. You have always believed in me. Thank you, momma. 1 Chapter 1 — Introduction In 2004, I was recruited to design and teach a course on human rights to future “producers of culture”—journalists, filmmakers, and artists—at Columbia College Chicago, a journalism, art, and media school in the heart of downtown Chicago. No human rights course had been offered there before, and the administration was not sure if there would be student interest. I had to ensure that 10 people registered for the class or it would be cancelled. My colleagues were a bit nervous. I was a bit nervous. We did not know if we could get 10 people. Within one year, however, all three sections of the class were filled with 20–25 students each, and I developed a “part II” of the course. To meet the demand, we needed more instructors who were comfortable with human rights language, laws, and mechanisms, and who wanted to work with interested students. Although many were sympathetic, I could not convince a single colleague at Columbia College to agree to teach this course. All feared that teaching human rights to future journalists was somehow “too political,” thus violating the professional norms of journalism, which they presumed to be apolitical. They were not making the distinction between human rights journalism and human rights campaigns. The only people I could recruit to teach these classes came from human rights organizations themselves, which appeared to further compromise the journalistic ideal. Interest only grew and we could not keep up with demand. We had to turn students away. After four years of teaching human rights courses every semester to overflowing classes and overeager students, I vowed to figure out a way to convince my colleagues that it is indeed possible to provide basic literacy in human rights while instilling journalistic skills and ethics. Recognizing that there are “peculiarities connected to cultural authority that pertain exclusively 2 or primarily to journalism, particularly its reverence for facts, truth, and reality” (Zelizer, 2004, p. 110), I needed to show that human rights and journalism are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to be a robust and critical journalist while also approaching stories from a particular perspective—in this case, a human rights framework. The important thing is to show journalists how do it. I decided the best way to do this was to learn from people who were already making and teaching a different kind of journalism—a journalism that pushes the ideas of objectivity while remaining credible and that aims to create legitimate alternatives to how “reality” is presented, including the reality of power and the state. Both conventional journalists and human rights advocates pride themselves on scrutinizing the actions of government, but there is a conflation of the government, the state, and “the people” and state is still often seen as the unmarked, given—and indeed ideal—source of power. This is not the lens that people with a transnational standpoint bring to media or politics. Transnational people engaged in journalism seemed to provide an alternative vision of journalism, politics and the state. Transnational peoples—peoples who identify as one nation (“a people,” or what Andrew Smith, 1983, termed ethnie) across two or more states—bring a unique perspective because they understand the need to be fluent in the complexities of state, law, culture, and identity, and the responsibility and skills required when translating these complexities to multiple audiences. In short, many transnational peoples already presume and understand that the media is not neutral and rather is constantly engaged in a political process. Many who are politically and socially engaged choose to use journalism in this process. Therefore, my goal in this dissertation project is to learn from self-identified transnational journalists in order to present and construct an alternative approach to human rights advocacy that foregrounds the importance of identity and 3 self-representation through the power of journalism. By human rights I mean all of the rights enshrined in the United Nations (UN) conventions, as well as rights specific to Indigenous peoples and to other peoples who identify as one nation spanning two or more states. I focus on these transnational peoples to illustrate that for too long human rights has operated in a state-centric and state-dominant paradigm that assumes that people need to be protected from the state and/or that the state needs to provide for people (Osiatynski, 2009). In either case, power is perceived to come from the state, and thus too often visions of change become circumscribed within the borders of the state. But this is too limiting. The state, as a political and institutional entity, is important, and can be both an adversary and a partner, but is not the sole center; rather, it is one actor that can be harnessed, worked with, and at times worked around. Journalism has an underexplored role to play here. Through the framing of information in particular ways, journalism—in the form of the journalists, the editors and the media outlets that they work for and with—participates in agenda setting. I am making a distinction here between agenda setting, which is the power needed to sift through a “myriad of bad things” (Carpenter, 2007, p. 102) and propaganda. Unlike propaganda, the information journalists provide in agenda setting is true, but it is positioned in a way that frames and foregrounds particular problems and solutions. This is one manifestation of what Barnett and Duvall (2005) refer to as “productive power”: how discourses shape and are shaped by resources and social structures and how this dynamism limits and opens up political possibilities. What is unique in transnational peoples’ journalism is how it highlights the ways in which power beyond that of the state can be harnessed and operationalized. Recognizing that there is power within, between, and across states—and beyond the limits of the state—is an 4 important contribution when understanding and engaging in human rights advocacy. Learning from transnational peoples who are creating, teaching, and participating in journalism education in its many places, forms, and media allows us to strengthen the connections between human rights and journalism. In this project I am bringing together what are presumed to be the disparate worlds and literatures of constructivist International Relations, critical journalism, and human rights within the specific context of transnational peoples’ journalism, so that we may better see the possibilities and importance of what solid journalism focused on human rights and with a transnational peoples standpoint, can do. My goal is simple: I begin my process of learning, and I hope to present these alternatives to my colleagues, both past and future, so that we may never have to turn students away again because of our own limited understandings of what is possible. Goals and Structure of the Project I aim to demonstrate that journalism can be, and is, used as a form of politics while maintaining its professional role rather than becoming public relations or propaganda. I believe this happens in all journalism but is often obfuscated through what Hackett and Zhao (1998) refer to as the “regime of objectivity” (passim). Traditionally, Anglo-American journalists were taught with a positivist notion of objectivity—believing that the world is out there to be covered and that the coverage should represent this external world without affecting it—they often cannot recognize the “taken-for-granted” assumptions that permeate their work. Assumptions about the permanence and prominence of the state, the conflation of national identity with that of the state, and the state-bounded realm of politics, often go unquestioned by academics, policy makers and journalists (Risse, Ropp, & Sikkink, 2013). Transnational journalists, on the other hand, tend to 5 have a complex understanding of the ways in which a country’s government maintains and perpetuates power within, between, and across states. Much can be learned from this perspective, or, to draw on Sandra Harding’s (1993) use of the term, this standpoint can show us a more robust way of thinking about the kind of power that allows things like state systems to remain unquestioned. Journalists are often considered to have a responsibility to inform and educate a public on things deemed important. This responsibility is assumed to be a cornerstone of the democratic process; an informed citizenry can hold the state accountable (see, for example, Habermas, 1964/1974). It is crucial that all audiences see this information as credible and great pains are taken to guard journalists’ reputation for credibility. Journalists are thus distinguished from propagandists or public relations agents. This distinction is maintained through professional norms and practices and is fairly standard throughout the profession (Waisbord, 2013). The questions then are: Who are the audiences? What is journalism doing in the larger socio-political spheres? A journalist is not a journalist without credibility. But from whom do journalists seek validation and credibility? Human rights work also markets itself on credibility, and that credibility is often assumed to be based on a detached approach to investigating, accumulating, and reporting “the facts,” which are then presented to the state as well as international organizations and advocacy groups to influence action (Barnett & Finnemore, 2004; Brysk, 2013a; Risse & Ropp, 2013). These “facts” are presumed to stand on their own and are then distributed to the publics and decision-making elites through journalism. It is for this reason that the questions I pose have implications beyond journalism, and I frame my research on journalism education as an exploration of a political project. Following in the footsteps of Michel Foucault (1980), political scientists 6 Michael Barnett and Robert Duvall (2005) view the crafting and distribution of information and thus the shaping of structured realities as an exercise of “productive power” (pp. 8–12, 20–22). Later scholars have picked up on the notion of productive power and further discuss the relationship between discourse and structural power and change (Risse & Ropp, 2013, pp. 14–15). The conversation, though, is still often limited to a less powerful agent trying to persuade a more powerful agent (either state or non-state actor) to make political changes within the limits of a state-bounded system. Although such thinking on productive power is useful, few have spoken of how it plays out in journalism—the public forum of truths. Rather than trying to persuade a single actor, media always speak to multiple publics, and transnational peoples’ media are particularly aware of this and skilled at maneuvering within these audiences. When there is a media landscape of “multiple publics,” then media are “always charged with dynamics of power which can at times provide a forum for information sharing and at other times can enable decision making” (Splichal, 2011, p. 33). Media are presumed to have an important active role in providing citizens with tools for deliberative democracy (Strömbäck, 2005). Following that logic, when media highlight particular problems—for example, targeting particular perpetrators and offering particular suggestions for remedy—media (in both form and content) can be recognized as a form of politics (Brysk, 2013b). Keck and Sikkink offer some thoughts on the importance of information as a form of political currency in their 1998 work, but, like most of the scholars addressing International Relations from a constructivist perspective, they present “the media” in an un-nuanced, anthropomorphized, passive role. And the journalists themselves—assumed to be a monolithic group—are absent (see, for example, Price, 1998, pp. 18–23 or Joachim, 2003). In particular, accumulating, compiling, editing, and distributing information in order to frame a 7 story in a particular way, thus highlighting possibilities for change, can help shape the realities for those who read, watch, or listen to such media products. This echoes the effects media can have on “decision making” as noted by Splichal (2011, p. 33) above. Multiple scholars have also referred to this process as “agenda setting” (Carpenter, 2007; Gitlin, 1980; Hallin, 1994; Price, 1998; Wade, 2011). In her most recent work, Speaking Rights to Power, Alison Brysk (2013b) has expanded on Keck & Sikkink’s 1998 work in what she termed “communication power” as she explores how information is used as currency in transnational advocacy. Yet even with this more nuanced approach, although “citizen journalists” are present, journalists working for conventional news outlets are largely absent from the analysis. In addition, the ultimate media targets are still states. The state is assumed to be the center point of governance, culture, and resources and thus the most important audience. And journalists are often assumed to be megaphones of what is already garnering the most attention. Although it is recognized that media and communication are intricately linked to liberal democracy and are often an inherent part of governance, including struggles for self-determination, much of the academic research is limited to media’s role in state formation (Anderson, 1983/1991) or media reform in post-conflict areas such as Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia (Price & Thompson, 2002), or is specifically geared toward ethnic and linguistic minority policy (Graham, 2010; Karlsreiter, 2003; Wilson & Stewart, 2008).1 In addition, although quite a bit of academic work has been done on the socialization and professionalization process of Western journalists (Glasser & Craft, 1998; Johnson-Cartee, 2005; Skinner, Gasher, & 1 I have chosen to use the term “minority media” rather than “ethnic media” in my work because all people are of a particular ethnicity; it is actually the recognized minority status of a group of people that grants (or denies) certain peoples’ rights to state or donor support for their media. It should be noted that the terms are often used interchangeably in academic, legal, and policy circles. 8 Compton, 2001; Tuchman, 1978), and some on alternative media (Coyer, 2005; Downing 2001; Ostertag, 2006; Retzlaff, 2006), little has been written about journalism education done by and for specific populations, particularly those who identify as transnational. In fact, as I discuss throughout the dissertation, although there is increased discussion of the role of globalization and its effects on media production and content, the basis of mainstream journalism continues to be training journalists to work for media outlets in their own countries. Even with the proliferation of global media outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera, and Telemundo, traditional journalism education continues to assume that the vast majority of journalists will identify with, report for, and speak to people of a singular country, and should be trained accordingly. My research, however, evaluates the connections between transnational peoples’ journalism and their politics. I do so by examining how two different transnational peoples—the Saami and the Roma—train (and socialize) the next generation of journalists. I explore how these transnational journalists negotiate their relationships with, between, and across states and address the tensions of what Barbie Zelizer (2004) refers to as “journalistic professional ideology” within their varied socio-political contexts (p. 103). Why Transnational Peoples? Transnational peoples may identify as Indigenous2 (e.g., the Saami people, who have traditionally inhabited land currently located in the countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and 2 According to the United Nations Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ official website, due to the diversity of Indigenous peoples and the potential misuse of classification/identification systems by states, Indigenous peoples have purposefully chosen not to define Indigenous but rather provide guidelines for identification strongly based on self identification. These include: “Self-identification as indigenous [sic] peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member; historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies; Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources; distinct social, economic or political systems; distinct language, culture and beliefs; Form non-dominant groups of society; resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities”. 9 Russia) or may not (e.g., the Roma/Gypsy people). In either case although there is much diversity within these groups of people; they are people who identify as one nation (a single people) who reside over two or more states. Other transnational peoples include the Kurds, Inuit and Mohawk, however I have chosen to work with the various people involved in creating journalism within the Romani and Saami peoples. There are many differences between the Saami and the Roma, which I discuss in great depth in subsequent chapters. In spite of these differences, or perhaps because of them, the Saami and the Roma provide illustrative examples of a larger phenomenon: the challenge of identifying as a professional journalist who chooses to bring a transnational perspective to journalistic work. Self-identified, politically conscious, transnational people often seek not only to make change across state borders but also to do so by exposing problems and solutions that necessitate framing said problems, solutions and actors across state lines. Transnational governance and advocacy do not stop at the borders of the state. Many of those I interviewed referred to this intentional transnational perspective as their “starting point.” Perhaps even more importantly, these transnational journalists also assume that the audience has a starting point. In other words, both the audience and the journalist are keenly aware of their contexts and of the unique positions and vantage points they inhabit (El Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002b). This strategic use of transnationalism—the identification with, and addressing of, multiple audiences—not only highlights and problematizes a state-bounded identity, but also broadens the possibilities for both traditional understandings of objectivity and socio-political change. Transnational peoples and identities cross over, are intertwined with, and yet are often at odds with the state; as a result, their understandings of the possibility of political change appear to be more creative in part because they are not limited to state-centered approaches. 10 Many transnational individuals, like other individuals marginalized by current state structures, distinguish “objectivity” (and thus credibility and professionalism) from “neutrality” (Harding, 1993; Said, 1978/1994; L. T. Smith, 1999). Based on more than a decade of academic and advocacy work with Romani media-makers, I embarked on my research with the assumption that transnational peoples often question both the reality and the ideal of traditional ideas of “objectivity” within journalism (Haetta, 2013; Wade, 2011; Zelizer, 2004). Rather, I have found there is another, more nuanced standard of credibility at play—one that values set (“professional”) journalistic techniques but has a clear and transparent perspective (Gladstone, 2011, pp. 96–110; Keller, 2013; Tait, 2011; Tuchman, 1978; Waisbord, 2013). In this chapter, I directly engage with the five research questions that guide my project, and show how these questions inform one another. The first three compare and contrast Romani and Saami journalism and journalism education with a focus on their socio-political contexts. The latter two focus more on what lessons can be learned from Romani and Saami journalism and journalism education. These are not lessons limited to journalism; rather, they presume a relationship between journalism and human rights that can speak to larger questions of socio-political change. How does this manifest when the state is not the center of power? Specifically: 1) What, if any, relationship exists between transnational identities, the framing of socio-political realities across borders, and transnational politics? How do socio-economic, cultural, and structural contexts shape these dynamics? 2) How do self-identified transnational journalists understand these processes, and how does that understanding shape their approaches to journalism and politics? 3) How are these approaches to journalism taught to the next generation of self-identified transnational journalists? 11 4) What can be learned from transnational peoples’ journalism when developing strategies for social and political change beyond a state-centered approach? 5) What can be learned from different forms of transnational peoples’ journalism when developing journalism which focuses on human rights issues? I approach this work with the belief that when a person chooses to cultivate and foreground his or her identity as a transnational person, he or she can approach politics with a unique and clearer understanding of how power and political possibilities for change can and do operate within, across, and between states.3 My research shows that journalists who identify as transnational have a distinct approach to creating, framing, and transmitting information. I argue this is partially because of transnational journalists’ recognition that they are speaking to multiple audiences with a more robust understanding of objectivity. Put simply: the political implication of journalism is both acknowledged and cultivated by the journalists. That said, what journalism does varies greatly based on the socio-political context. Some transnational peoples, like the Saami, whose politics are shaped by claims to self-determination, use their journalism primarily to speak within the nation as distinct from the state. Others, like the Roma, whose politics are shaped by an ongoing claim for citizenship and inclusion within the state and Europe, use their journalism primarily to intervene in the dominant discourse of the state and state-based organizations. The strategies are different and the resulting media products are different, but both hold a similarly strong belief in the ideal of journalism: being vigilant to abuses of power and informing the public of what is going on (and what is not 3 I specifically refer to transnational peoples as peoples who are “within, across, and between” states because they are influenced by, and influence, the states they reside in, the borders of the states, and a larger transnational reality. As evidenced in The Association for Borderland Studies here is much interesting critical academic and activist discussion regarding borderlands and border culture (Anzaldua, 1987; Fusco, 1995; Wilson & Donnan, 1989; Newman & Paasi, 1998); however, although “the border” influences my thinking, my work is not limited to this discussion. Transnational peoples do not reside only on the borders and the nexus between two states but also within, across, and beyond borders (Silverman, 2012). 12 going on) in their name. Neither group engages in its journalism from the “god’s-eye view” (Kelly, 2011). Rather, journalism is done within the context of their transnationality. Therefore, I argue that another similarity found within transnational peoples’ journalism, and their approach to teaching journalism, is the re-thinking of objectivity beyond that of positivist objectivity, “the god that won’t die!” (Hackett & Zhao, 1998). I will demonstrate throughout my work that objectivity within transnational peoples’ journalism is a mixture of contextual objectivity (El-Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002a) and strong objectivity (Harding, 1993). Contextual objectivity speaks to questions of how journalistic objectivity is different depending on how different audiences will receive the story and the positionality of the journalist within the story. Strong objectivity posits the notion that in order to better understand power, one should examine a particular situation from the perspective of those who do not benefit from the status quo. In that way, the flows and blockages (Keck & Sikkink, 1998, pp. 11-12) of power will become more transparent. Recognizing that journalism requires specific skills and also plays an important role in informing and educating, I hope to demonstrate that we can learn much from transnational peoples’ journalism and journalism education as we try to build a more systemic, professional, responsive and codified approach to human rights journalism. The Specific Cases: Romani and Saami Journalism, Journalists, and Journalism Education Using some of the theories and techniques described by Burawoy (2001) and Hannerz (2003) as multi-sited ethnography, I conducted a comparative case study with two distinct populations (the Saami and the Roma) operating within many different locations including across states and institutions. My findings are primarily based on interviews with 45 journalists and journalism educators, funders, and evaluators. The purpose of engaging in this multi-sited 13 ethnography was to identify and describe the similarities and differences in the structures and approaches to journalism, and the training of the next generation of Saami and Romani journalists—a goal and strategy both groups employed. In noting some of their underlying beliefs of both the role and the techniques of journalism—including differing understandings of how to be professional and have what I identify as a “transnational journalistic standpoint”—I hope this research will shed light on larger movements, tensions, and possibilities within mainstream Western journalism education, as well as larger issues of state and power.4 My qualitative, field-based interviews, observations, and document analysis addressed those involved in the following programs: The formal Saami journalism education program run by Sámi University College/Sámi allaskuvla, a tertiary institution in Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino, Norway (serving Saami-speaking students regardless of country of origin).5 Sámi allaskuvla currently offers a bachelor’s degree in journalism and plans to offer a master’s degree in Indigenous journalism starting in autumn of 2014. It hosted the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference in March 2012. The Open Society Foundations’ (OSF’s) Network Media Program (based in London, England) and Roma Initiatives Office (based in Budapest, Hungary), both of which oversee funding for journalism training programs that specifically target journalists of Romani origin.6 I interviewed the program officers, evaluators, and trainers. I also interviewed some of the long-term grantees of these programs throughout Central and 4 I describe the “transnational journalistic standpoint” in greater detail in Chapter 2. 5 The people I spoke with used the names Sámi University College and Sámi allaskuvla interchangeably, especially when speaking and writing in English. I follow their convention in my writing. 6 In 2014 OSF’s Network Media Program was renamed the Independent Journalism Program; however, at the time of the research it was known as the Network Media Program, and to reduce confusion, I will continue to refer to it as such throughout the dissertation. 14 Eastern Europe as well as people directly engaged in designing and implementing the trainings. The primary research took place over two years, and I followed up with phone-based interviews, as well as return visits to the educational programs in both Sápmi (the traditional area of the Saami people) and training sites in Central and Eastern Europe. Both the Saami and the Roma identify—and are identified—as distinct peoples who live within, between, and across multiple states, and both populations make political, social, and legal claims based on their transnational identities. Both also use media, and specifically journalism, as a strategic process in their claims making. Because of the importance placed on this journalistic strategy, both groups seek to advance the quality of their journalism and journalists from a particular standpoint true to their socio-political contexts. It is this commonality in the space of such difference that guides my research. Although there are vast differences in both the context (demographics, geography, relationship to the state, funding) and the goals of these journalism programs, they share a strong common belief in the power of media to change not only perspectives but behaviors, both within the transnational community and in the larger society (Barnett & Duvall, 2005, pp. 1–32; Brysk, 2013b; de Jong, Shaw, & Stammers, 2005). There is a clear understanding that all of these journalists and journalism education programs identify and address a variety of audiences that often have unequal access to power and decision-making. The existence of the media itself, as well as its content, is assumed to affect, reflect, and possibly change something “in the real world.” Lorie Graham (2010) explains this relationship well: Often we think about media as a tool for transmitting information. However, media also has the power to identify, name and shape issues. This is particularly true when mainstream media is reporting (or choosing not to report) on events that involve marginalized groups (p. 429). 15 This understanding of the connection between media, framing, power, and the socio-political realities “on the ground” is at the heart of my research (Barnett & Duvall, 2005; Fairclough, 1992; Hallin, 1994). Graham (2010) focused in particular on Indigenous peoples, who have specific media outlets because of language and cultural rights. However, given that many transnational peoples speak the state language as their first language, I choose to look at the strategies of transnational peoples in training journalists who operate with a specific worldview regardless of language. To be clear, I do not dispute the importance of language in shaping or reflecting worldviews; rather, I argue that the two are often not interchangeable. Many of the people who identify as Saami or Roma, and consume Saami or Romani media, speak or read a state language as their first language. Further, many people who consume Saami or Romani media may not identify as Saami or Roma. Therefore, I draw a distinction between media created to preserve and develop the language and media that may be in a state language but still operates with a distinctly transnational starting point. My Places and Perspectives in this Research My own name means “beautiful refugee.” I was born in Los Angeles, my parents in New York City. I grew up speaking English. My grandparents were from “the old country,” and none had English as a first language. I started my first newspaper at the age of nine and my first international ‘zine at the age of 14. I went to a high school where 43 languages were spoken in the hall. My classmates were often refugees or children of refugees. Having been born in another country was the norm. Some of my friends were documented and “legal” according to the state, some were not, and some did not know their legal status. Growing up, none of this seemed unusual. Needless to say, I have always had a particular interest in people who do not fit 16 comfortably into the structure and identity of the nation-state. I believe information and research should make practical, tangible change. Both Indigenous scholars (Lightfoot, 2009; Sámi Instituhtta, 2008; L. T. Smith, 1999; Turner, 2006) and others coming from a tradition of critical scholarship (Doty, 1996; Dufour, Masson, & Caouette, 2010; Mamdani, 2004; Mohanty, 2003; Narayan & Harding, 2000) have written much about this. I am not a member of either of the communities with whom I worked on this project, and I recognize that this position as “outsider” both provides and limits particular access. I attempt to be transparent: my goal is not to become an “expert” on either the Roma or the Saami people, nor to speak “for” them. Rather, my aim is to learn from the current, diverse practices of journalism education by and for transnational people. I approach my work with three objectives: to better reflect on their practices, particularly how they negotiate the politics, economics and norms of speaking to and for audiences that are within, between, and across states; to illustrate the inherent biases in mainstream, traditional forms of journalism education; and to highlight alternative ways of understanding how one can be professional and credible without aspiring to be neutral or “objective” in the traditional sense. The first and last points are worth further discussion, as they speak to the wider application of this project. The professionalization of human rights work and advocacy has the potential to lead to an entrenchment of uneven power relations that identify the state, and the current distribution of power between states, as the only source of legitimacy (Barnett & Finnemore, 2004; Bob, 2009; Borzel & Risse, 2013; Doty, 1996; Risse & Ropp, 2013). Good journalism and solid human rights work require a more critical approach. Journalists and human 17 rights advocates can work together without compromising their professional roles and identities. I hope to highlight the important role that journalism can play in affecting economic, legal and political power, all of which are too often assumed to reside predominantly within the purview of the state. Much of the literature has focused on the importance of community media in creating solidarity, and thus pushing for local change (Howely, 2010), or alternative media as a form of dissent (Coyer, 2005; de Jong et al., 2005; Downing, 2001), but, as El-Nawawy and Iskandar (2002b) point out in reference to Al Jazeera, the media’s influence on policy occurs on a global scale (p. 44). I do not believe this is unique to Al Jazeera; rather, it is a truth understood by many who choose to use media as tools of strategic self-representation and framing (Baer & Brysk, 2009; Carpenter, 2007; Carragee & Roefs, 2004; Fraser, 2007; Gaber & Willson, 2005, Husain, 2006; Retzlaff, 2006). How such change—be it called activism, advocacy, or cooperation—takes place differs based on the politics and particularities of the various transnational groups (Plaut, 2012a), but each group recognizes a role for media in this process. By learning how transnational people are being socialized as journalists, I strive to learn about tools and strategies applicable to a wide variety of journalists, activists, and policy-shapers.7 I bring a strong political and personal conviction to this work. I believe in the power of self-representation and media as a form of social change. I also know I will be confronted with the many challenges of how this manifests in practice—challenges from my colleagues, from the rarely intersecting fields of journalism studies and International Relations, and from the media 7 Although I have benefited from some of the literature on the creation of pan-Arab media and negotiations of content and distribution, I have not used these media as specific case studies (El-Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002b; Sakr, 2007). This is a conscious decision. Many people have asked if I look at Jewish or Palestinian media in my work, given that both are transnational and have a strong media presence. I have chosen not to do so at this time. I am aware that my own identity as a Jewish person, and a person who is involved in a variety of left-wing political struggles, could potentially overshadow the broader focus of the dissertation project: the teaching of journalism by and for transnational peoples’ media and its relationship to human rights work. 18 world itself. As Carragee and Roefs (2004) clearly state, framing has “ideological implications” (p. 218). At the same time, there are real constraints that can threaten the political possibilities for; these must be acknowledged and negotiated. I am driven to do this work because I was told it was not possible for a professor of journalism to teach human rights to future journalists. To do so was deemed impossible because a human rights perspective “crosses the line” into advocacy, thus rendering the journalist non-objective and, therefore, unprofessional. I pride myself on confronting the impossible. Therefore, I aim to show that indeed it is possible to be a credible, and simultaneously professional, journalist working within a human rights framework and that we can learn from the examples and challenges faced by transnational peoples who engage in journalism. Structure of the Dissertation The dissertation consists of six chapters. Following this introduction, I look at the literature regarding journalism and journalism education programs—both formal programs in educational institutions and “on-the-job” training and “professionalization” (Husband, 2012; Johnson-Cartee, 2005; Tuchman, 1978; Waisbord, 2013). I note that although there is a healthy body of work on Indigenous peoples’ media (Graham, 2010; Haetta, 2011; Raheja, 2007; Rasmussen, 1999; Retzlaff, 2006) “alternative media” (de Jong et al., 2005; Downing, 2001; Howely, 2010; Jensen 2001; Ostertag, 2006), and a growing body of literature on “Arab” media specifically (El-Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002b; Sakr, 2007), there is a dearth of literature regarding transnational peoples’ journalism as a whole. Although scholars and practitioners of critical journalism problematize the ideas of objectivity and, at times, critique traditional journalism education, few alternatives focusing on the pedagogical process itself have been suggested 19 (Keller, 2013; Ward, 2003, 2010). This absence is even more glaring when addressing diverse audiences with different levels of power across and between state lines (Downing & Husband, 2005, pp. 194–217; Graham, 2010; Johnson-Cartee, 2005; Karlsreiter, 2003; Pietikäinen, 2008a, 2008b). With my research, I aim to contribute to the conversation in this area. I also examine the literature available on transnational peoples and movements, and note the lack of discussion on the role of journalists as intentional political actors. By connecting conversations between the constructivist International Relations literature—particularly that of framing, agenda setting, and diffusion of ideas and institutions—with that of feminist and post-colonial scholars’ discussions of objectivity and credibility, I call into question the traditional understanding of credible, professional Western mainstream journalism as a factor, or non-factor, in political change. I argue that traditional understanding of journalistic objectivity is, in fact, a limited understanding of objectivity. Specifically, I focus on how the framing of stories, including the absence of questioning alternatives to state dominance, perpetuates uneven power structures and dynamics. As Chapter 2 continues, I address these issues directly through my theoretical framework. Most notably, I engage with Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink’s (1998) notions of “information politics” and “accountability politics,” Alison Brysk’s (2013b) discussion of communication politics, and Michael Barnett and Raymond Duvall’s (2005) understanding of productive power. In recognizing the relationship between unveiling, contesting, and creating norms, we can recognize alternative forms of objectivity that challenge the “god’s-eye view,” such as strong objectivity (Harding, 1993) and contextual objectivity (El-Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002a). How can we form a more robust idea of objectivity to better understand the importance of creating and disseminating credible information that can unearth and address systems and structures of power? And, more importantly, how can we use such 20 information and framing to present and create viable alternatives? In Chapter 3, I explain my reasons for, and process of, engaging in a comparative case study. I then detail my process of data collection and analysis. In this chapter, I also address the question of whether the two case studies—Saami and Romani journalism education programs—are too different to compare. This was an issue I struggled with until more fully immersed in the data. This methodology chapter also discusses the multi-sited fieldwork (Hannerz, 2003) process including how and why I selected the locations of the programs/projects. I address in detail whom I interviewed and the documents (syllabi, grant applications, annual reports, evaluations, etc.) I reviewed. I strive to be transparent about the limitations of these choices (Lightfoot, 2009; Plaut, 2014; Yin, 2009). Specifically, I discuss the different relationships and access I have with both the Saami and Romani journalistic communities and how this affected the data-generating process and analysis. Then I explain how I analyzed the data, and thus identified various themes specific to the particular cases and the quintain, which Stake (2006) defines as a greater whole and process comprised of distinct case studies. Chapter 4 is focused on my findings within the various training programs specifically geared towards and targeting Romani journalists and others wishing to create stories about and with Roma. Unlike Saami journalism education, which primarily takes place at formalized institutions, Romani journalists are primarily trained through a variety of NGO-initiated projects spanning more than 10 countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe. These projects were all dependent on international donors. The most consistent financial support comes from the Open Society Foundation (OSF), whose mission links journalism and media with the larger liberal democratic project and seeks to ensure that Roma are recognized as full citizens within their states as well as within the European Union. Through interviews, grant proposals and 21 evaluations, as well as my observations of trainings, I demonstrate how this framing of Roma, and journalism, affects the structure, delivery, and evaluation of Romani journalism education. In short: as the politics in the region change and racism increases, there are fewer funded media outlets specifically geared to Romani audiences.8 Instead, the donors who fund such projects and the coordinators who design and administer them seek to use journalism to intervene in and contest the way Roma are (mis)represented in the dominant discourse. Roma are with non-Roma to develop journalism that directly addresses the primarily non-Romani society. In Chapter 5, I discuss Saami journalism education as taught at Sámi University College. The university college has offered tertiary education in journalism since 1999, and aims to start a Master of Arts in Indigenous Journalism in the Fall of 2014. This chapter focuses on the theories and practices guiding this educational endeavour with a special focus on notions of “self-determination” and the role Saami media play in this process. Unlike Romani media, Saami media frame their journalism as a way of addressing and serving Saami society. Through interviews and analysis of curricula and my participation at the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference held in Sápmi in 2012, I demonstrate how the relationships between nation building, self-determination, and critical journalism are negotiated —within both Sápmi and the larger Indigenous communities and with various state entities. Particular attention is given to the tensions within the community of Saami journalists, managers, and educators as to how Saami media can serve goals of self-determination, especially as it relates to choices of journalistic curriculum and media outlets. In Chapter 6, I compare Romani and Saami journalism within their larger socio-economic 8 Since the mid-2000s has been an increase in online Romani media outlets (online radio and YouTube TV news), particularly from Roma who fled former Yugoslavia during the war and now reside in (and are often citizens of) Western and Northern Europe. However, these initiatives are almost always self-funded and often involve a laptop, microphone, and a webcam in someone’s house rather than a formal journalistic operation. 22 contexts and compare how their approaches to transnational politics reflect and manifest in their different approaches to journalism. I then examine some of the commonalities and differences in the emerging quintain of journalism education done by and for people who identify as transnational. In this chapter, I examine some of the larger ideas about social change, affinity, identities, and claims making across borders and the often-overlooked role that journalism and journalists can, and do, play. I pay special attention to how the cultural and political contexts shape both politics and journalism and the interplay between the two. By carefully examining the differences and similarities between Saami and Romani journalism education programs, one can see how understandings of power and the state shape these emerging self-identified transnational journalists’ understandings of their roles and responsibilities. I conclude by demonstrating that a transnational standpoint exists, and that it makes an important contribution to both journalism and human rights advocacy because it questions the assumed, reified existence and supremacy of the state and the state system. For transnational peoples, it is clear that states are constructed and not a given. Journalism is a powerful tool used to educate and explain realities and possibilities to audiences within, between and across borders who exercise politics that are not bounded by a single state. The human rights framework and strategies, so often limited to trying to persuade a state in how it treats “its own” people, can be expanded. I aim to show how a transnational standpoint in journalism does exist and can provide a critically important lens for approaching the broader goals of human rights scholarship and advocacy. 23 Chapter 2 — Theorizing the Borders of Journalism and Journalism Beyond Borders From George Orwell to Anna Politkovskaya to Albert Camus to Glenn Greenwald, journalists have provided plenty of testimonies about how the events of the world affect them, and how they, in turn, have struggled to affect the events of the world. Yet, even though these journalists, and many others like them, put pen to paper for a living, within academic literature there is surprisingly little written about journalists as intentional political actors. Considering the “real world” interplay between journalism and socio-political change, the lack of academic conversation regarding the journalist’s political power is surprising. John Downing (1996), a political communications scholar, describes this silence “as though politics consisted of mute pieces on a chessboard” (p. x). In this chapter, I employ an old mantra from journalism, and attempt to give voice to the “voiceless” chess pieces. Borrowing from the constructivist school of International Relations (IR), critical communications theories, journalism education, and the vast literature on transnational movements, this chapter offers a more robust way of understanding the political role that journalists and journalism plays in both sustaining and critiquing power relations. I am particularly interested in how people are able to frame issues in such a way that problems, concerns, and possible solutions become worthy enough to address in newsrooms and media boardrooms (Hermann & Chomsky, 1988; Joachim, 2003). I begin this chapter by very briefly reviewing the history of what we now recognize as mainstream journalism and journalistic objectivity. I argue that although many of the professional practices of journalism as a craft are valuable, the traditional, colloquial use of the term “objectivity” in journalism is too limiting (Miller, 2011; Waisbord, 2013; Ward 2003, 2010). In order to provide a more robust understanding of objectivity, I bring in the concepts of 24 contextual objectivity (El Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002a) and strong objectivity (Harding, 1993). Although this argument is not new in the fields of alternative journalism, Indigenous peoples’ journalism, and minority journalism, there is a lack of scholarly work available regarding transnational peoples’ journalism specifically. This is an important gap, as the very existence of transnational peoples—by definition—contests the normalization of the nation-state. I aim to offer a corrective, arguing that transnational peoples’ engagement and framing of the world and events around them—their “standpoint”—can offer a very clear and distinct understanding of the strength and limits of the state and its assumed power in international affairs. Journalism, which serves to inform an audience about the “facts” of the world, as well as to explain how the world operates, plays a very important role in this process. Journalism can serve a nation whose reality and politics are not prescribed by state borders and it can also intervene in unquestioned state structures such as a legislature, budget, and even telecommunications outlets. This project involves looking at journalism and journalists within the larger context of international and transnational politics—not just the formal political process, but, as described by Iris Marion Young (1990), “all aspects of institutional organization, public action, social practices and habits, and cultural meanings insofar as they are potentially subject to collective evaluation and decision-making” (p. 9, my emphasis). I am particularly interested in the processes through which people recognize and collectively evaluate the subjugations that appear inevitable and create opportunities for alternative enactments of power. This process of deliberation and discord is a form of politics—and, as de Jong et al (2005) state, “politics is communication” (p. 1). I continue the chapter by discussing how constructivist IR can help us better understand competing frames and the process that helps nurture the “conceptual link between the myriad bad 25 things out there and the persuasive machinery of advocacy politics in world affairs” (Carpenter, 2007, p. 102). Working with Keck and Sikkink’s (1998) understanding of the four kinds of politics that are the core ingredients of transnational advocacy—information politics, symbolic politics, leverage politics, and accountability politics—I argue that journalism can indeed be a form of productive power (Barnett & Duvall, 2005). This recognition also opens the door for understanding journalists as potential political agents and illustrates the tensions with traditional understandings of journalistic objectivity. I find much useful within the constructivist school of IR, although I question and critique its assumed inevitability and supremacy of the state and state power (Doty, 1996; DuFour et al., 2010; Mamdani, 2004). I am particularly critical of how this translates into human rights advocacy when engaging and harnessing “political will” beyond the state. I use this chapter to show how the journalistic process is indeed a political process with very real effects on the ground (Fairclough, 1992; Husain, 2006). By exploring how journalism can be politics, as well as the potential politics of journalism, I examine two core questions: What, if any, relationships exist between a transnational identity, the framing of socio-political realities across borders, and transnational mobilization? And what roles do journalists, journalism, and journalistic outlets play in these dynamics? What is Journalism? “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe” “I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it” — Thomas Jefferson, as quoted in Leveson Inquiry (Leveson, 2012, p. 4) Journalists have traditionally embraced their role as informational gatekeepers for the public and enjoyed a monopoly on the news that enters public debate. Modern technology and 26 social media have changed the practice of journalism by making it more interactive, but the gatekeeping role is still often considered the gold standard (Gitlin, 1980; Gladstone, 2011, pp. 144–155; Waisbord, 2013, pp. 5–6). A vast body of literature addresses alternative media, activist media, and the evolving sphere of “citizen journalism,” but in this section, unless otherwise noted, I use the term “journalists” and “journalism” to refer specifically to self-identified journalists who are paid for their work by mainstream media outlets. Within this world of mainstream media, there is an ongoing debate about whether journalism is a profession or a craft (Waisbord, 2013). Journalists pride themselves on being a necessary service: providing information about what is important in the world to a (presumably singular) public that can use the information to make informed decisions. Thus this audience has the information needed to hold those in power accountable (Strömbäck, 2005). In the English-speaking world, journalism may be practiced as a market model, a public service model, or one of numerous hybrid models, as seen in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, respectively (Waisbord, 2013). Although media institutions and models vary, journalism is universally understood to have “quality standards” and practices that separate it from “pure” entertainment (Johnson-Cartee, 2005; Waisbord, 2013, p. 26; Ward, 2003, 2010). In addition, although there are diverse understandings of journalism and journalism education, the definition of “good journalism” is also fairly consistent: it requires credibility, transparency, fact checking, and seeking out a diversity of sources (Plaut, 2014; Ward, 2003, 2010). However, the recognition of these core elements is relatively recent. In fact, a central question that has followed the field of journalism education since its inception in the beginning of the 20th century is what exactly a good journalism education looks like. Should journalists be trained in journalism as a field, or do they benefit more from a broad liberal arts education coupled with the time, space, and 27 opportunity to hone their craft under tutelage of other, more experienced journalists (Folkerts, Hamilton, & Lemann, 2013; Husband, 2012; Waisbord, 2013)? In 1920, Walter Lippmann published Liberty and the News, in which he argued passionately for the need for a dispassionate press. In the shadow of the robber barons and media moguls who helped fuel manifest-destiny (the most famous being William Hearst9), Lippmann advocated for a detached, scientific approach to journalism. This approach was labeled “objective.” This was a “positivist” notion of objectivity: the idea that there is knowledge (or news) “out there” waiting to be discovered. Although even Lippmann himself was unsure of the viability of this approach, it became the presumed standard, or ideal, of American professional journalism (Gladstone, 2011, pp. 96–102; Handley & Rutigliano, 2012, p. 10; Miller, 2011). In Lippmann’s day, it was not the professional norm for a journalist to be removed, dispassionate, and detached (Alzner, 2012; Bell, 1997; Tait, 2011). In 1920, partisan press was rampant. In fact, many people ignored Lippmann, arguing that journalists were obligated not only to chronicle what was happening, but to explain it to the audience in a way that fit within their worldview (Gladstone, 2011, pp. 102–106). However, things changed in the 1950s, when television became the dominant news medium in North America. Instead of addressing a particular, targeted audience, there was social and financial gain in cultivating and catering to the largest, broadest audience possible. All of a sudden, millions of people were watching the same thing at the same time, which meant media, had the potential to both shape the national conversation and access a captive consumer market. In other words, there was an incentive not to 9 Journalist-artist Federic Remington was in Cuba to learn about the Cuban uprising against Spanish colonialism for the New York Journal. He found little to write about and sent a telegram to that effect to the publisher, William Hearst, who responded with the now infamous quote, “Please Remain. You furnish the pictures. I’ll furnish the war.” Although oft told as an urban legend within journalistic circles, there is now speculation as to whether Hearst actually wrote that telegram at all (see, for example, Campbell, 2001). 28 alienate the audience (potential market/voters) by focusing on a specific segment of viewers, but to produce a single, indisputable version of the events of the day (Bell, 1997; Gladstone, 2011 p. 103). Thus, the professional, removed, mainstream journalist with a professional responsibility to tell the audience the (singular) daily narrative became the norm (Gladstone, 2011, pp. 102–103; Hackett & Zhao, 1998; Hallin, 1994; Waisbord, 2013; Zelizer, 2004). After World War II, North American journalists were taught to see themselves as removed from the world, and this distance is still often seen as the basis, and proof, of their credibility.10 According to El-Nawawy and Iskandar (2002a), “objectivity has come to imply both a media practice of information collection, processing and dissemination and an overarching attitude… suggestive of the absence of subjective and personalized involvement and judgment” (par 4.). Objectivity has become so engrained in the traditional journalistic practices of mainstream Anglo-American journalism that it is often not even recognized until its principles or practices are challenged (Bell, 1997; Carr, 2013; Tuchman, 1978). According to communications scholars Robert Hackett and Yuezhi Zhao (1998), journalism operates within and creates a “regime of objectivity” (passim). Objectivity requires dissent, but there are limits (Gladstone, 2011, pp. 104–107; Hallin, 1994; Handley & Rutigliano, 2012). Hermann and Chomsky (1988, passim) refer to the notion of “acceptable dissent,” the parameters of what is considered news and what is considered too “far out” to be reasonable. Although, it is important to note that these limits change depending on the cultural and political norms of the time. Borrowing from Hallin’s (1994) idea of the “sphere of consensus” (passim)—what is assumed to be agreed upon by all (in a society) and what is open for contestation—Gladstone (2011) 10 According to Barnett and Finnemore (2004), this idea of detachment as a means of claiming and maintaining authority is also institutionalized in other fields, such as refugee policy (e.g., the UNHCR) and economic development (e.g., the World Bank). 29 explains this journalistic boundary policing process through the analogy of a donut: The donut hole is the sphere of consensus, ‘the region of motherhood and apple pie.’ Unquestionable values and unchallengeable truths. The donut is journalism’s sweet spot: the sphere of legitimate controversy. Here issues are undecided, debated, probed. The sphere of deviance is the air around the donut… the place for people and opinions that the ‘mainstream of society reject as unworthy of being heard.’ Objective reporters don’t go there. (p. 105) Gladstone continues by explaining how, through story selection and presentation, journalists serve as guardians and gatekeepers of legitimate political discussion. This border managing takes place through what Tuchman (1978) explained throughout her work as “strategic rituals” of journalism—the daily routines of how one goes about performing the job of being a journalist. Separating “the” news from “the” journalist thus becomes one of the strongest means of performing one’s objectivity. However, this self-image rarely matches the reality. Although some journalists have publically advocated for a more engaged form of journalism, Martin Bell’s (1997) argument for a journalism of attachment (and the public fallout that arose) being the best known, I am more interested in those journalists who claim detachment and yet are engaged in the process of maintaining and challenging power.11 Lisa Wade’s (2011) work offers an illustrative example. Through both content analysis of print material and semi-structured interviews, she traced how American journalists working for venerable publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post in the 1990s built, campaigned for, and sustained a public consensus against female genital cutting (which was most often referred to as female genital mutilation—FGM). This was done through book reviews, editorials, and news pieces. In fact, some journalists 11 Martin Bell was a seasoned BBC journalist who covered the wars in Yugoslavia and provided eye witness accounts of the ethnic cleansing. He insisted that by covering the news from a stance of and not highlighting the experiences victims of the ethnic cleansing, journalists were in fact enabling human rights violations to continue. Instead he promoted a “journalism of attachment” that advocated empathy as a key journalistic trait and skill. 30 worked with refugee lawyers to publicize cases that shed light on particular laws and advocated for specific asylum outcomes. In short, Wade shows how journalists who would not refer to themselves as “activist journalists” can and do work to expose human rights violations and offer support to various human rights solutions.12 I argue this is an example of journalists’ use of productive power. Borrowing from Michel Foucault’s (1980) understanding of discourse as a form of power, both in terms of constraint and of possibility, Barnett and Duvall (2005) identify productive power as: foster[ing] resistance as attempts by actors to destabilize, even to remake, their subjectivities and thereby, to transform, or at least to disrupt the broader social processes and practices through which those subjectivities are produced, normalized and naturalized…Resistance also can include how knowledgeable actors become aware of discursive tensions and fissures and use that knowledge in strategic ways to increase their sovereignty, control their own fate, and remake their very identities. (p. 23, my emphasis) In other words, the process of framing issues, actors, problems, and the viability of various solutions—is a far cry from the positivist idea of objectivity. Brysk (2013a) refers to this process as “winning the hearts and minds” of those in positions of power, but I go one step further and present it as a way of disrupting assumptions about who holds power—especially as the journalist must also be recognized as a character in the story. Although scholars acknowledge that media play a role in this process, journalism itself is still often cast as passive. In most work, “the media” is anthropomorphized, but the journalists are absent (Barnett & Finnemore, 2004; Bob, 2005; Jochim, 2003; Tarrow, 2006) . If journalists are discussed, they are seen as simply presenting and reacting to the stories they are given. 12 Some journalists, including Nicholas Kristoff (Tait, 2011) and Glenn Greenwald (Carr, 2013; Keller, 2013), identify as both journalists and advocates, but this is much rarer in Anglo-American news than it is in Latin America or continental Europe (Waisbord, 2013). 31 Three Different Approaches to Objectivity “The notion of journalist as political and ideological eunuch seems silly, even to some who call themselves journalists.” – David Carr, journalist for the New York Times, June 30, 2013 Many piercing critiques of objectivity have been undertaken in a variety of fields, but the ideal of “the god’s eye view” of objectivity is still the cornerstone of mainstream journalism (Kelly, 2011; Waisbord, 2013, p. 76; Zelizer, 2004). In 1998, Hackett and Zhao proclaimed that within the professional field of journalism, “objectivity is the god that won’t die!” (passim). This intentionally humorous (and, I have found, quite true) statement presumes a specific, narrow, definition of objectivity. I suggest that journalistic objectivity can be recognized in three distinct forms: positivist objectivity, contextual objectivity, and strong objectivity. As discussed above, positivist objectivity is the one most associated with traditional journalism. It is premised on the idea that the world and facts exist out there waiting to be reported, and that “truth” and validity in reporting can be achieved using methods of detachment, observation, and triangulated verification (although in journalism this most often involves two corroborating sources rather than the three of traditional social science research). As discussed earlier in this chapter, this view is most often historically ascribed to Walter Lippmann, as he attempted to carve out a “scientific” approach to journalism in 1920s America in reaction to the often flagrant propaganda of “American yellow” journalism (Gladstone, 2011, pp. 96–103; Lippmann, 1920).13 Often this understanding of objectivity is assumed to be the only definition. However, I argue it is only one of the possible meanings of the word. 13 “Yellow journalism” was the norm de rigour of journalism in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. It was very partisan and sensationalist, and often served the political and economic interests of the publisher, unabashedly. 32 As Zelizer (2004) notes, the journalistic profession equates objectivity with a positivistic notion of facts and holds such factuality to a near-holy level. In fact, Hackett and Zhao’s (1998) “regime of objectivity” is entrenched in basic everyday practices of the newsroom. This is evident, for example, in the separate labeling of feature writing and analysis to mark them off from “hard news,” which goes unlabeled (Gladstone, 2011, pp. 112–113; Tait, 2011; Tuchman, 1978; Zelizer, 2004). It is important to note that other understandings of objectivity still hold fast to the skills, techniques, and values of journalism but allow for a more expansive idea of what objectivity is and can be. In their ground-breaking 2002 work on Arabic-language network Al Jazeera, El-Nawawy and Iskandar (2002a) coined the idea of “contextual objectivity,” describing their purposeful construction of such a seemingly oxymoronic term as “an attempt to articulate and capture the eclectic discursive and epistemological tensions between the relativism of message receivers and empirical positivism of message builders” (par. 4). Their work focuses not just on the media outlets, but the journalists themselves—as journalists and as members of the Arab world, and thus as Arab journalists.14 The kinds of “distance” assumed to be the ideal and the norm within other forms of journalism are not just impossible, but also undesirable. Just as journalists in Canada make their news in a way that makes sense to Canadian audiences, journalists from the Arab world speaking to the Arab world do their journalism in a way that makes sense to their audiences. This is manifested in story selection, source access, language choice, and other techniques (Sakr, 2007). For example, how does one reference people living on both sides of the Green Line—“settlers,” or “colonizers,” “Jews” or “Israelis,” “refugees,” or “displaced peoples,” “Palestinians” or “Arabs? ” How does one refer to people who use violence to advocate 14 A similar argument is made regarding the Israeli media, particularly at times of crisis (see Zandberg & Neiger, 2005). 33 particular causes in the name of Palestinian liberation: “martyrs,” “terrorists,” “suicide bombers” or “heroes?” All of these journalistic techniques have very political implications that are read differently by different audiences. Journalists employing a form of contextual objectivity strive to be objective within the context of both the story and the audience. An additional definition of objectivity put forth by some feminist and post-colonial scholars suggests that one can more clearly see systems and dynamics of power if one begins one’s observation from the perspective—“the standpoint”—of those who are marginalized by said systems. This perspective, which Sandra Harding (1993) terms “strong objectivity,” suggests that the standpoint of those marginalized offers a better (“stronger”) objectivity than traditional, positivist objectivity, because it starts from the point of questioning that which is often not questioned: the taken-for-granted ideas of “the way things are” or “ought to be.” This starting point is important because it not only opens up more questions (stories), it also opens up ideas about whom and what may be legitimate and credible sources of information (sources). In fact, Harding terms positivist objectivity “weak objectivity” because the starting point is too narrow to allow for full exploration of different problems and solutions. To be clear, Harding does not argue that one needs to embody the identity of those who are marginalized in order to research or write about them (one does not need to be a woman to write about women or Latino to write about Latino issues), nor does she suggest that a person of that marginalized identity will inherently write from that perspective (a gay writer does not automatically take up that standpoint in his or her writing or research). Rather, Harding is quite clear in stating that one’s standpoint is a conscious and purposeful choice; it is a position that one strives for, “an achievement.” Again, according to Harding, starting from the standpoint of those who are marginalized makes the entire system (or, in journalistic terms, “the story”) clearer, and thus it is 34 a more robust form of objectivity. Harding’s notion of strong objectivity helps us understand that regardless of our own relationship to power, listening to people who do not benefit from the status quo—those who are marginalized from power—allows us to more clearly recognize the systems and structures that shape the world around us, and in turn, shape and influence our own perceptions of the world. As Harding (1993) states, The activities of those at the bottom of such social hierarchies can provide points for thought for everyone’s research and scholarship—from which humans’ relations with each other and the natural world can become more visible….These experiences and lives have been devalued or ignored as a source of objectivity maximizing questions—the answers to which are not necessarily to be found in those experiences or lives but elsewhere in the beliefs and activities of people at the center who make policies and engage in social practices that shape marginal lives. (p. 54, emphasis in original) In other words, by not only listening to those who are excluded from the structural status quo but starting from their perspective, we can see the structures that include and exclude working more clearly. This is because “one’s social situation enables and sets limits on what one can know; some social situations—critically unexamined dominant ones—are more limiting than others” (Harding, 1993, pp. 54–55). According to Young (2000), “such a contextualizing of perspective is especially important for groups that have power, authority or privilege” (p. 116, my emphasis). Thus, concerned people, including journalists, can more effectively gain an understanding of what the story are—both the problems and possible solutions—by learning from people who are typically “devalued” or “ignored,” and thus excluded from framing the story. Journalists have a significant role in this process. Take, for example, a journalist assigned a story for a U.S. paper on the twentieth anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). How the journalist writes, researches, and presents this story will be based on the assumed audience and their presumed values and cultural narratives; this shapes the 35 “standpoint” of the journalist. Is it that of corporate shareholders? Unionized truckers? The U.S. Department of Labor? Agricultural migrants from Central Mexico? Autoworkers in Windsor, Ontario? Border patrol officers? Female workers in the maquiladoras? Veterans of the first Zapatista uprising? To repeat, it is not the ethnic or social identity of the journalist that determines the lens, but rather the perspective—the “starting point”—the journalist uses in crafting a story. As can be seen in the subsequent chapters, this framing affects the journalistic process itself: Where do journalists go to look for the story? Who is a legitimate source? Which languages are used in the interviews? Who is/are the audience(s) for the story? The story of the twentieth anniversary of NAFTA is more complicated than its effect on the American Gross Domestic Product, and the decisions and conditions that go into making an objective story are layered. To be clear, there are real, tangible, consequences to how the story is framed in terms of audience reaction and the socio-economic and political implications (Fairclough, 1992). With these more robust understandings of objectivity, one can better recognize how media and the journalists are always and necessarily engaged in political work regardless of a claim to “objectivity.” Journalists have agency in how they frame certain issues, problems, and solutions, and the role they play in articulating, defining, and diffusing new norms (Keller, 2013; Wade, 2011). Journalists do not have to be passive to be objective. In fact, journalists are constantly engaged in a process of framing, which means they are constantly engaged in navigating and negotiating power (Carragee & Roefs, 2004). In being passive and accepting positivist objectivity as the only form of legitimate objectivity, journalists actually perpetuate the dominant systems of power (Hallin, 1994; Hermann & Chomsky, 1988). 36 Framing, Counter-Framing, and Framing Contests When discussing frames and framing, much of the attention within communications literature has focused on the definition of frames and audience response to frames, but little attention has been given to the role of power in bringing particular frames to the forefront at particular times (Carragee & Roefs, 2004). Gitlin (1980), paraphrasing Erving Goffman defines framing as a way of negotiating all the various events taking place, managing them, comprehending them, and choosing “appropriate repertoires of cognition and action” (p. 6). As “the public,” we rely heavily on the media in navigating this process; although they are largely unspoken and unacknowledged, media frames “organize the world both for journalists who report [on] it and, in some important degree, for us who rely on their reports” (Gitlin, 1980, pp. 6–7). De Jong et al. (2005) offer a clear view from the perspective of actors involved in social and political change. According to them, framing is “deploying advanced media strategies in order to get their [social and political activists’] issues into the mainstream media…as a way of getting issues onto the political agenda but it is also about influencing public opinion and gaining support” (p. 7). The process of framing, then, “confronts significant questions focusing on journalism’s relationship to political authority and to demands for change” (Carragee & Roefs, 2004, p. 228). According to Carragee and Roefs, the academic and practical discussions of the power —including the corrupting power, of framing have lessened over the past few decades. This lack of discussion raises concerns about the pervasiveness of this framing practice. As Carragee and Roefs (2004) remind us, frames do not just happen but are sponsored by various actors with various degrees of power (pp. 216–217). Within the field of IR, and specifically within the constructivist school, the purpose of 37 framing an issue in a particular way is usually to bring about action—including the decision not to take action—which is usually built into the frame. A “back and forth” process often occurs, what Baer and Brysk (2009) refer to as “framing and framing back” (p. 102). This is an example of journalism affecting politics and politics affecting journalism. Strömbäck, Shehata, and Dimitrova (2008) provide an excellent example of the process of competing frames surrounding the human rights violations that took place at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq: The “torture” frame (placing accountability on the United States government as a whole) and the “abuse” frame (a few solders were abusing their authority and acting out of line) were in competition on the front pages of nearly every domestic and international media outlet. Various governmental officials and human rights organizations struggled to push the frames they felt would be most persuasive for their various audiences and most conducive to meeting their political objectives (Strömbäck et al., 2008, p. 119).15 Competition often occurs between different frames. It is important to understand that this competition determines how media outlets “pitch” an issue to the audience and react to the audience’s response. What helps certain ideas or norms “stick” (Price, 1998, p. 193)? Which issues get picked up and which ones garner little interest? What issues have what Carpenter (2007) defines as “issue emergence”? According to Keck and Sikkink (1998), issue emergence is easiest to mobilize within transnational activist networks (TANs) when the concerns relate to either bodily harm (especially to vulnerable individuals) or equal access to the law (pp. 27–28). TANs include state, inter-state and non-state actors engaged in trying to change behaviors in another state. The results of some 15 According to Bennett et al. (2006), the abuse frame won in U.S. media. 38 historically successful TANs include the end to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the end of foot-binding practices in China, and ensuring the right to vote for women in North America. In addition, TANs emphasize a short causal chain between the violation and the perpetrator. It is important to have “a causal story that establishes who bears responsibility or guilt” (p. 27). The longer the causal chain, the harder it is to hold the perpetrator accountable. For this reason many violations that take place in the private sphere—such as female genital cutting or domestic violence—prove difficult because the target (the perpetrator) is so distant from the state. It is important to note that the perpetrator is assumed to be connected to the state as is the remedy. Of course, many theorists and activists have complicated this understanding, noting that it is rare for a person to be pure victim or pure perpetrator; rather, power differentiation often renders some victims more “worthy” than others (Carpenter, 2007, 2009, 2012; Gilchrist, 2010; Hermann & Chomsky, 1988; Jiwani & Young, 2006; Mamdani, 2008). The Contribution of International Relations Theory As de Jong et al. (2005) point out, there is a particular gap in analyzing “the nature of media and the mediation of activism” (p. 3). According to Moravscik (2000) the “republican liberal” view of IR which is quite pervasive in western governmental policy, argues that citizens who have a problem with the state will express their concerns (often through lobbying, including lobbying through the media), and the state should, in turn, respond. Of course, the state tends to respond only if it is in its interest to do so. Human rights violations offer a particularly sticky point here, as the perpetrator is often the state itself. How does one hold the government accountable for the treatment of its own citizens? Too often this becomes a non-issue, swept under the rug, one of the “proverbial dogs that don’t bark” (Barnett & Duvall, 2005, p. 16). 39 According to Keck and Sikkink’s (1998) understanding of transnational politics, non-state actors such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), diasporic communities, and religious institutions are able to affect the behavior of states by deploying four different types of politics: information politics, symbolic politics, leverage politics, and accountability politics (pp. 18–24). Information is the primary currency in information politics. NGOs in State A provide information about what is occurring on the ground to NGOs and other activists in State B. This information can be presented in an “event” to garner social attention beyond those already involved, thus engaging symbolic politics. Quite often, this attention can be used to shame a state into action (or inaction) through leverage politics, and the traditional role of the journalist as “watchdog” is an example of accountability politics. The in-depth discussion below of Keck and Sikkink’s (1998) different forms of politics better illustrates the connections between journalism, activism, institutions, and social/political change. Information politics is employed when information becomes the currency through which a framework for advocacy can be created and mobilized. In order for this currency to be valued, it must be deemed credible. Thus, a desire to professionalize the information gathering process; and distribution often takes place. Those creating and consuming such information recognize that it is selected, framed, and portrayed to substantiate a particular view of a given situation that must resonate with many different audiences (Bob, 2005; Keck & Sikkink, 1998). Legitimacy and credibility are not seen as synonymous with being neutral or unbiased. The understanding of credibility here privileges facts but recognizes that they are subject to interpretation (Bogert, 2011). The information that advocates and institutions present must be distributed in a way that is not only clearly understandable to the target audience but also constructs and cultivates an 40 assumed affinity, thus both creating and motivating an audience (Keck & Sikkink, 1998, pp. 18–22; Mihelj, 2011). This is often done using particular dates, pictures, people, maps, languages, or songs of cultural or historic significance that can help create emotion, affinity and thus, hopefully, action. This process is termed symbolic politics and is a tactic heavily employed in alternative media as well as transnational people’s journalism (Berg-Nordlie, 2011; Downing, 2001; Ostertag, 2006; Plaut, 2010, 2012b; Retzlaff, 2006; Skogerbø, 2003). One of the most easily recognizable being the white handkerchiefed Madres de Plaza de <ayo Why is information expected to evoke a response from the target? Addressing this question is critical to affect change. Why does the state or non-state actor care about how they are perceived? What leverage do these actors have over the state? It is typically assumed there may be some rewards (trade agreements, membership in the European Union, etc.) for complying with particular expected behaviors, or perhaps consequences if standards are not upheld (sanctions, removal from the League of Commonwealth States, etc.). Many constructivists argue that actors can internalize certain norms as part of their own identity. Thus, when their behavior deviates from these norms, it is flagged as incongruent with their self-perception, leading to embarrassment (Risse & Sikkink, 1999, pp. 16–17; Thomas, 2002).16 For this to be effective, the target has to care about how it is perceived by others. This is what Keck and Sikkink (1998) refer to as leverage politics.17 Ignoring for a moment the overly state-centered approach to politics, according to Keck 16 A clear example of this is the self-image of the Nordic countries, particularly Norway. Since the end of the Second World War, the Norwegian state has recognized and promoted itself as a protector of human rights throughout the world. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Saami pointed out the inconsistency between Norway’s reputation and its actions which subsequently embarrassed the Norwegian state in international forums. This will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter 5. 17 Of course, one can ask whether a target state or dominant population will understand, let alone be persuaded by, the concerns of those people who straddle states and identities. 41 and Sikkink (1998), once State A (or an international organization such as the European Union or World Bank) has leverage over State B, the latter will be held accountable for its human rights behavior. This is called accountability politics and is often considered the most under-theorized aspect of Keck and Sikkink’s analysis (Risse et al., 2013). Quite often it is assumed that “shaming” a target is all activists can do to evoke change. But as noted in the above discussion on leverage politics, shaming a target (and framing that person/institution/law/state as a violator of human rights—a perpetrator) only works if the perpetrator recognizes, respects, and thus feels compelled to respond to said shame and thus changes its behavior to comply with human rights norms. In other words, even when State B does make “tactical concessions” to such shaming—thus at least rhetorically recognizing the legitimacy of human rights—what moves State B from “prescriptive status” (the “window dressing” of human rights discourse) to internalizing human rights into its identity and institutions through “rule consistent behavior” (Risse & Ropp, 2013, pp. 6–8)? In other words, what causes a commitment to human rights to evolve into consistent compliance with human rights norms (pp. 9–10), as they can, and do, differ? When reflecting on their work nearly 15 years later, Risse & Ropp (2013) characterized their thinking at the time as believing that all states have the power to comply, and thus, if they do not comply it is because they lack the willingness to do so. Their previous work was very much focused on persuading and state’s buy-in (“commitment”) with the understanding that compliance will follow. In revisiting their work, Risse and Ropp belief their primary weakness lies in not acknowledging that some states lack real sovereignty and complete control over their territory. My concern lies more in the fact that they do not question the supremacy and rightness of a state-focused approach. What are other understandings of sovereignty and power? But whatever the shortcomings, Keck and Sikkink’s (1998), Risse & Sikkink’s (1999), and Risse, 42 Ropp & Sikkinks (2013) models lay the groundwork for urging advocacy organizations to look beyond shaming human rights violators and towards building mechanisms for human rights compliance (Risse & Ropp, 2013, pp. 9–12, 13–14). Accountability and leverage politics go beyond the negative and instead focus on social and political internalization and institutionalization of human rights norms (Bob, 2005; Risse & Sikkink, 1999). Keck and Sikkink’s model provides rich ground for exploring how journalists can and do play a part in this process through their enactment of productive power. The (Neglected) Role of Journalism in Constructivist International Relations Theory I argue that journalists can be understood as agents of productive power. They are engaged in shaping perceptions of how the world is and, to some extent, how the world should be, including contesting and “destabilizing” what is perceived as unquestioned in the world (Barnett & Duvall, 2005). Not only does this selection process leave many—indeed the majority—of potential stories unwritten, it privileges a certain idea of what is important (Gitlin, 1980). As de Jong et al. (2005) correctly point out, “media and their sources frame the news agenda, structure the debate and create what we perceive as the reality in which we live” (p. 6). The examples are plentiful—from R. Charli Carpenter’s (2007) examination of why few international organizations are focusing on the needs of children born from rapes during the Rwandan genocide to Richard Price’s (1998) work on the successful campaign to have land mines recognized as an international human rights concern.18 According to many IR scholars, 18 Gaber and Wilson (2005) provide a comprehensive analysis of their successful use of information and symbolic politics to ensure that “blood diamonds” reached issue emergence. Through strategic use of information politics, as well as symbolic politics (i.e., the catchy term “blood diamonds” holds mnemonic and visual resonance), condemning “blood diamonds” became part of the sphere of consensus. Mainstream media thus took up the issue, enabling various state and non-state actors to pressure governments and business to look for viable alternatives. 43 this is not a new process. Keck and Sikkink (1998) offer a historical examination of the successful campaign to end foot binding in China and the unsuccessful campaign by the British to eradicate female genital cutting in Kenya (pp. 165–198). Price (1998, p. 617) articulated this constructivist “pedagogical process” as a four-step but often circular practice: 1. Generating issues by disseminating information and framing the information as a problem; 2. Establishing networks for “proselytizing” within, across, and outside government channels; 3. Linking new norms with existing norms—grafting (which many communication scholars refer to as “priming”); 4. Reversing the burden of proof involved in contesting norms where states have to respond to why they are not cooperating with the new norm. Of the myriad events that occur every day, certain occurrences can be transformed and highlighted by both journalists and advocactes as an “issue,” thus warranting attention, while other potential issues that may be just as dire are ignored (Carpenter, 2007; Hackett & Zhao, 1998; Johnson-Cartee, 2005; Tuchman, 1978). Those issues deemed worthy of attention by journalists and editors are then shaped into “stories” and distributed through media outlets to an audience. The question that arises, however, is how and why certain issues are important enough to certain journalists and editors to rise to the level of assigned, publicized stories whereas others are not. Where is the Power in the Story? As noted at the beginning of this chapter, although “journalism” and “the media” are recognized as important parts of human rights advocacy, the role of the journalist in the shaping 44 and crafting of particular stories is often surprisingly absent from the IR literature. One notable exception is in the discussion of “minority” (and Indigenous) journalists, which is illustrative because it presupposes that people who are not of the dominant ethnicity/language have a different perception of the world and prioritize different kinds of stories as important (Anderson 1983; Brubaker, 1996).19 Another exception is the debate about embedded reporters in the second Iraq War and how their personal experiences influenced their coverage (de Torrente, 2004; O’Brien, 2004). There is, however, quite a bit of discussion on this point within communications and journalism studies—most notably the debate regarding the journalism of attachment and whether journalists should be “detached” when gross injustice is taking place. As previously noted, Martin Bell put this argument forward most vocally in his coverage of the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. According to Bell (1997), not to take a side was to be complicit in genocide (p. 15). Using his stature as a BBC journalist, Bell attempted to pressure states into action. It could be argued that Bell was engaged in classic leverage and accountability politics (Keck & Sikkink, 1998, pp. 22–24; Tait, 2011). The debate around the “journalism of attachment” is a recent example of the ongoing conversation pitting professional journalistic ethics and journalists’ more general ethical obligations as humans against each other (Alzner, 2012; Ward, 2003)—a conversation that often surfaces and resurfaces in times of war or intense conflict (El-Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002a; Gladstone, 2011, pp. 71–95; Zandberg & Neiger, 2005) or during the management of crisis. 19 For more on Indigenous and community journalism, please see Browne, 1996; Downing, 2001; Haetta, 2013; Henrikson, 2011; and Howely, 2010. Europe has a long history of recognizing and funding media outlets of recognized minority communities (Gross, 2006; Mihelj, 2011; Splichal, 2011), which I discuss in detail in Chapter 4. There is also a growing discussion about the “right” to media, particularly as it relates to Indigenous peoples and is enshrined in the Universal Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Graham, 2010). 45 Many times it is the legitimacy of the state’s power and “rightness” itself that is in crisis. This leads to overt grafting of both the audience and the journalist to the state and its governmental position (Handley & Rutigliano, 2012; Zandberg & Neiger, 2005). As previously noted, the American and European media coverage of the abuse/torture taking place under U.S. watch at Abu Ghraib is an example of a “framing contest” (Bennett et al., 2006; Strömbäck et al., 2008). A more recent example can be seen in the coverage of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange (Handley & Rutigliano, 2012). Whereas mainstream media (such as CNN and 60 Minutes) questioned how it was possible for this “dangerous” and (unquestionably) classified information to be leaked and were enthralled by the drama surrounding the “manhunt” for the “fugitive,” non-corporate and non-state media outlets framed Assange as a “whistleblower.” Their coverage of the leaks involved combing through important information that they believed should be in the public domain. Within alternative media, such as Democracy Now, the information gleaned through the leaks was used to shape future interviews with powerful officials, many of whom refused to answer the questions because the source itself (Wikileaks) was framed as illegitimate. Within mainstream media, the question was how Assange would be held accountable for actions that, while not illegal, were deemed threatening to state, and mainstream journalistic, power.20 This is yet another example where Price’s four point constructivist pedagogical process can be seen at play. The unfolding reaction by American and European governments to Edward Snowden is yet another example of “reversing the burden of proof.” Whereas in the beginning the US government and mainstream media portrayed Snowden as a fugitive and a traitor who was spreading nonsense, within a few months the 20 Handley and Rutigliano (2012) also make the point that Julian Assange’s status as a non-state actor without a permanent home increased the presumed “dangerousness” of both Assange and WikiLeaks, noting, “Non-state actors pose a direct threat to the state and journalistic fields, so the state and journalistic fields overlap to contest emergent forms of journalism as irresponsible and threatening agents” (p. 748). 46 Obama administration was apologizing to European heads of state for bugging their mobile phones and publically revising governmental policy. A Transnational Journalistic Standpoint In sum, one of the more powerful things that takes place during war or crisis management is mainstream journalists’ outward identification with the state and the presumed threats against “us.” As Zandberg and Neiger (2005) explain when detailing the Israeli media’s coverage of the second Intifada, slippage occurs between journalists’ professional identity and their “national” identity. They found that regardless of the political or social leanings of the media outlet, in a time of crisis the “national identity” took precedence over the journalistic identity for at least the first few days. This process was so routinized and normalized that neither the journalists nor the Israeli (Jewish) audience recognized it. It was, however, recognized by the Israeli Arab (non-Jewish) audience. The presumed “us” of the Jewish nation did not fit, but neither were they quite “them” — the Palestinians living in the occupied territories. Here I once again turn to El-Nawawy and Iskandar’s (2002a) contextual objectivity to understand how the unique position of a self-identified “transnational journalist” can provide a clearer picture of the constructed nature of the power, and limits, of the state. People who identify as transnational almost always have a complicated relationship with states; they are most likely citizens of a state, but their nationhood transcends those borders (Gellner, 1983; A. D. Smith, 1998). That said, transnational journalists also identify as journalists. As stated at the beginning of this chapter, journalists often envision themselves as informing, educating, and explaining to an audience what is going on in their world with the hope that the audience can then make the best, most informed decisions about what affects them, 47 including holding those in power accountable for their actions (Strömbäck, 2005). Transnational journalists are truly what Hill Collins (1986/2008) describes as “outsiders within,” with a particular standpoint (Harding, 1993) that potentially provides a clearer picture of the larger machinations of power. This clearer perspective enables journalists to question both the presumed supremacy of the state system and the ideals and practices of journalism. Self-identifying as a transnational journalist creates a heightened awareness of the different political, economic, and cultural factors that influence identities for all people including all journalists. Transnational peoples’ journalism does not assume the permanence or omniscient power of the state; this gives it the potential to reframe both politics and journalism, as well as the relationship between the two. 48 Chapter 3 — The ABCs—From the Arctic to the Balkans to Central Europe: How I Researched Transnational Peoples’ Journalism Education My research identifies, describes, and analyzes the interplay of transnational peoples’ politics and journalism by focusing on how it manifests in two transnational peoples: the Roma and the Saami. I begin by contextualizing larger historic, political and economic realities of the peoples and journalism, how it affects notions of identity and how this manifests into the education of the next generation of Roma and Saami journalists. The process of using multiple unique case studies to investigate and understand a greater whole is what Stake (2006) refers to as “the quintain.” In this case, the quintain is transnational peoples’ journalism and its relationship to socio-political change. Using some of the theories and techniques described by Burawoy (2001) and elaborated on by Hannerz (2003) as “multi-sited ethnography,” I conducted a comparison of two qualitative case studies focusing on two distinct populations spread out over a number of locations. I used multiple methods: interviewing 45 people (sometimes numerous times) between May 2011 and May 2013 as well as analyzing primary and secondary documents (including curricula, grant proposals, internal and external reviews, and expenditure sheets). In addition, I observed some select trainings and workshops in Hungary and the Czech Republic in May 2013 and the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference in Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino in March 2012. Why Comparative Case Studies? Much of my academic and activist work focuses on the way transnational groups frame their issues for multiple audiences (Plaut, 2010, 2012a, 2012b). Clifford Bob’s (2005) The 49 Marketing of Rebellion addresses similar questions. In the book, Bob focuses on the process used by small, unknown groups to gain support from larger non-governmental and other advocacy organizations to build and leverage international support. I too wanted to focus on better understanding a process—in this case, how the next generation of Romani and Saami journalists were trained. Therefore, my own research design was greatly informed by Bob’s model. Although I assumed this would be a situation where transnational people are training “their own” to be professional journalists (as I reflect later in Chapters 4, 5 and 6), this is true for Saami journalists but it is not the case for Romani journalists. Bob (2005) focuses on two disparate cases: the Ogoni in Nigeria and the Zapatistas in Mexico, both of which he chose because they were the “most visible of unlikely cases” that were successful in achieving their goal of gaining international support (p. 12). As Bob demonstrates, the Ogoni and Zapatista cases have different geo-politics, actors, and resources, and yet in spite of such differences, the groups chose to use “parallel strategies.” Bob’s selection of research tools was inspired by his desire to understand these similar strategies and the factors and dynamics that made them successful or produced tensions. These research tools consisted of multi-sited fieldwork with the organizations that had fundamental roles in the process and interviews with key players, some of whom were allied with those organizations. This meant Bob relied heavily on “expert” interviewing, snowball sampling, and primary source documentation to answer questions about how certain groups were able to capture international attention while other groups were unsuccessful (pp. 10–11).21 It also meant that his fieldwork took him from Brussels to Ogoniland and from the jungles of Chiapas to Madrid. Like Bob, I explore how two very different groups of people operate in very different 21 I use the same definition of “expert interviews” as the Behavioural Research Ethics Board: people, in their professional capacity, being interviewed about their work. 50 contexts. Also like Bob, my interest is in the processes of negotiating and transforming socio-political change on a transnational level.22 This project aims to identify both if there is a process, —in this case using a “transnational starting point” —and, if so, how this manifests in journalism. Specifically, I want to map the connections between a transnational starting point and possibilities of socio-political change that go beyond the state, focusing on the role of journalists that choose to foreground their transnational identity. There is also a very practical application. I want to understand what larger lessons could be learned from transnational journalism education: what professional journalism education can look like when addressing human rights issues. When examining human rights issues and when engaging in journalism, context is extremely important. Based on my interests and skills, in-depth qualitative work including immersion in and analysis of case studies is the best method. Brief Overview of Case Selection Case study research has some unique characteristics: Various types of cases are identified and, in fact, often sought out to better explore the research questions. This process is referred to as “progressive sampling” (Hancock & Algozzine, 2006) or “information-oriented selection” (Flyvbjerg, 2006, p. 230). Case study research is often used to look for different types of cases to test or confirm a prediction or to examine the reasons that a particular anticipated outcome did not come to pass. Cases have typically been classified by type into three or four categories. I use the following three case typologies in my project: Least likely case: An unusual or atypical case in which things do not seem to be working the way they are expected to; this provides the opportunity to identify the various actors 22 Various International Relations (IR) scholars (George & Bennett, 2005; Gerring, 2004) have termed this “process tracing”; however, I find that the focus has been too much on the chronology of the process rather than the organic—and at times messy—reality. 51 and dynamics in great detail. It may also help in the mapping out of various combinations of variables and causal patterns (Flyvbjerg, 2006, p. 229; George & Bennett, 2005; Gerring, 2004). Significantly different cases: A small-N study of cases with some very significant differences allows identification of what is common between them; this is very similar to the notion of choosing cases on the basis of the quintain (Flyvbjerg, 2006, p. 230; Stake, 2006). Most likely case: A case in which all the conditions should be in order for the hypothesis or theory to generate the expected outcome. The underlying assumptions are that “if it is valid for this case, it is valid for all (or many) cases” and “if it is not valid for this case, then it is not valid for any (or only a few) cases” (Flyvbjerg, 2006, pp. 230–232). Similarities between cases are interesting, but the contradictions of responses within and between cases are also seen as a rich source of data. For this reason, when engaged in multiple or comparative case studies, it is recommended to study and write up case reports on the individual cases first and then to perform cross-case analysis (Flyvbjerg, 2006; George & Bennett, 2005; Stake, 2006; Yin, 2009).23 This enables a more cohesive understanding of the particularities of an individual case to better appreciate the dynamics of the quintain as a system. Flyvbjerg (2006) identifies this as “context-dependent knowledge” and argues that it is “at the very heart of expert [knowledge] activity” (p. 222). 23 I use the term “comparative” case studies to refer to any study that involves two or more cases. Some authors, including Stake (2006), draw a distinction between research comparing two cases and small-N studies because “comparative case studies…seek similarities and differences among cases on a relatively few specified attributes…to make some grand comparison rather than to increase understanding of individual cases” (p. 83). However, it appears Stake (2006) overstates his case, referencing not comparative case studies as a whole but rather the goal of generalizability. Other scholars, such as Yin (2009) and Hancock and Algozzine (2006), also disagree with this comparative case study description and provide detailed steps for how to conduct in-depth, case-specific comparative case studies that are more in line with what Stake defines as the multi-case method. 52 Significantly Different Cases Although they are both transnational peoples, the Saami and the Roma differ significantly from one another. I selected these cases because, like Bob (2005), I wanted to focus on the similar tactics in spite of such obvious differences (p. 12). Working from Flyvbjerg’s (2006) classifications of how to work with different case studies, I selected cases that vary greatly and foregrounded such differences in order to better identify the commonalities between them (p. 230)—and better understand the quintain of transnational peoples’ journalism (Stake, 2006). Although both the Saami and the Roma predominantly live in Europe, their experiences vary in terms of their socio-economic status, recognition by the states in which they reside, and their relationships with the majority population. Moreover, based on their geographic distance and different spheres of influence and claim-making (the Saami are leaders in transnational Indigenous politics, whereas the Roma are struggling to be heard by European Court of Human Rights), they have little to no contact with one another in the larger arena of transnational politics and advocacy. I illustrate these differences, and the effects they have on journalistic and political strategies, in Chapter 6. Case Selection Bob (2005) spends much of The Marketing of Rebellion investigating the cases of the Zapatistas and the Ogoni separately. He gives special attention to the negotiated process of framing issues in order to market the “cause” to different audiences (Indigenous rights and autonomy for the Mayan people of Southern Mexico and environmental protection for the Ogoni people in the Nigerian Delta, respectively). The purpose of detailing each case is to acknowledge 53 the particularities of the case, set the context, and then focus on the similar strategies employed because of the need to frame issues in the most effective way in the context of international advocacy. I followed a similar strategy in selecting and researching my cases. There are many transnational peoples, but there are not many consistent, well-established journalism education programs for transnational peoples. The late 1990s saw a small uptick in programs aimed at Mayan journalists but these differ from the programs on which I focus. For even the Mayan journalism education programs still tend to be state specific—Mayan TV is specific to Guatemala while the filmmaking trainings run through the Chiapas Media Project/Promedios, although reliant on international funding, are still focused on Southern Mexico.24 In the early and mid-2000s there was an increased interest by the US and other governments in training “Arab” journalists—often with a focus on women—but these were often very closely tied to diplomatically driven geo-political goals. Of course, even with this limited number, decisions about which programs to examine were required. As Hannerz (2003) explains, multi-sited ethnography almost always entails, “a selection of sites from among those many which could potentially be included” and these decisions are “to an extent made gradually and cumulatively, as new insights develop, as opportunities come into sight, and to some extent by chance (p. 363). This was certainly my experience. In designing my research, I wanted to ensure that I had a basic “cultural competence” for the cases. It made no sense to parachute into a community in which I had no linguistic or cultural 24 UNESCO has engaged in media trainings throughout the Muslim world—often bringing together journalists, particularly Muslim female journalists. In the early 2000s the Open Society Foundation also tried its hand in focusing on North African female journalists and filmmakers as a whole. Very few of these programs extend beyond one or two projects. In 2009, Inuit journalism students from Nunavut Arctic College have engaged in an exchange program with Sami University College for short workshops. For information on Indigenous filmmaking please see Global Indigenous Media (2008). 54 knowledge (Neumann, 2008), but that still left me with a handful of options. However, as Gusterson (2008) notes, “ethnographers inevitably have to decide which aspects of a field environment are more or less accessible or closed off by virtue of their own identity” (p. 96). Based on my own identity as someone who is both Jewish and an American citizen, I decided the risks and questions associated with conducting research on some transnational groups (Palestinians, Jews, Kurds) would outweigh the potential benefits. Prior to beginning this project I knew that both the Saami and the Roma identified themselves—and are identified—as distinct peoples who live within, between, and across multiple states, and both populations use multiple methods to make political, social, and legal claims based on their transnational identities. One of these tools is media, and specifically journalism. Because of the importance they place on this journalistic strategy, both the Saami and the Roma seek to advance the quality of their journalism and their journalists and yet do not strive to be neutral. This commonality of transnationality, and what I have come to recognize through my research as a “transnational starting point” in journalism, became clear in my analysis. The process of identifying and working with diverse cases in order to identify what, if any, common threads exist has been recognized as particularly useful when engaging in case study research that aims to explore and refine a “novel hypothesis or theories, such that an existing body of evidence cannot be referenced in speculating about the plausibility of a suspected relationship” (Kaarbo & Beasley, 1999, p. 375). This is where I position my research. For although quite a lot of academic work has been done on the socialization and professionalization processes of Western journalists (Glasser & Craft, 1998; Johnson-Cartee, 2005; Skinner et al., 2001; Tuchman, 1978), and some for alternative media (Coyer, 2005; 55 Downing, 2001; Retzlaff, 2006), as noted in Chapter 2, little has been written about journalism education done by and for specific populations, particularly those who identify as transnational. I aim to show how transnational standpoints do exist and can provide a critically important lens for approaching human rights scholarship and advocacy. In other words, the Saami and the Roma are both transnational peoples, and they both have media, and in that way they are very similar. However, they have very different socio-political and economic statuses and resources; in this sense, they are significantly different (Flyvbjerg, 2006, p. 230). So, are there in fact similarities in the ways they train and evaluate “their own” to be journalists? Can I examine a quintain of transnational peoples’ journalists, and journalism? And, if so, what are the differences in understanding and negotiating the tensions in terms of audience, languages, relationship to the state, and the media outlets themselves? Tables 3.1 and 3.2 below show the distinctions that will be highlighted throughout subsequent chapters. I knew some of this information prior to engaging in fieldwork, but other points became clearer afterwards. 56 Table 3.1: Romani and Saami Media Outlets Factors Romani media Saami media Location(s) Throughout Europe (including Turkey and the UK). In Central/Eastern (C/E) Europe and the Balkans media is primarily TV/radio and online. In Western and Northern Europe it is primarily Internet-based radio and TV programs. There are also pan-European documentaries. Print is minimal. TV and radio are found in the Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish sides of Sápmi; daily newspapers in the Norwegian side, weekly inserts in the Finnish side, and magazines in the Swedish and Norwegian sides. Language(s)25 Mixture of state languages and Romani Radio is in Saami, TV in Saami subtitled in the state language; some print media is in Saami and some in the state language Types of media TV, documentaries, radio, multimedia TV, radio, multimedia, newspapers, children’s programming Funding Almost all donor-based; limited state funding in Kosovo/a, Macedonia and Slovakia; very limited advertising revenue State support/subsidies Audience(s) (in order of priority) Non-Roma and Roma Saami, majority population, other Indigenous communities Relationship to state Minimal; very few states have designated Romani programming on state-owned TV or radio Significant; all Saami programs are on state-owned TV or radio; state subsidizes both daily Saami papers 25 There are nine different Saami languages that are not mutually understandable; North Saami is the most common. In my work, unless otherwise noted, “Saami language” refers to North Saami. There are also many different Romani dialects, which can vary widely; however, the base of Romani is consistent and it is considered by most to be one language (Victor Friedman, personal communication, June, 3, 2013). 57 Table 3.2 Romani and Saami Journalism Education Programs Factor Romani journalism education Saami journalism education Location(s) Programs throughout EU countries in C/E Europe as well as some programming in the southern Balkans Sámi allaskuvla in the Norwegian side of Sápmi; Saami filmmaking and documentary making in Finnish vocation schools; professional training in the newsrooms throughout Sápmi Duration Mostly concentrated, focused short-term training (3 days; 5–10 days) as part of media production; larger projects have training integrated throughout (4–6 weeks); currently, there is no long-term education focused exclusively on Romani journalism 3-year BA at Sámi allaskuvla; 2-year MA in Indigenous journalism to start Fall 2014 Student demographics Roma and non-Roma journalists working together to make a product and learning from one another under the guidance of experienced journalist/trainer(s) All BA students are Saami speaking; the MA student body will be primarily Saami, with some other Indigenous students Funding Inconsistent grants from foundations and, more recently, the European Union Norwegian state Educators Very few, if any, trainers are Roma; all are very experienced journalists Nearly all instructors are Saami; some non-Saami (including other Indigenous journalists) are brought in for guest lectures, etc. Three non-Saami professors (University of Helsinki and University of Bedford) are also involved in development of the curricula/program Relationship to state Minimal; Hungary designed and funded a Roma-specific journalism training program in 2012 Sámi allaskuvla is fully funded and accredited by the Norwegian Ministry of Education 58 At risk of belabouring the point, I chose these cases because, in spite of the significant differences, there is a greater whole (a quintain) of “transnational peoples’ journalism” that such differences help elucidate. To be clear, this can cause conceptual tension—what Stake (2006) refers to as the “case-quintain dilemma” (pp. 7–8). I discuss my own process of engaging with such tensions later in the chapter when reflecting on the research design. Why Romani Journalists? Given their extreme poverty and many pressing concerns about their rights, recognition, and protection, the Roma could be assumed to be “least likely” to have journalism education. For the most part, the Roma live in poverty without food and housing security; there is often a high threat of physical violence as well as legal/judicial acquiescence to such violence. Laws regarding their recognition and protection by the state and local authorities as well as degrees of legal mobility and transnational mobilization vary based on the countries in which they reside. As can be seen in Table 3.1 above, there is very little state support. Some countries have Romani news programs/channels as a vestige of the socialist system that supported ethnic group/national minority (the USSR, as well as Yugoslavia’s definitions of – nation, national minority and ethnic group) and linguistic rights, but these are often poorly funded, resulting in poor quality (Gross, 2006; Plaut, 2010). Most of the media outlets and all of the specialized media training and education programs are the result of external interventions and are not guaranteed consistent funding; thus, they (the institutions and, I would argue, the journalists themselves) are not an institutionalized part of the larger media landscape. The most consistent funder of these programs is the network of Open Society Foundations—primarily the Network Media Program 59 (the Roma Initiatives Office also has a growing, albeit inconsistent, presence).26 Therefore, I not only interviewed the trainers but also the people who are responsible for designing and evaluating the quality of these programs, as well as those who allocate funds. My Background with Romani Media My work and research in the Romani community, and the Romani journalism/media community more specifically, goes back many years. In 2001, I began interviewing Romani activists in Hungary to answer questions about their strategies of self-representation, particularly in their international publications/media. I go into further detail regarding the actual research design of my MA, and how it influenced my doctoral research process, later in this chapter, but here I offer a brief background on my involvement in the relatively small and intimate community of Romani media makers and advocates. In December 2001, I traveled to Budapest, where I met with key actors and gatekeepers to discuss the state of Romani media. All of them said that if I was indeed interested in Romani media, I would need to expand my research to Serbia and Macedonia. Thus, in the summer of 2002, I returned to the region and conducted in-depth fieldwork in all three countries. My master’s thesis, Nation, Ethnic Minority, Other: Shifting Self-Representation in Romani Media, was based on the interviews and primary source data accumulated during this fieldwork as well as online Romani activism/media available at the time. Although I had completed the research necessary for my MA, the work still felt incomplete. With the encouragement of my mentor and MA advisor, I applied for funding to 26 As noted in Chapter 1, in 2014 OSF’s Network Media Program was renamed the Independent Journalism Program however, at the time of the research it was known as the Network Media Program and to reduce confusion, I will continue to refer to it as such throughout the dissertation. 60 return to Macedonia and continue my research in Romani media—this time focusing on the connections, and disconnections, between Romani media and Romani civil society. In the summer of 2003, I moved to Macedonia for 13 months. During that time, I learned how to communicate in the Arli dialect of Romani and cultivated strong personal and professional connections with many Romani activists, policy makers, and media makers in Macedonia and the surrounding areas. These relationships continued after I returned to the United States. Since then, I have traveled to the region numerous times in both personal and professional capacities, including working for five years as Amnesty International USA’s country specialist for Macedonia. In short, I have been involved, in one way or another, with Romani media and Romani activism (including those who fund these programs) since 2001. Why Saami Journalists? Given their relative financial security and integration within society, Saami in some ways could be seen as the “most likely case” for transnational people’s journalism. They have very little fear of any physical threat. They live in affluent countries (with the exception of in Russia), and for the most part they enjoy the financial and legal support of the countries in which they reside; numerous Saami officials noted in interviews that it is difficult to make people care about your concerns when there is no immediate threat of starvation or violence. The Saami are recognized as Indigenous peoples within the international community, and all the states in which they reside offer some sort of political and legal recognition of their special status. The Saami have free mobility between the Nordic countries (and even, to some extent, Russia) and have a formal media structure and a formal media education structure, both of which are heavily (if not exclusively) state-funded. I chose to go to Guovdageaidnu to study the journalism program at 61 Saami University College, which has provided accredited tertiary education for Saami journalists since 1990—including the option to receive a BA starting in 2000. All courses are taught in the Saami language (with some English-language classes) and most of the faculty are Saami. I spoke with many of the formal media outlets/institutions that identify as Saami media and some of the “veterans” of the Saami movement who were involved in establishing many of the Saami media outlets. I also spoke with some of the Saami involved in communications strategies for Saami institutions such as the Saami Parliament and Riddu Riddu (a pan-Indigenous music and culture festival organized by Sea Saami). My Background with Saami Journalism In the first semester of my doctoral program, I wrote a research paper focusing on Saami and Inuit cooperation as a form of political strategy. In the process of researching that paper, I conducted numerous telephone interviews, so I was somewhat familiar with some of the institutions and key actors and had already been in contact with people at Saami University College (Sámi allaskuvla), the Saami Parliament, and some Saami media (Plaut, 2012a). But I did not visit Sápmi and all my communication was on the phone or via email. Although I was not nearly as familiar with the politics, language, culture, or other dynamics of the Saami as I was with the Roma (a point I will discuss in greater detail later in this chapter), I did at least have an “in.” More importantly, the Saami with whom I spoke were very interested in having more systematic research conducted (particularly by someone from the “outside”) about their journalism education programs and media outlets, and thus my proposed research was deemed both relevant and useful to the community itself (L. T. Smith, 1999; 2005). 62 A Potential Third Case? Migrant Voice: The Road Not Taken When I designed this project, I was concerned about the validity of arguing for alternative theories and methods of journalism education based on two very distinct and arguably exceptional cases. Put simply, given the differences between the Saami’s and Roma’s material and political circumstances, I was not sure if a comparative study would hold up. I was also concerned that I would get too stuck in the particular context of the Roma and the Saami and lose the larger focus of journalism education. Once again, I was struggling with the “case-quintain dilemma” (Stake, 2006, p. 7). I was adamant that I needed a third case study. Specifically, I wanted a case study of a transnational group whose identity was based not on a shared culture or ethnicity but rather an identity based on forced or chosen migration. I planned to include Migrant Voice, an organization based in three cities in the United Kingdom and founded to provide migrants with the skills and opportunities to work with mainstream media while simultaneously creating their own newspaper and website.27 The organization’s mission is both to reclaim the term “migrant” and to intervene and change the increasingly negative discourse about immigration in Europe. I chose Migrant Voice because those involved in the organization, all of whom identify as migrants, chose to use a unifying term not based on a shared ethnic/cultural identity. I assumed that the migrants shared an identity of transnationality and of resistance (Husain, 2006, pp. 2, 4). However, after immersing myself in the myriad daily activities organized out of Migrant Voice’s closet of an office, it became clear that while I was interested in Migrant Voice’s work, it 27 The term “migrant” is a purposefully broad term encompassing everyone from the visiting artist from Japan to the plumber from Poland to the undocumented migrant from Morocco to the student from Pakistan and the refugee claimant from Syria. By using this, Migrant Voice and its allies aim to challenge the distinctions made in terms of basic health care, food, shelter, security, and so on justified in the name of legal definitions. François Crépeau, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants has put forth a similar argument (public talk at UBC, November 14, 2012). Although I am sympathetic to this logic, my research shows it is not a term used by the majority of migrants themselves, let alone states. 63 did not make sense to include the organization in this research project. First, although it is true that many people involved with Migrant Voice did identify as migrants, within a few days it became apparent that this was actually an emerging and, in some ways, radical identity—one that was in the process of being formed. Based on my preliminary research, it appeared more people identified with their country/region of origin and the United Kingdom rather than with a transnational migrant identity. Secondly, the politics and laws surrounding “migrants” as a group are changing rapidly in the United Kingdom. Although the term is used in international rights (i.e., the Convention of the Rights of Migrants), “migrants” is not a legally recognized term in the United Kingdom. Rather, there are very clear distinctions between migrants from the EU, those from other parts of Europe, and those from “the third world,” and it became evident these legal distinctions had much more to do with the British government’s negotiation of how to control (police and legislate) its Britishness. Lastly, it became evident that the media in the United Kingdom itself (and particularly the English media) have particularities that are very country specific. Further, because of the ongoing investigation into journalistic practices (the Leveson inquiry), regulations regarding British media were also undergoing rapid change.28 Stated simply, I decided that trying to fit Migrant Voice into the category of “self-identified transnational people” who were “training their own to be journalists” was not honest; it was not what I saw. I did not have the “assurance” of an emerging pattern (Stake, 2006, p. 36). If I was to practice the needed skills of reflexivity, then I had to recognize that I was trying to make the case fit the theory (Armbruster & Laerke, 2010; Leander, 2008, pp. 23–27). In order to do 28 For more information on the Leveson inquiry, please see http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/. The official executive summary, released on November 29, 2012, can be downloaded from http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0779/0779.asp. 64 justice to Migrant Voice’s work, I decided it would be best to do a single, in-depth case study about Migrant Voice as a network and its role in the emerging migrant rights movement in the United Kingdom and possibly Europe, rather than approaching including it as a third case. I therefore dropped Migrant Voice as a case study for this project. At the same time, in conducting my fieldwork and reviewing my preliminary findings, I became more convinced that in spite of the differences between the Saami and the Roma as groups, they shared a unique perspective: both articulate larger socio-political goals as the reason for wanting to train journalists. I went back to the work of Bob (2005) and Lightfoot (2009) to see how they constructed in-depth qualitative research studies using cases that are both alike and different in order to better study a larger, international process that involves framing to multiple audiences. Although Migrant Voice was not part of the quintain of journalism education done by and for self-identified transnational people, I was becoming more confident that Romani and Saami media are part of this quintain. What I Bring to this Research Bob’s (2005) example influenced my methodological choices, but I was also influenced by my previous experience. I have worked as a freelance journalist in one way or another since I was 14 years old; thus, I am accustomed to gathering information by interacting with people. Like Bob (2005) and Lightfoot (2009), I moved from a practitioner/activist position into the world of academia. Since 2000 I have been engaged in human rights–based investigations that involve locating and corroborating primary sources (both people and documentation) through intensive investigation. In addition, my choice in research design was framed by my MA research project. In that project, I argued that Romani media makers strategically represented themselves as transnational 65 peoples, national minorities, or unique “peoples” depending on the audience. As I noted earlier in this chapter, after exhausting all the primary and secondary material I could gather online (through NGO reports, news sources, Internet forums, and academic literature), I conducted field research in Hungary, Serbia, and Macedonia. Although all are located in Central or Southeastern Europe, these countries have vastly different histories, including in the relationships to their Romani populations (E. Friedman, 2002). My research focused on the emergence of, and self-representation in, Romani media, a factor present in all three countries. I focused on this by conducting multi-sited research, often asking people to refer me to their friends and colleagues in other countries. I interviewed those people and others who were recommended as primary source data. I gathered data and analyzed the Romani media in each country separately before engaging in comparisons across countries (Stake, 2006). Stake’s work heavily influenced the design of my doctoral work. Stake emphasizes the need to respect each case as a separate entity and argues that only after thoroughly considering each case individually is it appropriate to engage in analysis across cases. In this project, not only did I conduct my research on Saami and Romani journalism educators at different times, but I found I needed to actually store and analyze the data in different physical places. Only after the Saami and Roma case studies were analyzed and written as individual cases could I engage in a process of cross-case analysis and better sift through and construct the emerging whole. The Who, What, Where, Why, and How of Interviewing and Multi-Sited Fieldwork The bulk of my data came from thematic interviews focusing on people’s understandings of their work as well as the primary source documentation they provided (Hannerz, 2003, p. 364). I conducted two rounds of fieldwork with Romani journalists/journalism educators/funders and two rounds with Saami journalists and journalism educators totalling interviews with 45 66 people—journalists, program administrators, and educators/trainers—and sometimes conducting multiple interviews with the same people.29 Each time a person is referenced, I have indicated it with their last name in parenthesis; if a person was interviewed more than once, this is shown by numbers—corresponding to the month, day and year, following their last name so that my interview with Dean Cox on December 17, 2012 will be referenced as Cox (121712), whereas my subsequent interview on May 13, 2013 will be referenced as Cox (051313). A full list of those interviewed and the dates can be found in Appendix A and B. Although the majority of people were comfortable having quotes attributed to them, a few wished to remain anonymous. This is noted in the text when initials (which usually do not correspond to their name) or nom-de-plume are used. I shared all transcripts with those interviewed and solicited their feedback, including providing them with an opportunity to modify their words and/or ask to not be identified in certain sections. One person, after reading his transcript, asked to be omitted from the research project. Two people asked to be consulted before any direct quotes were attributed to them. Negotiating Gatekeepers and Respectful Yet Critical Research Prior to travelling to Sápmi and Central and Eastern Europe, I identified gatekeepers in both communities through their formal positions or through personal and professional referrals. There was often a level of serendipity—on more than one occasion the person who happened to answer the phone when I called after hours, or who happened to be answering emails while someone was on medical leave, became some of my best resources. I spoke with them on the 29 There are a variety of reasons that some people were interviewed more than once. Some people were interviewed multiple times because, upon review of the transcript, it became evident that there were points that could benefit from clarification and further discussion. Torkel Rasmussen and Aslak Paltto preferred me to interview them in their homes over a series of days. In addition, due to their schedules and the time differences, some people were interviewed over a series of Skype conversations (Loza, Druker, Jankovic). 67 phone and via email, and, once I arrived, I met with them extensively to help get a general “feel” for the people/organizations/dynamics on the ground. I came with a list of people/positions with whom I wanted to speak but also asked these gatekeepers to fill in the gaps—whom was I missing? It is important to note that this way of finding people is not unproblematic. I relied on other people to provide information and guide the data-gathering process. I could, therefore, have both missed people and been colored in the eyes the community by the assumption that I was aligned in one way or another with the gatekeepers. I tried to mitigate this as much as possible by living and working in the community while I was there and creating social connections that, at times, also opened up work connections. Like Hannerz (2003), in his reflections on research with foreign correspondents noted, I often “sensed it was appreciated when it turn[ed] out that I had also talked to friends and colleagues of theirs in some other part of the world; perhaps more recently than they had…it was a matter of establishing personal credentials” (p. 364). At times my interactions were informal, but I always arranged formal interviews beforehand and conducted them following ethical protocols, including distributing the approved consent form, ensuring I had permission to record the conversations, and subsequently distributing, reviewing, and, if needed, modifying transcripts. These protocols, however, are not enough to ensure that a fair and honest relationship is established and maintained. Many scholars involved in working with Indigenous communities have discussed navigating personal and professional engagement in communities that have a history of academic exploitation. Much can be learned from Indigenous protocols of research even when, as in my case, not all the communities identify themselves as Indigenous. I attempted to engage in respectful research by being physically present while trying not to be too obtrusive. Sometimes this meant just being around—in the media offices, training/educational facilities, and foundations. I offered any 68 support I could provide (I edited a lot of written English texts and designed a variety of flyers) and engaged with people as people—I drank coffee, learned how to fish and pick cloudberries, and shared many a meal—thus attempting to establish my own relationships outside of those suggested or facilitated by gatekeepers. I tried to remember how families were related and made sure I was available for social and cultural engagements. Put simply, in many communities you need to know people, and more importantly be known by people in order to be recognized as an ethical researcher. Indigenous scholars Kirkness and Barnhardt (1991) created a “4R” model for conducting research with Indigenous communities: respect, relevance, reciprocity, and responsibility. Parent (2009) added a fifth R—highlighting the importance of relationships in research. Respect is earned and maintained based on personal and social integrity and consistency. Note that relationships do not end once one leaves “the field.” There is a constant negotiation of professional and personal connections that can be both rewarding and challenging—sometimes within the same relationship. I am still in contact with many of the people I interviewed, sometimes keeping informal friendly contact and holiday wishes, sometimes asking for help in locating or interpreting documents (and offering the same help in return) and, in one case, helping locate missing gakti (traditional Saami clothing, almost always handmade specifically for the person) when people were stranded in the Eastern United States during Hurricane Sandy. In traditional anthropological ethnography, the researcher is assumed to be immersed in “the entire culture,” which presupposes a “durability of the fields and the involvement of the ‘natives’ in them” (Hannerz, 2003, pp. 359–367). This is not my experience; rather, I engaged in what Hannerz (2003) termed multi-sited ethnography. Hannerz describes how his work with foreign correspondents differs from traditional ethnography—in which the researcher goes into 69 the field and then leaves—as boundaries between “in the field” and “out of the field” are somewhat blurred. This is partly because foreign correspondents by definition are “trans-local people” who move around. Modern technology is another important factor; one can follow a journalist’s work, and often his or her stated opinion of that work, before ever meeting in person. In addition we can keep abreast of the journalist’s public life for years after the interview. When questions arise (whether in reviewing the transcript or based on a new article or press release), clarification can be sought via email, phone, or Skype. In other words, multi-sited ethnography requires a methodological approach that differs from the traditional anthropological understandings of ethnography. Going “Into the Field” with Saami Journalism I was in Sápmi for 10 weeks in the spring/summer of 2011 and returned for three weeks in March of 2012.30 I researched Saami journalism and journalism education as a visiting researcher at Sámi allaskuvla. I had access to an office, phone, printer, and full library privileges. Prior to arriving, I was in primary contact with Torkel Rasmussen and Arne Johansen Ijäs (who both took turns running the journalism program), Ante Siri (who helped run communications outreach at the university), and Rune Fjellheim (Executive Officer of the Norwegian Saami Parliament). During my first visit to Sápmi (Summer 2011), I met Kent Valio, who assisted me in reaching staff within NRK-Sápmi and locate particular documents; Valio has continued to be a key contact. Sápmi differed from other research locations, where I have engaged in “snowball interviewing.” People in Sápmi would recommend potential interviewees but were generally 30 I timed my return to Sápmi to arrive two weeks prior to the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference (WITBC) so that I could catch up with people before the town of 2,900 people was overrun with more than 300 visitors. I also wanted to make myself available to provide practical support. I was asked to facilitate a workshop on international human rights law and journalism and edit English materials for the website (http://www.nrk.no/witbc2012/). 70 hesitant to actually facilitate introductions; in small communities one must be careful not to oblige another person to do something he or she may not want to do. People mentioned names, but it was my responsibility to track that person down and (perhaps) secure an interview. This was, at times, quite challenging. Sápmi covers a huge land mass (approximately 388,350 km or all the islands of Japan combined) over four countries, and my mobility was limited without access to a car; however, I managed to conduct interviews in Tromso, Kárášjohka, Kåfjord (where Riddu Riddu, the Sea Saami–organized international music festival takes place), Leammi (Lemmenjoki) near Ánar (Inari), and Ohcejohka (Utsjoki) on the Finnish side of Sápmi. That said, 10 weeks is not a lot of time, and, as I discuss in other work, some specific limitations in my research are important to note (Plaut, 2014). Most importantly, I interviewed a disproportionate number of people from the Norwegian side of Sápmi, which has unique economic, historical, and linguistic characteristics (Lehtola, 2004; Pietikäinen, 2008a, 2008b; Solbakk, 2006a; Somby, 2009). In fact, as I discuss in detail in Chapter 5, many would say that because of Norway’s particular history regarding treatment of the Saami (Norwegianization policy, Alta Dam conflict, etc.), as well as its oil wealth, the Norwegian government is now the most financially and legally supportive of the Nordic states with regards to formal Saami rights and institutions. At the same time, some scholars and practitioners have also noted that such support by the Norwegian state has led to an overshadowing of the experiences and initiatives of Saami in the Swedish and Finnish (let alone Russian) sides of Sápmi (Lehtola, 2004; Markelin, 2003; Markelin & Husband, 2007; Solbakk, 2006a). At times, the experiences of Saami in the Norwegian side of Sápmi, particularly of those who speak Saami language from the interior of the country (often called “the Saami heartland”), 71 have been conflated with the experiences of all Saami. This is problematic. It is, then, a limitation of this research project that I did not have a chance to interview anyone in or from the Swedish or Russian sides of Sápmi. Speaking with these journalists, as well as more journalists who identify as Saami but do not work in the Saami language, would have offered important diversity to better understand the different ways to identify, participate in, and shape Saami media beyond the Norwegian experience. In addition, it may have impacted the emphasis placed on language as the primary (if not sole) lens through which to understand and articulate Saami perspectives. Narrowing My Approach to Romani Journalism: Focus on Open Society Foundations My research process for Romani media involved quite different circumstances than did my Saami research. I was not based in one place. Instead, I traveled to various locations to interview people who were spearheading projects. Unlike Saami journalists, Romani journalists are not trained in one location. My fieldwork for this project spanned five countries and could easily have included more. As noted earlier, I have worked with Romani media makers and their funders in one way or another since 2001 and am much more familiar with the region and therefore more mobile within it.31 That said, in 2005 I took a step back from the world of Romani media and was only peripherally informed about what was taking place on a day-to-day level. Thus, in 2012 when I returned to the field for this research project, I was concerned that I was no longer up to date — much had happened in Europe in ten years. I wanted to ensure that I was not looking at the realities of 2012–2013 with lenses that were a decade old. One of the most significant changes is the expansion of the European Union and the Schengen visa-free zone which has brought an increase of Roma from Romania to Western Europe. This demographic 31 In addition, the majority of trainings take place in urban centers, which makes commuting much easier. 72 shift has created interesting socio-political dynamics between the Romanian government, the Western European destination countries (Finland, France, Spain and the UK) and the already existing Romani communities in those countries. In the future, I would be very interested to speak with Romani journalists in Romania and in the destination countries to see how the “problems” and “solutions” regarding this new wave of Romani migration are being framed. Because journalism programs and NGOs come and go, I decided to focus not on the Romani media outlets themselves but on the institutions designing, funding, evaluating, and conducting training for Romani journalists. This also offered some means of comparison with Saami media and Sámi allaskulva which is highly institutionalized. By far the most consistent and influential of these institutions for Romani media was the Open Society Foundations (OSF). I therefore chose to focus on OSF itself as well as the OSF supported Romani journalism education programs throughout Europe. In the 1990s and early 2000s nearly all Romani media were financially supported in one way another by OSF; thus George Soros, the founder of OSF, earned the nickname “Baba Soros” (Grandfather Soros) throughout much of Central/Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Of course, by focusing on OSF I did limit my scope. Although there is little consistent state funding of Romani media, there are publically funded Romani media programs as part of official multicultural projects such as those found in Macedonia and Kosovo/a as well as Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands. In addition, international organizations such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and, increasingly (although sporadically) the European Union, provide significant funds into the establishment of various media outlets and programs. These two multilateral organizations are political entities and for the purpose of this research, it would be interesting to discuss how they discuss their understanding of the role of journalism. 73 Because I chose to focus on those administering Romani journalism education programs rather than on the media outlets themselves, I reached out to Marie Struthers of the Network Media Program (located in London) at OSF to ask for her help in identifying grantees conducting journalism education for Roma with OSF financial support. In the interest of ethics, we made sure the grantees had received OSF support for more than five years and were not currently up for renewal. Unlike Saami media, the world of Romani media is facilitated by direct connections and introductions; thus, I asked Struthers to help connect me with the people at the Roma Initiatives Program, an OSF program based in Budapest. After making a list of grantees, Struthers and her assistant provided me with the names of the relevant people and contact information. I wrote an email to those contacts, copying Struthers. I conducted in-person interviews with some people (including staff at the Network Media Program and the Romani Participation Program as well as the director and senior journalist at the Center for Independent Journalism in Budapest), and other interviews were done by phone. After conducting interviews with ten people involved with Romani media education, I began my first round of coding and realized I had a problem. Although I had interviewed people who administered and evaluated Romani journalism programs, I had only interviewed two trainers, which was not enough given the number and diversity of Romani media projects. I therefore arranged to return to Central and Eastern Europe in May 2013 to conduct in-person interviews in Macedonia and the Czech Republic and observe workplace trainings in Hungary and the Czech Republic. I arrived at the start of the training/storyboarding process for a five-country project Europe: A Homeland for the Roma. Thanks to the generosity of Tihomir Loza and Jeremy Druker of the organization Transitions, I was invited to observe a few days of the training in Hungary and the Czech Republic. 74 In addition, I reached out to three international trainers who have been involved in training Romani journalists for the NGO Transitions for many years, conducting interviews with them over the phone and via Skype. I eventually interviewed 19 people involved in Romani journalism training in a variety of capacities. In the future, I hope to conduct interviews and observe trainings in Romania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia—places where I am told some of the most innovative Romani journalism, including in mainstream TV, is taking place. Reflections on My Different Dynamics within Interviews My different relationships with the Romani and Saami journalism communities affected both the design of my research and the content and dynamics of the interviews themselves. Unlike my work within the Saami community, I did not enter the world of Romani journalism as a complete outsider. I knew many of the players already, or, if I did not know them personally, I knew of them and they knew of me. This had its advantages: I did not have a hard time locating gatekeepers and key players, and was able to interview people like the director of OSF’s Network Media Program. But I had to remind people that I had been out of the field for many years and ask that they help get me back up to speed—particularly since the EU expansion and the impact of the Decade of Roma Inclusion (which I discuss in detail in Chapter 4) all went into effect after I had essentially stepped out of the world of Romani media. As I noted above, I also had to ensure that I was not operating on previous assumptions of the trends and dynamics of Romani media and remain humble in my understanding of the current situation. This involved asking a lot of questions about present dynamics and why things were the way they were. This was especially true for the radical changes that had taken place with the EU expansion, the increased open prejudice against Roma, deteriorating economic conditions throughout all of 75 Europe, and the changing priorities of donors, all of which I discuss in great detail in Chapter 4. Also, people within Romani media projects were very busy, often juggling three-four if not more projects at a time. As for Saami journalism, although I had conducted some phone interviews in 2009, I was an outsider and had no experience with the languages, cultures or rural life of the northern Nordic region. In addition, the Saami journalists were working journalists and were often on story and traveling although the educators based in Saami allaskulva were often based in one place. Locating and Analyzing Transcripts and Primary Source Documents I asked interviewees and gatekeepers for documents such as expenditure sheets, syllabi, training programs, grant applications, final reports (to funders and for internal use), and external evaluations. I was sometimes also provided with informal documents including training schedules and reflections on trainings as well as emailed evaluations and edits of pieces by trainers to journalists. I used this material both to help provide context—to “triangulate” the information provided via interviews, secondary sources, and observation—and to guide future conversations.32 I sometimes went back to people for clarification or background on these documents. On a few occasions I had documents translated (from Norwegian or Hungarian into English), but most of the original documents were in English or Romani (which I would translate myself). I read the documents and transcripts and noted emerging themes, which I put into shorthand as “codes.” Some of these themes—such as “objectivity” or “journalist as agent for social change”—were clear to me going into the research and helped guide the questions I asked. 32 Like Stake (2006), I view “triangulating” not as a way to provide “proof,” but rather as a means of “gaining assurance” for a pattern that appears to emerging (p. 36). 76 As discussed earlier in this chapter, per Stake’s (2006) suggestion, I coded all the transcripts and documents for each case separately. Since I conducted my fieldwork in Sápmi first, I began by coding the Saami transcripts and primary source documents. I then coded Romani data in which new themes emerged. I coded those themes and then returned to the Saami transcripts with those codes. It was an iterative process that involved creating new codes, merging codes, and at times getting rid of codes altogether. I was looking for themes and patterns, including patterns of difference. Some themes—such as “media outlet” or “economic sustainability”—emerged from the transcripts. Some were particular to each case (i.e., “Alta” for Saami or “EU” for Roma) and did not “cross code.” After coding all the interviews individually as “Saami” and “Roma,” I then compared the patterns between the two conglomerated cases. I noted when there was cross-over in the codes, for example “the journalistic ideal” in reference to both what good journalism should look like as well as its relationship to deliberative democracy. There were also many similarities in how “goal and quality” were discussed. Although these similarities were informative, I paid special attention to when a similar term had radically different meanings such as “audience” or “credibility.” Ideas behind journalistic skills and strategies were nearly identical, as was the means of teaching journalism through practical engagement. I focused in on the tensions that arose during the interviews to note similarities and differences. One example is how the economic sustainability of media outlets for Saami meant a reliance on the state; this was a tension noted by many interviewees. On the other hand, the lack of economic sustainability for Romani media meant that consistency of projects and journalistic quality was often a concern. One interesting thing to note is that although “racism” was a big part of Romani interviews, it was nearly absent when interviewing Saami journalists. What was present, however, was the 77 belief that Saami journalists were not given the same journalistic respect as their non-Saami counterparts because of an assumption that they were unable to be journalistically objective when reporting on their own community. To be clear, an overtly political lens colors my approach, which is why I refer to my work as critical. Jorgensen and Phillips (2002) explain this well: “The aim of critical discourse analysis is to explore the links between language and social practice. The focus is the role of discursive practices in the maintenance of the social order and in social change” (pp. 69–70, my emphasis). Although I did not specifically engage in critical discourse analysis as a methodology, the theoretical underpinnings of both reflecting and changing power dynamics through story selection and presentation is crucial in both the research design and process of this project. The crux of my research question rests on assuming actor agency—in this case, that of journalists—as it “both reflects and actively contributes to social and cultural change” (p. 78). 78 Chapter 4 — “A (Romani) Journalist is (Just) a Journalist!”: Roma, the State, and Europe—Crafting Inclusion and Citizenship In 2003, I was invited to Ohrid, Macedonia to observe a meeting of Romani media makers and outlets from throughout Central and Eastern Europe. For three days, more than 30 people, some veteran and some newly minted journalists—nearly all Roma, enjoyed food, cigarettes, and each other’s company. Discussion on file sharing, video editing, and trans-border Romani news agencies was lively. Hopes and plans were high. The meeting was jointly organized by Medienhilfe, an NGO based in Switzerland under the direction of Nena Skopljanac (originally from Bosnia although now based in Switzerland), and the Open Society Foundations (OSF) Network Media Program. The goal was to bring all the Romani media makers together in one space so that, by the end of the weekend, a formal “Romani Media Network” would exist. Over a decade later, although there is plenty of information regarding Roma available in various online and traditional media outlets, there is still no formal Romani media network. It is unclear whether Medienhilfe as an organization is still operational. And, perhaps more importantly, it would be hard today to fill the room with 30 people working specifically on Romani media. Put simply, in those 10 years the entire notion of what constitutes “Romani media” has radically changed. This chapter examines this shift in Romani media from media focused on serving Romani populations with news, entertainment and analysis to media targeting non-Romani populations and institutions in an attempt to alter their perceptions of Roma and include them in the concept of citizenry. I demonstrate how this approach to media affects, and is affected by, the changing approaches to transnational Romani advocacy. Specifically, I examine how the “Europeanization” of Romani issues by donors/foundations, state governments, and the 79 European Union has shifted the conversation from speaking to and with Roma to convincing the state and the non-Roma population that Roma are citizens too. Put simply, “transnational advocacy” has shifted from Roma who live over many states in Europe to targeting “Europeans” (presumably non-Roma) themselves as audiences. This in turn privileges a more traditional idea of journalistic objectivity and the role of the journalist, and serves to strengthen the ideal of an ethnically neutral media which can often overlook real power imbalances, and systemic human rights violations, in larger society. This change in approach is reflected in the international-donor supported training of journalists and affects the understanding and support of “good journalism” as well as its larger place in socio-political change. Structure of the Chapter The chapter begins by providing background on Roma, the largest transnational group in Europe. I then discuss how the politics and policy surrounding Roma are intimately connected to the politics and policy surrounding an attempt, by a number of actors, to build a more unified Europe (the European project), noting significant limitations in this approach. Most importantly, as Roma are citizens of various states; they influence and are influenced by their particular localities. Speaking of “the Roma” as one group can provide an excuse for states to abdicate their responsibility (OSI, 2011; Plaut, 2013; Sobotka & Vermeersch, 2012). In addition, the specific roles donors have played in Central and Eastern Europe have allowed both innovative and “thin” approaches to political advocacy to develop. I specifically examine the OSF’s approach to democracy and the role of media in creating and maintaining this version of democracy. I move on to map the “geography” of journalism in the region, specifically the well-defined but limiting concept of minority media in the region. After illustrating the legal and political frames of 80 minority media, I demonstrate why that concept, although relevant, is inadequate when addressing Roma and Romani media. I highlight that Roma are not only Europe’s largest minority, but also Europe’s largest transnational population; there is no one “homeland” state that claims to guard their interest. The lack of “an external homeland” (Brubaker, 1996) to monitor and safeguard their rights has a particular effect on how media about and/or for Roma should, and should not, be understood and supported. The next section discusses the connections between the liberal-democracy-building goals of the OSF and how they affect the production and content of Romani media. I note that the approach donors, program developers, and trainers have adopted is not necessarily attentive to the local particularities of Roma nor are these donors, program developers and trainers reflecting on how their agenda affects the position, and positionality, of Romani journalists. This in turn affects approaches to story content and framing as well as the training programs themselves. The last third of the chapter addresses these changes and tensions by detailing three OSF-supported Romani journalism-training models. The programs, which were in operation from 1998 to 2013, were all run by non-Roma and primarily catered to a non-Romani audience, though some had Romani trainers and lecturers. I argue that the change in the focus of these programs demonstrate a turn away from Romani-specific media to a strategy of intervening within the dominant discourse and demanding equal citizenship and recognition within the state. These three programs reveal different ways of thinking about the role of journalism and journalists, particularly as they relate to larger issues of social-political change. These different ways of thinking shape how “news judgment,” “professional standards,” and “journalistic skills” are taught and honed within a variety of programs that specifically address Romani issues while 81 spanning many countries.33 They can also be seen in the demographic makeup of the trainees and trainers as well as the targeted audience. Put simply, my research with Romani (and, as described in the next chapter, Saami) journalists demonstrates that, although the goals of journalism and the journalistic product change as the political and economic contexts change, the core professional skills of journalism as a profession remain the same and in fact are closely guarded (see also Waisbord, 2013). I end the chapter by discussing how Romani journalism and Romani journalists are shaped by donors, program coordinators, and journalists themselves, and the implications this has for imagining and enacting socio-political change within, between and across state borders The Who, What, Where, When, and How of Roma in Europe The Romani population of Europe, conservatively estimated at 10 to 12 million (Council of Europe, 2010), overwhelmingly lives in “third world” conditions (UNDP, 2003, 2011). Many Roma face systemic and ongoing human rights violations in terms of employment, health, education and housing, as well as a real fear of physical violence. In addition, pogroms, so often relegated to the history books, are very real for some contemporary Roma. In fact, many have argued that economic difficulties such as high unemployment and a greater income gap brought about by Central/Eastern European states’ accession to the European Union have increased racism against Roma in both Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe (Council of Europe, 2010; Engelhart, 2013; Silverman, 2012; Thelen, 2005; UNDP, 2011, UNDP, 2003). Definitions of who is Roma and what constitutes “legitimate Romani identity” are both 33 Nearly all the trainers and program coordinators/directors used the terms “professional standards” and “journalistic skills.” Nedim Dervišbegović, a veteran reporter and journalism trainer, specifically used “news judgment” to encompass much of the experience and skill that become inculcated in journalists as they develop within the profession (05242013). I find this term useful and use it throughout my work. 82 varied and politically charged.34 The definition of “a real Rom” appears to fall loosely into three categories: someone who speaks Romani, someone who identifies as Romani, or someone who is identified as Romani (Plaut, 2010, 2013). Due to the misuse of census data by the Nazi regime to commit genocide, many countries in Central and Eastern Europe choose not to collect demographic data, and many Roma strategically choose to hide their identity (V. Friedman, 1999a, 2001). The percentage of Romani speakers varies widely by country. Some countries have few to no Romani speakers (Hungary, Spain), and in others more than 80% of Roma speak Romani (Macedonia, Slovakia). According to those interviewed and my own observations, Romani media are produced in both Romani and the state language and are most often a mixture of both (Lange, 2006; Plaut, 2010). Figure 4.1 Estimated Romani population in Europe (Council of Europe). 34 For important contributions to this debate, see Petrova (2004). Petrova is the former Executive Director of the European Roma Rights Center. For an in-depth look at the heated debated surrounding Roma and statistics, see Project on Ethnic Relations (2000). 83 Roma are spread throughout every country in Europe, with about eight million residing in former socialist countries, including the former Yugoslavia. The lack of an “external homeland” as a watchdog state is key because it runs counter to the way minority rights have traditionally been understood and protected, in law, practice, and politics in Europe. Unlike ethnic Hungarians or Albanians or Serbs or Germans who reside in other countries, Roma do not have a country safeguarding their interests. Some scholars and activists have worried that when “Roma” are framed as a people that exist everywhere, in turn they belong nowhere. Vermeersch (2012) writes, “They (Roma) are thus portrayed as a separate nation without a state. By promoting this particular identity frame, however, the Council of Europe unintentionally supports the nationalisms that have pushed the Roma out of the other national communities in Europe” (p. 10). This desire to “push them out” and ensure “they” know they do not belong often results in daily practices of segregation in schooling, housing, and recreation. The relegation of Roma to the margins—physically and in policy—in turn strengthens the majority population’s identity (Fidyk, 2013). Roma are literally marginalized; they are simply not considered important enough to be a part of the conversation or the society’s imaginary (Plaut, 2012b). This segregation is also evident in the mainstream media’s coverage of Romani issues; although both Roma and Romani issues are at times derided, they are often simply absent. This may also explain the tension surrounding Romani-specific media and media programs. Although traditional understandings of minority rights recognize the need to have ethnic and linguistically specific media to serve the population’s specific needs, some have expressed concerns that doing so exacerbates Romani cultural segregation. This concern has been actively refuted, however, by those involved in evaluating such media programs, who point to the fact that having a strong 84 Romani cultural identity can only help in the larger socio-cultural dynamics within countries, and in Europe as a whole (Walter, 2010). The State, Roma, and the Emerging Project of Democracy: A Brief Overview As can be seen in the 2014 European Union elections, the concept of “Europe” is struggling to become more present in policy and politics, and it has become more difficult to see where the Roma might fit into the new discourse and operationalization of Europe and European-ness. Here was a group of people who lived throughout Europe (and had done so since at least the fourteenth century) suffering from systemic discrimination and at times grave human rights abuses, and yet the traditional model of securing minority rights through third-country diplomacy was not going to work. A new model was needed. If the European Roma population “suffers from similar problems of exclusion and marginalization wherever they are” (Vermeersch, 2012, pp. 9–10), then who is to advocate for the Roma? If the very states in which they have citizenship either violate their rights directly or, at minimum, fail to protect them, from whom can they seek protection? How will a state advocate for citizens whose full citizenship it does not acknowledge (Plaut, 2012b)? What kind of leverage politics, let alone accountability politics, could be exercised here (Keck & Sikkink, 1998, pp. 16–25)? How can advocates make the people and institutions with power care about a people whom they did not always recognize as people, let alone as citizens? Perhaps unique to the Romani context, non-state actors—specifically donor organizations, international organizations, and NGOs—have stepped into the role of external homeland with varied levels of consistency and success. It is not an overstatement to say that donor organizations, most notably the OSF, have been most active in promoting Romani rights in a variety of programs. International organizations such as the World Bank and USAID, some 85 Western European aid agencies and embassies, and some UN agencies have also played an advocacy role. As it stands, however, the “lobbyists” are external actors with evolving, shifting, and at times competing priorities: The OSF and third-party countries may indeed have a genuine commitment to advocate for Romani rights, but they have little political stake in the outcome (Curcic & Plaut, 2013; Sobotka & Vermeersch, 2012). Funders can shift their interests and money elsewhere, and world affairs or a change of leadership can have a drastic change on priorities (Lawrence & Dobson, 2013). Many advocates and policy makers assumed the EU would, and should, take the lead on Romani issues. The Copenhagen Criteria (the standards originally drafted in 1993 for all new accession countries seeking entry into the EU) were explicit about a candidate country’s commitment to minimal standards for the treatment of Roma and other ethnic minorities. However, once countries join the EU there is no incentive to ensure compliance (OSI, 2011, p.5; Sobotka & Vermeersch, 2012). Although the EU has become increasingly generous with its funds for Romani issues, it too is inconsistent.35 Given that economics, employment, and the rule of law are primary agenda items for the EU, discourse on Roma has become polarized between two frames: 1) ensuring that the Central and Eastern European countries “deal” with “their” Roma domestically (partially so “Eastern” Roma don’t “migrate” to Western Europe and “become a problem”) and 2) promoting the idea of Roma as a pan-European phenomenon (Barany, 2002; Thelen, 35 It is important to remember that many of the original members do not offer ideal treatment of their own Romani populations (for example, Italy’s ongoing fingerprinting campaign, France’s ongoing liquidation of Romani camps and deportation of students, the UK’s ongoing demolition of camping sites, and the shockingly poor health and living standards of Roma in Greece). Further, the EU is a political body balancing its own internal struggles with the desire to carve out its own identity and agendas as an evolving transnational unit. 86 2005; Vermeersch, 2012). Again, even when intentions are good and noble, Europeanizing the problems of Roma risks Europeanizing the solution. Thus, not only are Roma themselves reified as a homogenous group (often devoid of agency), but realities of local and national context are stripped away, including their differing relations with the state and the non-Romani populations in which they reside. This de-contextualization in the name of Europeanization may “leave us with the impression that the situation of the Roma is very similar across Europe and that formula-like solutions can be implemented” (Vermeersch, 2012, p. 15). As Vermeersch cautions, “even if problems seem similar, causes may vary a lot from place to place and each community might possess different resources and dynamics to deal with these problems” (p. 15). So, although no government in Europe is particularly good to its Romani citizens, the mistreatment is by no means the same in every country. “Roma” as a reified ethnic group play different political and social roles within the domestic and international politics of different states (Englehart, 2013; E. Friedman, 2002). This can be highly problematic when framing problems and possible solutions within the public sphere—particularly when the “public sphere” itself has become increasingly Europeanized. These particularities can be seen in how Roma are portrayed in media and how they, in turn, seek to portray themselves. Combating Romani “Culture Talk” Operating under the assumption that Roma “are a category of people who suffer from a particular problem, similar across the European cultural space,” the discourse can quickly slip into “a frame that argues that there is something in the category of ‘Roma’ itself which mandates special treatment” because there is something inherently different about Roma as a group of people (Vermeersch, 2012, pp. 10, 14). This becomes especially true in the unfolding project of 87 an expanding Europe, when ideas of what Europe is, and who is European, increase the importance of identity and borders—of who is included and excluded. Salovaara-Moring (2011) found this when interviewing journalists from four new accession countries, noting, “when historical and ideological fault lines start to fade, new values have to be evoked in order to articulate difference” (p. 53). Some of these values may revolve around education or culture. Others can involve bonding over a similar “problem,” such as what to do with these “others” who do not fit into the bounded European identity—be they immigrants or Roma. Quite quickly, well-intended conversations about poverty or education change from what can be done to ensure that all members of our society enjoy equal rights and protection to “what is it about Roma that causes ‘them’ to be so different?” This is what Mahmood Mamdani (2004) calls “Culture Talk.” Culture Talk is the idea that there is something inherent in an “other’s” culture that explains away socio-economic and political inequalities (Mamdani, 2004, Chapter 1). Therefore, things like a lack of running water, the absence of paved roads, or school segregation—which are the responsibility of the state and greater society—are explained away by “their” culture: “They” are not clean, “They” prefer to live with horses, and “They” do not value school or education. As Vermeersch (2012) continues, from there it is a small step to see such marginality and exclusion simply as a symptom of Romani culture and identity and not as a problem of inequality and socio-economic polarization. From deprived co-citizens the Roma are turned into cultural deviants. (p.14) The danger of Culture Talk is not only that it is inaccurate, but also that it strips away any agency that “those people” (in this case Roma) may have in deciding how they want to live; as Mamdani (2004) puts it, “whereas we have culture, culture has them” (p. 24, my emphasis). Such Culture Talk also serves to strengthen the boundaries between “us” and “them” and perpetuates “a narrative that highlights the distance between Roma and other groups of citizens and portrays 88 both Roma and non-Roma as homogenous bounded camps” (Vermeersch, 2012, p. 11). Many have assumed that one reason prejudice against Roma is so high is that interaction between the majority and the Romani population is so low (Moricz, 05212013; Saracini, 05082013; Skopljanac; Struthers, 02202012). Journalism is seen as a means of bridging the gap between Roma and non-Roma people—be they journalists working together on a project or audience members watching a TV piece or documentary. It is partially for this reason that many of the directors of journalism programs as well as Romani journalists choose to focus their attention on making programs that can counter these negative perceptions held by members of the majority society. The question then arises: can Romani media or “Romani content” in mainstream media help to offer another interpretation of political accountability on both state and transnational levels? Can it reclaim or reassert agency? The donors who are developing, administering, funding, and evaluating these programs seem to locate much of the potential agency in the ideals of democracy, and media’s role in democracy. However, this is not always in line with the realities of Romani experiences within, between, and across different states. The Context: History and Geography of Journalism in Central and Eastern Europe36 Although Roma live throughout Europe (as well as in North Africa and the Americas) the majority now reside in Central and Eastern Europe. Central and Eastern Europe is an ethnically and linguistically “messy” region. Such messiness was previously acknowledged and somewhat managed through the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, with legal recognition for the cultural rights of different peoples. When the empires began to disintegrate in the late 19th century, there was an attempt to craft the nation-state: a single home (state) for a single people (nation) 36 This section heading is inspired by Salovaara-Moring’s (2011) “What is Europe? Geographies of Journalism” in Media, Nationalism and European Identities. I use the term “Central and Eastern Europe” to include all former socialist countries in Europe, including those of the former Yugoslavia (sometimes referred to as Southeast Europe). 89 (Brubaker, 1996; Gellner, 1983; Hobsbawm, 1991). However, that is not how people live—either historically or in the present, and ethnic and religious minorities or nations have always been found across state borders. Because the state borders of Europe do not correspond to the linguistic borders of the peoples of Europe, many provisions have been implemented to protect the rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities and to manage potential political strife mobilized in the name of identity (Brubaker, 1996; Friedman, 1999; Gellner, 1983). Whereas in the past, religious institutions were assumed to take care of their followers regardless of where they lived, the codified recognition and protection of national and religious minorities is now presumed to be the state’s responsibility (Brubaker 1996; Gellner 1983; Kymlicka, 1995). This protection is often called “group rights” or “minority rights.”37 One of these rights is to provide nations with news and entertainment in their own language and focused on issues that are relevant to their people. According to customary law, domestic laws and the European Charter on the Rights of Minority and Regional Languages, this is a right that should be actively provided by all states. This right is upheld both by not restricting such media in addition to providing financial and bureaucratic assistance, such as printing subsidies, radio/TV frequencies and/or bandwidth. As noted, the “external homeland” of an ethnic group or nation often actively seeks and encourages such protection (Brubaker, 1996). 37 In Europe, the understanding of a right to minority culture, cultural preservation, and cultural development has been enshrined in European charters such as the Charter on the Rights of Ethnic Minorities and the Charter on the Rights to Minority Languages, and has also served to influence international law in other parts of the world that aspire to a “multicultural” model of citizenry within the nation-state (Donders, 2002; Kymlicka, 1995; Odello, 2012). 90 Minority Media as a Right In the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires, minority media “played a significant role in stimulating nationalist feelings and ultimately in the formation of nation states, thus helping ethnic minorities reinforce their ethno-cultural distinctiveness, socio-political presence and viability in the newly established nations” (Gross, 2006, p. 478, my emphasis). Given the fact that the media is recognized as a public good throughout most of the continent, in Central and Eastern Europe, the political role of the media is seen as a given. Minority media are assumed to be in a different language, one that the majority will most likely not understand, with a mandate to serve the minority community by protecting and preserving “group rights.” This service is often understood as protecting the minority from cultural encroachment by the majority and providing particular information relevant to the community (Downing & Husband, 2005; Graham, 2010; Howely, 2010; Lange, 2006; Saracini, 05072013). The fear of cultural encroachment, and thus the need to protect and develop national and minority cultures, has only increased with the expansion of the European Union (Salovaara-Moring, 2011; Splichal, 2011). Again, in Europe, minority media is often framed as a right. States often set aside separate TV and radio channels for programming in minority languages and provide subsidies for minority press (Donders, 2002; Howely, 2010; Kymlicka, 1995; Waisbord, 2013, Chapter 1). Minority media also often enjoys financial support from the “external homeland” (Brubaker, 1996), for example Hungarian language media in Romania and Slovakia is legally guaranteed by the Romanian and Slovakian state, and financially supported, at least in part, by the Hungarian state. If one recognizes that media are a means of both creating and promoting “productive power”—creating political realities through the framing of problems, actors, perpetrators, and possible solutions and thus engaging in agenda setting— then minority media play an interesting 91 role; they both serve a population with information to help with their agenda setting and protect this population from encroachment by the majority. Thus, the state supports the “public sphere” of the minority within its borders by providing funds and infrastructure for minority media (Downing & Husband, 2005). As Splichal (2011), explains, although the content may address local, national, regional, and global issues, mechanisms are lacking that would enable citizens to act effectively beyond the national frame. The normative requirement of the public sphere to be both a forum for citizens’ deliberation and generation of public opinion, as well as a medium for mobilizing public opinion as a political force makes its necessary that a public sphere and a sovereign power correlate with each other (pp. 34–35). Again, because of the use of the minority population’s language, such media are assumed to target only the minority populations. Why the “National Minority Rights” Model Does Not Work Well for Roma Romani media do not follow the traditional minority media model. With the exception of sporadic funding in Slovenia and Kosovo/a, and minimal but more consistent funding in Macedonia and Slovakia, state governments are not supporting Romani media. Rather, funding is coming from international donors. My research shows that the traditional minority media framework does not work well for Romani media or Romani journalists because Roma do not fit into the traditional “ethnic minority model” of Central and Eastern Europe. A parallel can be seen in the academic and policy discourse of Roma, which has increasingly framed Roma as a transnational European minority, that is, a group that lives throughout Europe and constitutes a minority in every state but—in contrast to other minorities—has no clear national lobby or external homeland to defend its interests. (Vermeersch, 2012, p. 9) So, rather than using media as a form of internal politics, nearly all the Romani journalist trainers and many of the Romani journalists I spoke with saw it as their mission to “educate and inform” 92 the non-Romani audience through their stories with a secondary goal of trying to combat internalized racism within the Romani community. As Ilona Moricz, director of the Center for Independent Journalism in Hungary explained, many Roma entering the journalistic profession see being a journalist as a way of serving their community or changing how the media depicts their community, whereas for those who identify as members of the majority society, the goal is often more personally career driven (03022012). The community focus, rather than individual focus on Romani journalists is also promoted and supported by the journalistic program directors who are financially supported by international donors (OSI 2011, pp. 61–64). The Role of International Funders in Framing Transnational Mobilization After the fall of the Berlin Wall, money, energy, and hope flooded into Central and Eastern Europe. But many governments, including the USA, feared that the overlapping ethnic tapestry of the region could once again be used as a means of dividing people and cause political instability, and that those who found themselves struggling would want to return to the economic and social familiarity of communism (Plaut, 2013). Unfortunately, as the wars of the 1990s showed, these fears were not completely unfounded. The OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the European Union engaged many of these countries on a political level. One method was for Western governments, aid organizations, and donor organizations to provide funding to help grow a “civil society” in these new democracies. Civil society was understood to comprise those aspects of society not directly connected to the government: NGOs, the arts, cultural and religious organizations, youth groups, public intellectuals, and the media. The idea was that a robust civil society could serve as a counterbalance to the top-down party politics and entrenched political system and bring Central 93 and Eastern Europe into the Western European model of democracy and politics.38 Many international funders and policy makers assumed that, given the similarity of repression across the region, different civil society actors from different countries could learn from each other. Sharing successes and challenges would allow these actors to develop a kind of “best practices” and perhaps lead to cross-border mobilization (Khagram, Riker, & Sikkink, 2002; Tarrow, 2006). Based on classic liberal democratic theory, the expectation was that after a while, this way of doing politics—the domestic constituency setting the agenda and political leaders servicing the sometimes noisy and messy constituency—would become the political norm (Moravscik, 2000). Further, accountability to both the international community and the more empowered domestic constituency would become entrenched in governmental policy. Therefore, governments would learn to be accountable to their citizenry and the citizenry would learn how to hold their governments accountable. For those involved in democracy-building, journalism and journalists are deemed a key component of an open society (Jankovic, 05022012). The presence or absence of Roma in political and media representation is thus telling about the societies of which they are a part. Sobotka and Vermeersch (2012) note a shift in the European-level rhetoric regarding Roma from that of “human rights” to that of “inclusion.” Much of this can be traced to the framing, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of the Decade of Roma Inclusion. 38 Salovaara-Moring’s (2011) piece offers very interesting insight into how journalists from four accession countries understood the role the European Union, as an institution, played in “forcing accession countries at the European level to conform to their model of democracy.” Such “forcing” took place not only through inclusion in or exclusion from the EU itself but also—and perhaps even more importantly—through access to funds and markets. “Europe as an institution set a benchmark for those who wanted to be inside,” and there was no questioning the fact that the Western European model of democracy and politics was the goal for new accession countries (p. 47). 94 The Role of the Decade of Roma Inclusion and Its Impact on Romani Media By the turn of the twenty-first century, it was evident there were too many short-term “Roma projects” and not enough coordination in terms of how they were actually helping Roma on the ground (Pusca, 2012; Thelen, 2005). Many people, including Roma hired as the translators or coordinators of the projects, joked that a “Roma-industry” was emerging (Plaut, 2013). As the Central and Eastern European countries with large Romani populations were getting ready to join the European Union, it became evident that, unless systemic problems of economic and social exclusion were addressed, Roma were going to migrate to the more affluent Western Europe. Many of the governments of Western and Northern Europe saw this as problematic. Thus began a more concerted donor effort at the European level to bring governments of countries with large Romani populations together to discuss the role of the state in ensuring Roma “inclusion” in the socio-economic fabric of their countries. In the Summer of 2003, the Council of Europe Development Bank, the European Commission, the Open Society Institute (OSI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank, as well as the governments of Finland, Hungary, and Sweden sponsored the conference “Roma in an Expanding Europe: Challenges for the Future.” In attendance were government representatives from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, (the then-State Union of) Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovakia (E. Friedman, 2014). It is worth noting the unique situation of having NGOs, IGOs, and state governments working together in order to achieve change at both national and transnational levels (OSI, 2011, pp. 8–9). It was at this meeting that the 2005–2015 Decade of Roma Inclusion (“The Decade”) was announced. The Decade is an initiative that aims to coordinate state Roma initiatives and 95 attention that had previously been handled by a variety of overlapping NGO projects.39 Four priorities of inclusion were established: education, employment, housing, and health care, all of which, according to international and domestic law, are traditionally understood as responsibilities of the state. There were also two cross-cutting themes: gender mainstreaming and discrimination. While the focus and structure of the Decade was still being negotiated, there was an effort to include media and discrimination as formal foci. After much discussion, neither was included. As Gordana Jankovic explained, “The Decade was a lost opportunity for strengthening further the Romani media—but there were other very important issues on the agenda and the Decade could not address everything” (05022012). Many have identified this “lost opportunity” as the beginning of a shift in the goals and priorities of Romani media. Rather than serving the interests and needs of Romani populations, Romani media have become a method to reach state and European audiences (Jovanović; Moricz 03022012, 05202013; Skopljanac). This has occurred in tandem with the larger policy shift from “addressing” Romani issues within a human rights frame (a context-specific denouncement of the violation, strategy, and mobilization) to “including” Roma within the state and the larger European project (Sobotka & Vermeersch, 2012; Petrovski). Indeed, the expenditure sheets of the OSF’s Network Media Program confirm that, with three exceptions, the OSF ceased supporting Romani-specific media outlets after 2006.40 39 The Decade of Roma Inclusion (2005–2015) is a joint initiative established by the World Bank and the Open Society Foundations. “Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, (the then-State Union of) Serbia and Montenegro and Slovakia were all original members. Albania joined the Decade in 2008, with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Spain joining in 2009. Slovenia, the US, and Norway joined the Decade as observers in 2009, 2012, and 2013, respectively” (E. Friedman, 2014). Member countries are obligated to draft national action plans intended to become part of their national legislation and initiatives. Although the Decade does not have an external budget (member states pool funds), the World Bank and the OSF provide a corresponding Roma Education Fund that allocates funds specifically for Romani education initiatives. 40 In 2008, a Romani radio station in Kosovo/a received “institutional support,” and in 2011, the Network Media Program and the Roma Initiatives Program gave some small emergency grants to resuscitate Radio C and the Roma Press Center in Hungary. 96 My findings indicate that this shift in the goals for Romani media is reflective of changing, and strategic, approaches to Romani people and issues at state, regional, and European levels. This can be seen in the EU mandating multi-state cooperation for nearly all of their Romani journalism projects. Nearly all Romani journalism is dependent on funding from donors whose goal is to bring about socio-political change. In fact, a 2006 report commissioned by the OSF Network Media Program and conducted by former journalist and external media evaluator Yasha Lange was both instrumental and symptomatic. It was symptomatic in the sense that the OSF felt a need to re-evaluate what constituted “successful” Romani media programs and content in the context of the Decade of Roma Inclusion. It was instrumental in that its findings justified the shift in the OSF’s understanding and financial support of Romani media initiatives. Thus, the change in journalism is reflected in the changes in politics and vice versa— once again, as de Jong et al. (2005) noted, “politics is communication.” “The Stigma of Donor Dependence”41 According to Marie Struthers, a senior program manager for the Network Media Program and the person in charge of OSF funding for Romani media, one needs to be “humble” in both expectations and assessment of Romani media (02292012). As she wrote in 2008, Romani media were born into a post–Berlin Wall development environment marked by large-scale donor intervention and a corresponding over-blossoming of new outlets in the region. Competition for resources and audiences amongst all media outlets was at a premium, and the Roma media outlets had and continue to have, arguably, the least resources of all (Struthers, 2008, p. 59). Donors, grantees, and external assessors all agree that the funding provided to Romani media and media programs have been “insufficient or inefficient” (Lange, 2006; Struthers, 2008, p. 59; 41 I thank Tihomir Loza for putting such a complicated idea into such eloquent language. 97 Gross & Spaskovska, 2011). Both Struthers and Jankovic were uncomfortable with some of the changes they oversaw in the Network Media Program for Romani media, noting that long-term financial commitment to journalism education and institutional support to outlets is necessary but has not been implemented (Jankovic, 06202012; Struthers, 02292012; Struthers, 2008, p. 63). For example, Struthers (2008) wrote, “Monies from a handful of donors have been almost exclusively directed to programming, with significantly less for operation costs and infrastructure. Funds for capacity building have been sporadic” (p. 59). Whereas many other minority media are supported at least in part through public funds, Romani media are surviving on project-based funding, which severely affects the range and quality of the content they can deliver and expectations for the future. The OSF wants to increase the availability of “good-quality Romani content,” but this requires audiences to want to consume such content (Lange, 2006; Plaut, 2010; Struthers, 02292012). Audiences turn to news outlets they trust. According to Struthers, “trustworthiness” is carefully cultivated and becomes part of the media outlet’s “brand”—a brand of credible, reputable information that allows the audience to trust it as a reliable news source (02292012). In order to be consistent, the outlet must have sufficient and reliable reporters, editors, equipment, transmission, and so on, which requires consistent income—something Romani media outlets (with two possible exceptions) have never had.42 One effect of this project-based donor dependence is that Romani journalists must wear many hats. Those working at Romani media outlets have to be journalists, marketing managers, 42 As noted by Lange (2006), Struthers (02202012), Rethy, and Jovanović, both Radio C and the Roma Press Center began with very generous (“some would say lavish”) support from the OSF, providing them with a good foundation and large and reasonably compensated staffs (Lange, 2006, p. 23). When the OSF switched from institutional to programmatic support, thus cutting the core operational funding for all Romani media, neither outlet could compete, and eventually both of them folded. 98 and technicians, and moreover must become experts at looking for grants and applying for funds (Rethy; Jovanović). Many people to whom I spoke referred to the process as “begging,” specifically from the OSF. Željko Jovanović, the current director of the OSF’s Romani Initiatives Program, jokingly reflected on his experience as a former director of a Romani radio station in Serbia that depended on OSF funds: “We became OSF junkies.” In other words, when the donors go, the money goes, and the media outlet itself goes into withdrawal and folds. “Why Do You Eat Today if You are Going to be Hungry Tomorrow?”— The Elusive Goal of “Sustainability” Everyone I interviewed recognized that the current donor model is not sustainable and certainly not desirable, lamenting: “It is the way it is” (Dekic; Druker, 04172013; Loza, 04162012).43 Professional journalists expressed the particular concern that media were run in an “NGO culture” (Dekic; Dervišbegović, 05232013), noting the quality and depth of the journalism were often directly connected to the amount of funds available at the time (Cox, 12172012). When I asked people if they felt frustrated, they almost sighed with resignation. As Slobodanka (“Boba”) Dekic, Project Coordinator for Media Centar Sarajevo, explained: It’s not frustration; it’s reality. It is something that happened to most of these kinds of media in the region. Because everything was really project driven, nothing came from inside. So in the beginning you have to deal with what will happen once the funds stop. This lack of sustainability is obviously disheartening for all NGO projects, but for media, 43 Loza explained there is an undeserved “stigma” to donor-supported media. This journalism, often referred to as “public service journalism” or “non-profit journalism” is non-partisan and non-commercial and addresses issues pertinent to civil society, ethnic minorities, and social-political trends, often using feature writing and in-depth investigative reporting. What Loza and others note is that such stigma does not extend to the publically supported BBC or other, well-respected, public media (personal communication, December 28, 2013). People involved in Romani media repeatedly wondered how funders and audiences expected them to produce good-quality journalism without consistent funds allotted through public means (all interviews with Cox and Moricz; Jankovic; Skopljanac). 99 which are built and survive on reputation, it is particularly damaging. How does one build credibility based on “trust” and the “brand” (Struthers, 02292012) as a media outlet that will most likely disappear in a year or two? The response from many of the directors of journalism programs and media centers was that it was impossible, but, for the sake of the larger society, they needed to try. This is captured in the following excerpt from my interview with Boba Dekic: BD: …the funders and international organizations somehow expect to achieve sustainability, which is really ridiculous because this kind of content will never achieve sustainability. SP: So then why do you keep doing it? BD: Still working with journalism? SP: Still working with journalism…still working with journalists… BD: Why not? I mean, it’s like asking why you eat today if you are going to be hungry tomorrow? Everyone I interviewed, including the funders, believed that media focusing on human rights, minority issues, and Romani issues were never going to be profitable in the marketplace, but at the same time were an essential part of a healthy, democratic, society. Most believed that Romani media should be supported by public funds, but, if they were not, that donors and funders needed to step in without stigma and strangling regulations (Jovanović; Loza, personal communication, December 28, 2013; Moricz). According to Ilona Moricz, the director of the Center for Independent Journalism and a former international journalist, mainstream journalists often avoid covering certain issues, “especially in difficult political times,” which must be “corrected” by what she and others refer to as “non-profit journalism.” Moricz added that she believes non-profit journalism “will never be sustainable. Community media or minority media will never be sustainable. It is a myth…but it serves the interest of the public and therefore must exist” 100 (05212013). Everyone I interviewed agreed that this kind of media needs to be in the public sphere as a kind of “public service” to all of society. As Gordana Jankovic explained, on the donor side it is incredibly difficult. While everyone expresses commitments to the rights, there is not much money on the table. A decade in 10 countries is not a sufficient effort….Sustainability means to support the process that lasts for a sufficiently long period of time. During the longer period of engagement, of course, you would adjust strategy, but you need to have the ability to keep supporting (06202012). Both donors and journalists believe that in order to have a healthy, democratic society, a vibrant media must address, reflect, and formulate issues important to the growth of the society. This media needs to include, or perhaps must especially include, those who are often marginalized. Following Harding’s (1993) understanding of “strong objectivity,” by beginning to investigate a story from the perspective of the marginalized, one can provide more accurate coverage of the power dynamics within the larger society. The (Assumed) Role of “Healthy Media” in Ensuring and Maintaining Democracy “All persons have the right to equality and civic participation…and media plays a very critical role in representation of communities that can either have a negative or positive aspect on their perception of themselves and therefore on their capacity to actively conduct civic participation and act in the public interest.” – Marie Struthers, February 20, 2012 As noted above, upon the fall of the Berlin Wall, a handful of well-meaning Western governments and foundations poured millions of dollars into building up media institutions in Central and Eastern Europe. The goal was to “introduce Western journalism standards to emerging democracies in the region” (Walter, 2010, p. 29). They did so because of the strong normative belief that democracies need to have a non-state-controlled (often referred to as “healthy and vibrant”) media in order to develop, survive, and thrive. Journalism’s role is not simply to inform the community about what those in power are doing, but also to inform those 101 who have institutional power about what should be done and to hold them accountable. As Richard Beckman, a visual media maker and scholar and the lead trainer and partner for two Romani-specific projects, explained: Journalism can be a very strong tool for social change, but you need to empower people to tell the stories and not just assume change is going to happen. If there are traditions to celebrate, things to unearth…then these stories get to the people in power, the people who can make change, and that is a good thing. They are informed now. And then change can potentially happen. (01072013) It is evident that the underlying logic for many of the Romani journalism programs is that, when informed, citizens can maintain watch over their governments. The role of the citizen is to be informed; the journalist’s role is to do the informing. But as I discussed in Chapter 2, North American journalists—who make up a good portion of the lead trainers—are wary of being seen as directly engaging in socio-political mobilization. This is seen as crossing a line outside of the professional boundaries of journalism. Journalists I interviewed were very careful to distinguish between informing about issues, concerns, and problems so that citizens could advocate for change and advocating for specific change. This distinction is extremely important, as it enables journalists to maintain their credibility as journalists. Boba Dekic illustrated this clearly, stating, “Journalists are not activists,” but also noted that they could, and should, “play a role in informing the public as well as those in power about what is, or is not, going on.” The hope is that, armed with such information, the public will initiate steps to create change—the information itself becomes the currency for political change (Brysk, 2013b; Keck & Sikkink, 1998). When pressed, journalists seem to do a delicate dance of providing accurate and critical information without wanting to be to be seen as the framers of the issues themselves—as this could cross into advocacy. Being seen as an advocate would thus decrease a journalist’s credibility and efficacy as a journalist. In other words, journalists can help bring issues to the 102 forefront or even move things up the ladder of media importance, but don’t want to be seen as actually writing the agenda. However, drawing a clear distinction between informing a citizenry and advocacy was not always as a priority for the donors. The OSF’s Network Media Program began giving financial support to media outlets in the 1980s, even before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Gordana Jankovic founded the program and ran it until she stepped down in December 2013. When I asked her specifically how Romani journalism helped serve the larger goals of the OSF, she was a bit puzzled by the question. I had to ask it a few times: Well, OSF sees itself as building a vibrant and tolerant society to empower and promote democracy for all communities in all spaces. The Romani community is one of the largest communities in Europe. You can’t marginalize a large community in these societies and then claim that you have an open society. (05022012) Jankovic’s assessment of the connection between a “vibrant and tolerant society” that “empower[s] and promotes democracy” and journalism is based on assumptions about the role of the media. This is not a state-bounded concept. In her view, the media’s role goes beyond strictly reporting; rather, media should be informing and educating the public about certain issues, not just reflecting society but formulating the issues that are, or should be, of concern within society (Barnett & Duvall, 2005; Fairclough, 1992, 1995; Hallin, 1994). As Carragee and Roefs (2004) remind us, media help frame issues of concern, and this framing is possible because of access and use of power. My interview with Jankovic continued: GJ: Media helps formulate the issues; it helps to contextualize the issues for both minority and majority communities and helps build a debate. It helps in building democracies. SP: That is a very specific role for media—how does this work with the larger ideas and guiding principles of objectivity, unbiased, credibility…? GJ: Independent journalism has all those characteristics. Those don’t go away. 103 There is a need for the additional function—a need to have a mission for the society you serve. Media are reflecting political discussion of the country and of particular groups, for example, ethnic groups, but in doing so journalism can still maintain independence and non-partisan approaches (05022012). It is interesting to note that this process of reflecting and formulating issues for majority and minority societies is still done within the framework of good, independent (meaning in this case non-partisan) journalism. This is clear in Jankovic’s words: “Independent journalism has all those characteristics. Those don’t go away.” As will be seen throughout this chapter, “good journalism” is understood as journalism that meets “Western professional standards”—specifically, diversity of sources, credibility, fact checking, and transparency—within the Anglo-American tradition (Struthers, 02292012). It is this standard that shapes the goals and content of training programs focused on reproducing “good-quality Romani content.” Roma as the Canary in the Coalmine As former Czech president and playwright Vaclav Havel famously said in 1993, the treatment of Roma becomes the “litmus test” for the health of a free society (as cited in Kamm, 1993). In a similar spirit, I repeatedly heard from journalists that the treatment of Roma can be understood as the “canary in the coalmine” in terms of how other citizens in Europe can, or will, be (mis)treated in the future (Moricz, 05212013; Saracini, 05082013; field notes, May 22, 2013). As can be seen in my interview with Petrit Saracini, deputy director of the Macedonian Institute for the Media, journalism that works for the common good of a society must start by addressing the concerns of the most marginalized: SP: Why do we need good [Romani] journalists? PS: Because nobody is writing about Romani issues. Nobody is writing about real 104 Roma issues. About the real pain of those people. SP: And why should it be written about? PS: Because it is really bad. SP: So what? There are many things that are really bad, why should it be written about? PS: (laughter) Why should it be written about… SP: Why? What good is writing about it? PS: Because when a society which doesn’t take care of those in need, those that are the weakest, those that cannot survive, then the society is condemned to failure. Because [today] you are not writing about Roma, [and] tomorrow you are not writing about Albanians. And the day after tomorrow you won’t be writing about those whose left ear is pierced or whatever....And as the bishop from Germany said, first they came for the communists and I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a communist, next they came for the Jews and I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for me there was no one to stand for me. That is why. Because if you do not stand for the Roma today, when the poverty knocks on your door, who is going to write for you? Saracini’s perspective is illustrative in many ways: Not only does he see the treatment of Roma as somewhat symptomatic, if not prescient, for the treatment of all people in society (harking back to the Holocaust), but he is also clear that solidarity is needed within society. From Saracini’s perspective, such solidarity can be achieved by eliciting empathy through what Cox referred to as “fact-based story telling” (12172012). According to Saracini, this empathy can be taught—and, as Kelly (2011) has previously argued, conditions for its facilitation can be constructed by recognizing journalism as a form of public pedagogy. In other words, according to Saracini’s analysis, writing about the “real pain of those people” makes such knowledge “real” for the larger society, which can potentially propel people to make change. When asked about journalism’s role in this process (“What does the writing do?”), Saracini continued, “It makes the people aware. It incites compassion in the society….And the common interest in any society is 105 that it prospers and survives and all people in it are offered the same opportunity to progress.”44 It is clear that, like Fairclough (1992) and Barnett and Duvall (2005), Saracini is highlighting the relationship between the way people are represented in media and their treatment within the society. At the same time, Saracini still locates the change within a state-bounded society. He is not speaking about a transnational approach to change—or relocating power dynamics. Rather, his identification of the problem and the solution is located within the heterogeneous society of one country, in this case, Macedonia. Many of the other journalists and coordinators of journalism trainings who were originally from Europe spoke of the treatment of Roma as “an embarrassment” to Europe and to the idea of Europe as a union of democracies. Tihomir Loza, a journalist and journalism trainer who has lived and worked in both the Balkans and the UK, was clear when he referred to the treatment of Roma as one of—if not the—greatest current human rights abuses in Europe (06052013). All those involved in covering Romani issues—journalists, trainers, coordinators, and funders—assumed that notions of liberal democracy could be put in motion by using journalism to inform and educate; that calling attention to Romani issues through media has the potential to galvanize the citizenry to pressure their societies and governments into action (Dekic; Jordan, 12192012; Moricz, 03022013, 05212013). 45 In short, donors, trainers, and journalists alike see stories about how Roma are treated and 44 Although it carries beyond the scope of this dissertation, the ethical and political distinctions between compassion, empathy, and solidarity merit further analysis. 45 Saracini mentioned an example involving Romani journalism students who were denied service at a coffee bar in Skopje (the capital of Macedonia) in 2007. With the support of the Macedonian Institute of the Media (MIM), they wrote to Trajko Slaveski, the Minister of Finance at the time. The Minister went to the coffee bar the next day, with the same students, and all were served without incident. According to Saracini and Petrovski, the Minister then spoke with the press, stating, “such behavior is intolerable [and] discriminating. People, citizens of Macedonia [as well as] anyone who visits this country should be able to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee!” Saracini continued, “The next day, three major newspapers ran the story, ‘Minister Slaveski was drinking coffee in the same coffee bar where they were refused the day before!’” (05082013). 106 mistreated, as well as empowering stories about Roma—what Struthers refers to as “good-quality Romani content”, as strengthening the democratic project. This approach to “bridging” Romani and non-Romani society is assumed to help fold Roma into the citizenry of dominant society. The goal for donors and journalism trainers appears to be erasing difference: All are to be equal citizens within the state. In this way the state and the dominant culture within the state are still held as the norm, and media covering Roma become a kind of intervention. This strategy of intervention, rather than supporting distinct Romani media outlets, has become the priority. “Roma Should be Seen as Full Citizens; And Media is The Medium [To Do This]” The goal of the Roma Mainstream Media Internship Program (RMMIP), which ran from 1998 to 2010, was to create a “strong cadre of journalists of Romani origin” to work within mainstream media (Struthers, 02292012; Moricz, 03022012, 05212013). This was based on the belief that having more Roma present in the newsroom and newsroom meetings would improve coverage of Romani issues in the media—providing both more and different stories about Roma. In addition, many of the program coordinators and funders assumed that the Romani community’s sense of worth and agency (often referred to as “self-esteem”) would increase when Roma literally saw themselves in print and onscreen (Dragomir; Saracini, 03072013). It is important to have well-trained Romani journalists who can work as peers with other journalists to produce what Struthers called “good-quality Romani content.” All those interviewed made this point repeatedly, although they cautioned that the mere presence of Roma in the newsroom is not enough to counteract long-standing structural and social discrimination (Struthers, 02292012). Struthers notes that “Romani content” is content about and for Roma issues, noting that media, plays a very critical role in representation of communities that can either have a 107 negative or positive aspect on their perception of themselves and therefore on their capacity to actively conduct civic participation and act in the public interest (02202012). Although never clearly articulated, it appears that the OSF defines Romani journalists as journalists of Romani origin who create good-quality media content that may or may not be specifically about Romani people or issues particular to Romani culture or society. However, this definition differs from what the funders actively supported. Many Romani journalism programs directly encouraged non-Roma journalists to participate and, according to organizers, there was never a lack of non-Romani interest. In addition, as discussed in more detail below, almost all of the stories addressed Romani specific topics. But there were some tensions between the larger socio-political goals of the OSF and the journalistic goals of the trainers and program coordinators. As of 2012, all of the programs funded by the OSF—with the exception of those specifically geared to bringing more Roma into the journalism profession—were for the production of Romani-specific stories. Many of those involved in running the longstanding programs, including Ilona Moricz and Jeremy Druker, were concerned that such restrictions could limit the professional freedom of Romani journalists (Druker, 04232012; Moricz, 05212013). There is an interesting tension between desperately wanting to provide content that counterbalances the negative portrayal of Roma (OSI, 2011, pp. 61–65) and not wanting to “force” Romani journalists only to produce Romani-specific content. In addition, although there is an increasing interest by funders in creating regional media programs and partnerships (three or more countries), many of the Romani journalists and journalism trainers point to the need to intervene in the increasingly racist and incendiary local media. As of now funding earmarked for local Romani media content is nearly non-existent.46 46 I reviewed two programs geared at a more local level: the Young Roma Journalist Program (run by CIJ), which specifically aimed to increase coverage of Roma and EU issues in Hungary, including local press, and a small 108 Towards a Progression of Criticality? “It’s not just a sympathetic audience that may be reading and consuming this, but it may be people who are looking to cherry pick evidence to make their arguments….I do remember that this was something that was very interesting, speaking with the Roma journalists…especially if they were known by their sources…then yes, you are inside the community. And so you have a special obligation or duty perhaps to do no harm. Like a Hippocratic Oath of journalism: Do no further harm.” – Michael Jordan, international reporter and journalism instructor Much to my surprise, I found that the majority of those involved in media training and development in Central and Eastern Europe—including the more experienced journalists—believed (or at least hoped) that good journalism can change what happens within the world. Michael Jordan, who has been an international print reporter for nearly 20 years, half-jokingly referred to himself as a “dinosaur” because he sees “nothing wrong with the media…to be the arbiters of what issues are important.” He lauded the pedagogical role of journalism: “We need to explore these issues, to better inform and educate our audience about the issues affecting them in their daily lives.” When pressed as to why this makes him a “dinosaur,” Jordan continued: “Because I think that the general trend seems to be giving people what they want rather than what they need. You know, titillating and keeping up with the Joneses. [But] journalism should be serving a greater, societal purpose.” This emphasis on a greater purpose speaks to what I have come to refer to as the “constructed ideal of mainstream journalism,” and I found it common among many of the journalists who chose to work and train in Central and Eastern Europe. For example, Dean Cox, component of the Advancing Romani Visibility Project (run by Transitions through its partner Media Centar Sarajevo). That project aimed to train Romani journalists and aspiring journalists to produce a Roma-focused show for Radio Slon, a well-respected local radio station in Tuzla, Bosnia. Bosnia has a large Romani population (mostly concentrated in and around Tuzla) but had no specific Romani media programs. 109 who worked as a video, photo, and multimedia journalist for some of the largest media companies in the world, chose to freelance because he is a self-described “journalism idealist.” As he explained, “There is an importance of journalism…what stories and images can do.” But he cautioned that one cannot get swept up in the ideal of being a journalist; one must engage in good, solid journalistic work, for, as he notes, there are standards: “We must be careful. We can’t stop investigating. We can’t stop doing our job” (12172012). The media, as a means of disseminating and framing information (and often misinformation) is recognized as a potential tool for inclusion. There is something in a journalist’s unique role of explaining and filtering the world for others that is potentially transformative (Cox, 05092013; Dervišbegović, 05242013; Jordan). As Fairclough (1992) argued, there is a back and forth relation between the content of media, media structures, and power dynamics within the real word. Thus, many of the trainers believed that a journalist could reshape the perception of those in power and those who are not. The potential this could have for Roma was stated clearly by Nena Skopljanac who oversaw the multiyear “co-production fund” (pairing Roma with non-Romani journalist to make a media piece): “Roma should be seen as full citizens (by non-Roma), and media is the medium [to do this].” By media, Skopljanac was referring both to the professional relationships between the journalists and the content produced. Marius Dragomir, who pioneered the “shoulder-to-shoulder” reporting program for Transitions throughout Central and Eastern Europe, agreed. In reflecting on newsrooms in his native Romania, he offered a nearly identical assessment: Some of the stories coming back from Romania and some of the other countries were interesting. Because I think that the integration of these people as respected journalists back in their countries changed the perception somewhat of their colleagues. For a long time, you write stereotypically about these people—give voice to the racist people in football—and you just don’t know anything. You don’t know who these Roma people are or whatever—and then suddenly you 110 have one of them, a Roma person, in your office. They are your friend, your colleague, and you start asking and start to learn, and you will not make the mistakes of this sloppy journalism. It is important to see that Dragomir’s assumption is not that the journalists are evil or racist, but rather they are ignorant and therefore “sloppy.” As noted earlier in this chapter, it is clear that many believe the media’s role is to be pedagogical by bridging the audience (assumed to be the majority society) with that of the “reality” of Roma. This is evident both in the project proposals and in interviews with program developers, journalists, and funders. In essence, Romani journalists are being recruited to serve as “a bridge” between Romani society and non-Romani society (Jordan). There is also a learning process taking place within the newsroom itself—a socialization of the journalists as they work (Husband, 2012; Tuchman, 1978). Like Dragomir, many of those interviewed seemed to believe that the physical distance between Roma and non-Roma (in neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces) provided a dangerous psychological distance that resulted in stereotypes and racism (Moricz, 05212013; Skopljanac). Therefore, as Saracini explained, if the audience just had the “real” information about Roma, they would understand and behave better. Those I interviewed firmly believed that journalists—both Roma and informed non-Roma—could, and should be the ones providing this “real” information. Very few of those interviewed saw this role as problematic, although many acknowledged it was a lot to ask from one person. When recruiting Roma for their journalism training programs, many of the trainers and program administrators plead unabashedly with potential recruits, telling them that both the Romani community and mainstream society need them as journalists who can be respected inside and outside of their communities in terms of their journalistic skill and identity. Michael Jordan said it best when describing his pitch: “Hey! Your community needs you! Your country 111 needs a Roma voice who can be a serious voice. To be a journalist and produce not just PR but to be a bridge between your community and the majority community...” (my emphasis). The distinction between public relations and journalism is key. A journalist, as a professional, is seen as having the power to make things better for the community because he or she can bridge with the larger society. This is not necessarily Roma-specific—Jordan thinks it may be the role of every foreign correspondent who is trying to “explain” the country he or she is reporting from to a “fair-minded and decent” person who is not there. The journalist serves as a bridge, and there is responsibility in that bridging. According to Ilona Moricz, many of the people who applied to the RMMIP in Hungary understood this: As journalists, they could fulfill a responsibility to their community, and this embracing of community responsibility distinguished them from other people seeking to get into the journalism profession (03022012). This idea of community responsibility is a far cry from the distant, dispassionate journalist Lippmann (1920) lauded at the dawn of modern journalism. But there is still a strong commitment to the field and techniques of journalism—to the “serious voice” that keeps journalism separate from what can be written off as public relations—the cherry picking of only positive stories (Beckman, 01072013; Cox; Papinot). But there was tension. Jordan described this as the tension between “the Hippocratic Oath” of journalism—do no harm to your community, which is already disproportionately, and inaccurately, portrayed negatively— and the more standard notion of journalism’s role to expose the good, the bad, and the ugly of society. Donors are looking at media as a tool to counter prejudice “in order to repudiate racism and to transcend perceptions of Roma as an undifferentiated mass of passive victims” (OSF, 2011, p. 61). Although laudable, is this still journalism? 112 The Balancing Act of the Romani Journalist: Objectivity, Professionalism, and the Hippocratic Oath of (Romani) Journalism “It is difficult to for a young Roma person to say, ‘I want to be a journalist! And I want to reveal The Good! The Bad! The Ugly! I am a journalist and I am going to reveal it!’ But also feeling those pressures of their own community like, ‘Hey! You can’t air our dirty laundry! Come on! There is enough of our dirty laundry out there! They already hate us! You are just providing more fodder for people to hate us more!’” – Michael Jordan, international reporter and journalism instructor Ferenc Papinot is a Romani journalist in his early 30s. At the age of 14, he announced to his teachers that he wanted to be a journalist. They all told him that, as the son of the school’s cleaning lady, his ambitions were “too big.” In 2002, he enrolled in the RMMIP, where he excelled. He has since participated in a variety of journalism training programs run by the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ), often funded, at least in part, by the OSF. Through the internship opportunities offered by the RMMIP and the Young Roma Journalist Program, he was able to work in a variety of newsrooms, including Radio C (the now-defunct Romani radio station) and Nemzeti Sport (a mainstream sports newspaper), as well as the Budapest weekly Heti Válasz and Origo, a popular Hungarian website.47 He also worked professionally for Hungarian National Television and the show “Provocateur,” an OSF-funded program that addresses current issues with a specific human rights focus. When Sosinet.hu, the OSF-funded online news portal covering Romani issues in Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania, launched in 2009, he quickly became one of its most active contributors. After trying all mediums, he decided his favorite is multimedia reporting, and he particularly enjoys sports reporting. 47 The Young Roma Journalist Program ran January–August 2012. It was funded by the European Union to help increase the quality and quantity of coverage of the European Union and European Roma Initiatives in the Hungarian media. The Center for Independent Journalism won the public procurement, building its curriculum from what it had learned over the years with the RMMIP. Ten Romani journalists received both content classroom instruction (100 hours) and six-month internships in leading mainstream Hungarian media. For details, see http://www.cij.hu/en/eu-funded-project-for-young-roma-journalists/ 113 Papinot is very clear that he never hides that he is Roma—that as a graduate of the RMMIP he is known as a “Roma journalist”— but that he also enjoys being able to go into the newsroom and “just be one of the sports journalists.” However, because of the rise of the far right and the increased acceptability of racism and racist language in Hungary, he sees it as his role as a journalist—a “Roma journalist”—to take on different dimensions. His identity, and his responsibility, as a Romani journalist is context specific: I graduated the RMMIP, so I am always considered a Roma journalist. This is my role. I’m a Rom. Everyone knows it. In national sports, they know it. In an ideal situation it shouldn’t matter, but now it is very important in Hungary. … We need a bridge. In an ideal situation, it is not important if someone is Roma…but we need to be holding the people and government of Hungary accountable (my emphasis). It is telling that Papinot holds the undifferentiated journalist as the ideal—that a journalist is just a journalist. In that way he holds on to traditional Anglo-American ideas of the detached journalist. At the same time, however, he is clear that this is not the reality now. “Mainstream portrayals” of Roma are no longer objective, and thus a more contextualized objectivity is needed (El-Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002a). Papinot explains that his mere presence helps to counteract some of the increasing racism in Hungary, and his knowledge and contacts in the Romani communities contribute to richer and more accurate pools of stories from which to select. This was a point made repeatedly by Romani journalists, trainers, and program coordinators. Rather than seeing the Romani journalist as a threat to objectivity, they felt that having well-trained Romani journalists in the newsroom creates more access to more people, to more sources, and to more stories and therefore results in more objective pieces (Petrovski; Saracini, 05072013). I was a bit skeptical about this “assumption of access,” but in my observation of three different brainstorming sessions in Budapest and in Prague, I witnessed Romani journalists (from 114 throughout the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) offering insight and perspectives on potential characters or storylines of which non-Romani journalists were unaware.48 Of course, providing such access creates the potential for alternative framing of stories and thus moved issues up the agenda. One example involves a participant in the Europe: A Homeland for the Roma project jointly run by Transitions and the University of Miami and administered through local media development partners in five countries. A Romani journalist from Slovakia suggested visiting the town of Krásna Hôrka to cover how the mayor was responding to the changing demographics of the town (currently 50/50 and becoming increasingly Roma).49 When the trainer asked if other media cover the story, the Romani journalist responded: Yes. But I do it differently because most other journalists are working for commercial media. And they are scared. So they don’t go into the field to talk to Roma people, they just go to cover a crime story. They go around the town with the police to get the story. But when I go, townsfolk come out and then they take me to meet [other] people (field notes, May 23, 2013). Of course, meeting other people who usually do not engage with the media gives journalists access to other stories that do not normally appear in the media and which may not feed the traditional trope of stories about Roma as victims or criminals (Plaut, 2012b). When we met in March 2012, Papinot discussed why he is more inclined to cover positive stories about Roma than negative ones. He was quick to point out that this was not always the case; his stories in the mid-2000s were much more varied, but his change in story selection is in reaction to the increasingly negative portrayal of Roma in the mainstream 48 Often this was based on knowing the reputation of a person’s family as well as previous experience in the community (field notes, May 22, 2013). 49 The project involved Romani and non-Romani journalists from five countries and was organized by national media partners. Local coordinators and an international trainer (all from North America) were assigned to each team. I had permission from the trainers, organizers, and participants to attend the trainings in Hungary and Slovakia for the project Europe: A Homeland for the Roma. 115 Hungarian press.50 That said, at the time that we met, Papinot had already worked as a professional journalist for nine years and was quick to point out that although story selection may be strategic, the skills and methods employed must be thorough and meet the standards of professional journalism, otherwise it is no longer a journalistic product. For Papinot, objectivity—which he defines as being non-partisan and employing journalistic tools and techniques—is sacrosanct. He gives an example of a Romani man who claims to be on the Hungarian Olympic Team: SP: OK, so if objectivity is important and you need to present the depth in the stories you write, etc.—then why do you purposefully look for positive stories about Roma? Is that being objective? Why is that not propaganda or public relations? FP: It is a kind of public relations. It is. But it is not propaganda because we are still using the tools and techniques of journalism. For example, let’s say a man, a Rom, tells me that he is going to be on the national team for boxing—that he is going to the Olympics. I am still going to use the journalist techniques—the fact checking—to find out if that is true. Perhaps he is a very good boxer, but he is not on the list for the Olympic team. He may think he is good enough to be on the Olympic team, he may want to be on the Olympic team, but he is not. This is journalism—to find this out. But I think we need to talk about things beyond conflict—conflict is important, but positive examples are also important. SP: Why? FP: Because of the encouragement and because it shows a positive example… SP: But is this the role of a journalist? Is this what a journalist is supposed to do? FP: (long pause) Yes. But not every time and everywhere. But in Hungary, now, yes. It is clear that for Papinot, the skills of journalism (i.e., “the fact checking”) cannot be compromised; otherwise, he is no longer engaged in journalism. He notes that it is the application of journalistic skills that makes the story of the boxer a journalistic piece. But he 50 The Roma Press Agency in Slovakia made the similar point that positive stories about Roma can serve as a corrective means of rebalancing a slanted picture (Jordan). 116 continues that because of Hungary’s current political and social situation, the story itself must be thought of in context: how will both Romani and non-Romani audiences perceive it?51 In other words, there are consequences to covering, or not covering, certain stories. The importance placed on understanding the role that journalism plays within the larger social and political context cannot be overstated (El-Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002b). There appears to be a progression towards criticality in story selection by the Romani journalists. Trainers and journalists alike discussed the fact that the stories selected were primarily “softer” humanistic stories that offered a positive portrayal of Roma (Beckman 01082013; Jordan). When pushed to articulate the distinctions between Romani and non-Romani journalists, Cox reflected on the reticence many Romani journalists had to tackle critical stories. However, he was quick to note: I have no opinion if this is good or bad. I have a feeling they [Romani journalists] would not want to take on a critical story within the Roma community because there are enough of those being published by non-Romani media. It is totally fine. I have no problem with it but I hope in the future that they would be able to take on critical stories [within their communities] as well and not just be positive image promoters of their communities (12172012). Producing critical stories and engaging in investigative reporting takes time, and, according to the trainers and coordinators, there was never enough time. The majority of the stories produced were not critical of events taking place within the Romani community. Because of project-based funding limitations, the goal is to make a journalistic product, not Romani media. In Transitions programs, for example, journalists and trainers often had only one week to work together. But the 51 In addition, one can ask about the placement of a story itself as well as the headline, accompanying images, and captions. People other than the journalist—often the section editor—tend to make these decisions. This is one of the reasons why those who are organizing journalism trainings discuss the need for including editors in such trainings and express frustration at editors’ failure to participate (Druker, 04232013; Moricz, 03022012; Skopljanac). It may also explain the increased interest of Romani journalists and those designing Romani journalism programs in turning to multimedia and Web-based media. They are not only easier to distribute, but also easier to control in terms of format. 117 trainers interviewed believed that if was not just time limitations rather Romani journalists were making a strategic choice to put forth a more positive image of the community rather than engaging in critical investigative reporting. This strategy aligns with Jordan’s understanding of the journalistic Hippocratic Oath. Many of those interviewed assumed that exposing “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of society, including Roma society, could and would take place at a later time when Roma had a stronger—perhaps more accepted—place within the larger society. As I have argued, the goal in training Romani journalists is increasingly to move towards reaching the largest possible public, as it is assumed that power for socio-political change lies there. As I go into detail about the three models used to train Romani journalists, noting their strengths and challenges, I pay particular attention to how these programs understand objectivity, credibility, and professionalism, and how the norms, skills, and challenges of this understanding are taught to the next generation of Romani journalists. Three Training Models for Romani Journalism and Romani Journalists “As a journalist, you need to look at an issue from all sides to make sure you are talking to everyone concerned. To be skeptical. To check your facts. It’s the basics and not specific to the Roma projects. You need to ask if your interviewee has a particular interest. You need to be balanced. Be careful to take into account different views. When you are working as a journalist you keep testing it by various means. Of course, it is easier said than done.” – Tihomir Loza, Deputy Director of Transitions, March, 5, 2012 As noted previously, starting in 2005, there was a growing trend to have more Romani journalists trained in non-Roma-specific environments. The focus of these trainings was on skill sharing and development through co-producing pieces to be aired by non-Romani media outlets. This signals a different goal: Whereas the RMMIP aimed to produce a cadre of new journalists, the second kind of training scheme focused on working with good or promising Romani 118 journalists to make them even better—“to work with the stars” (Dragomir; Druker, 04172012). It is important to note that although these two approaches are different, they are not necessarily in conflict. Nonetheless, the goal does determine how success is evaluated. As stated in an external evaluation of Transitions’ Romani programs: Conducting programs where Roma journalists cover Roma issues may not end up resulting in greater number of Roma journalists in mainstream or international media. That is because a) these journalists already know how to cover Roma issues as they know them too well; they may need training simply to be better journalists or to cover mainstream issues better and b) participation in training programs targeting Roma journalists may actually hinder their employment prospects because they will at best end up being narrowcast in mainstream newsrooms and assigned only Roma stories, or at worst be seen as Roma activists rather than objective journalists and not hired at all (Walter, 2010, pp. 38–39). This evaluation brought about some changes in Transitions-run programs as well as other OSF funded Romani journalism programs. Both Struthers and Moricz pointed out that these two approaches to training can actually be seen as complementary; they respond to different needs and contexts (Moricz, 055212013; Struthers, 02292012). Many of these changes were external, reflecting larger socio-political trends and the role of journalism and the journalist within these contexts. For example, according to Moricz, EU accession and the launch of the Decade of Roma Inclusion made the need for Romani journalists writing in English even more apparent (English was quickly becoming the lingua franca of European bureaucracy). In addition, changes in the journalistic landscape worldwide—more journalists, less advertising revenue, stronger media regulations, all resulting in fewer jobs in journalism—have forced journalists to become familiar with, if not fluent in, a larger variety of technically sophisticated tools and skills. In reviewing project proposals, grant reports, and evaluations, it became evident that—with the exception of an OSF-supported Romani radio program in Tuzla, Bosnia—the goals of Roma-specific programs have become more and more centered on professionalizing those who 119 are already working within the field of journalism to create “good-quality Romani content” (what I refer to as “skills-based training”) rather than creating “Romani journalists” (what I refer to as “cohort structure”). The Roma Mainstream Media Internship Program and Subsequent Spinoff Programs The first iteration of the RMMIP began in 1997. In 1998, the program moved to the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) in Budapest, where it has remained. Versions of the program have run in Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Macedonia.52 Janis Overlock, an American journalist who came to Hungary in the early days after the fall of socialism, designed the program. She noticed that while all the economic journalism praised the benefits of unfolding capitalism, the Romani population was getting poorer and poorer. This reality was not being covered in the news. In her assessment, one of the reasons for the lack of coverage of how Roma were fairing in the transition was that there were no Roma in the newsrooms. She sought to change that by designing a training program that targeted Roma with a minimum high school education who wanted to become journalists. Since 1998, the program has trained more than 200 Roma to become journalists (Jankovic, 05072012; Moricz, 03022012; Struthers, 02202012; 02292012). The goal of the program is to use a cohort structure to train people who identify as Roma in journalistic skills and give them the confidence to recognize themselves as Romani journalists capable of working in both non-Romani and Romani media. The original program was 10 months in duration. Participants attended a four-month intensive (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day) skills- and content-based training and a six-month 52 In the spirit of full disclosure, I helped start the program in Macedonia in 2004 and secured part of its initial funding. The program ran from 2005 to 2008. In 2008, the School for Journalism and Public Relations started in Macedonia, three full-time scholarships for Roma students were allotted annually, and the RMMIP ceased operation (Struthers, 02292012; Trajkovska). 120 internship at a mainstream news organization. (In some countries students had the option of working at a Romani or a mainstream news outlet).53 Recognizing that these participants were often supporting families, everyone was paid during their 10 months. In order to ensure they were focused on their studies, they were not permitted to work an outside job during that time. Participants were paired with mentors (experienced journalists at the news outlets) during their internships and, when finances permitted – particularly in the first few years of the program — the mentors were paid as well. Students would meet as a cohort once a week during their internship to discuss how things were going and what they were learning and to share best practices and troubleshoot any potential problems. The RMMIP was a flagship program and respected by donors, media training centers, and many of the graduates (Lange, 2006, pp. 5, 9, 52–53; Papinot; Saracini, 05072013; Struthers, 2008, pp. 59, 62; Struthers, 02292012).54 Although numbers are always a tricky business in the world of NGOs, Yasha Lange noted that as of 2006, based on the information provided by the coordinators of the programs, 20–25% of the alumni were working in mainstream media and another 25–35% were working in other media.55 During the first six to seven years of the program, the majority of graduates were able to find jobs after graduation. However, journalism is intimately woven into the larger socio-economic and political worlds and, according to Ilona Moricz, after EU accession the job prospects dropped drastically. After the economic crisis of 2008, “there were just no media jobs.” Similar socio-economic changes took place in Romania 53 For more information about the Roma Mainstream Media Internship Program, please see http://www.cij.hu/en/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/roma_leaflet_eng_2009.pdf. In 2003, the program won the Evens Prize for Intercultural Education. 54 This model of praxis-based training including long-term supervised internships with financial compensation for both participants and mentors is still held as the model in designing other media training programs, most recently a Romani journalism training program funded by the EU and the Hungarian Government to focus on covering EU and Roma issues in the Hungarian media (Fiatal Roma Ujsagirok Program, 2011; Moricz, 05212013). 55 By 2008 the numbers had dropped: 40% of graduates were working in “media-related fields,” and 20% specifically in mainstream media. 121 and Slovakia, where the program was also well established. By 2010, Moricz decided to “focus on ensuring that our alumni had jobs and were able to stay in the profession,” so she ceased the RMMIP until the media job market opened up again (03022012). Even some of the best journalists, such as Ferenc Papinot, have had to leave the journalism profession to find consistent employment that can support them and their families (Moricz, 03022012; Papinot, personal communication, July 15, 2013). In Macedonia, the situation is different but the results are the same: journalism is a key ingredient and symptom of larger socio-political and economic realities. Since 2009 it has become increasingly politicized and regulated, with journalists receiving extremely low salaries. According to Petrit Saracini, the average starting salary for a journalist is 250 Euro a month, whereas people living in Skopje (the capital) need a minimum of 500–600 euro a month to cover their basic living expenses. In addition, political repression of journalists is increasing throughout the country.56 Roma who have language and technical skills are recruited to work in NGOs or international organizations, or, if they are politically connected, public administration, where the salaries and working conditions are much more attractive (Jordan; Plaut, 2013; Saracini, 03082013). Other journalists and trainers from the Balkans expressed similar sentiments: journalism as a profession has been losing prestige, and it cannot compete for multi-lingual Roma with good writing and technical skills (Dekic; Dervišbegović, 05242103; Walter, 2010, pp. 26, 35–36). When asked why so few Roma journalists who graduated from the RMMIP were working full time within the journalism field, Struthers shook her head in frustration: 56 In April 2013, the Macedonian government passed a new media law that heavily regulates the already restrictive media market. The law was scheduled to go into effect 10 days after it was passed, but this was later extended to 60 days. This sparked massive debate throughout the country, including public forums organized by journalists and NGOs, but was barely covered in domestic press. Macedonia slipped to 116th out of 179 countries in terms of media freedom; in 2009, when the current government took power, the country was 34th (Balkan Media Watch, 2013). For more information on the new law, see http://www.osce.org/fom/102135. 122 How can we control if they get a job? Our aim was to provide good-quality journalism training so they are in a better position to get a job. But you can’t blame a journalism program for the state of the economy and the broad public sentiment of the population (02292012). As of 2013, none of the original RMMIP offerings are running. Although all those interviewed spoke highly of the RMMIP and saw the benefits of having an intensive cohort-structured education that provided a good theoretical and practical education with strong Romani content, there seemed to be a feeling that there were other, more pressing media needs now—such as providing professional education for Roma who are working as journalists so they may have the opportunity to work as journalists and change what is seen in mainstream media (Moricz, 05212013; Saracini, 05082013; Petrovski). As Struthers reflected, “The fact that the RMMIP doesn’t run doesn’t mean they are a failure in every way. I don’t know if the exact same need is present at this time. After all, we do have a core of journalists working in the media now” (02292012). The needs of Romani journalists are not the same as they were, nor is the role of journalism (or “media initiatives”) focusing on Romani issues the same as when the program started. This resulted in changes in the training of Romani journalists. Co-production Fund “The main goal was to have a kind of more balanced, in-depth, sophisticated coverage of Romani issues. Most people in the mainstream just don’t know Roma at all. At least two-thirds of the Roma are physically segregated from mainstream so at least through the media there can be some sort of contact.” – Nena Skopljanac, director of Medienhilfe As noted at the beginning of this chapter, in the fall of 2003, Romani and non-Romani journalists from all over the Balkans who were interested in Romani issues came together in Ohrid, Macedonia. Although the goal of a sustainable media network has not materialized as of 2014, the organization that hosted the workshop, Medienhilfe (meaning “media assistance” in 123 German), did play an important role in the development of Romani media for the next six to seven years. Most notably, the organization helped shift the idea of journalism training and multi-ethnic interaction from the classroom into a practical pedagogy of Roma and non-Roma producing works of journalism together. Medienhilfe was an organization based in Switzerland that focused on offering “media help” to emerging journalists and journalistic outlets throughout the former Yugoslavia. Strengthening Romani journalism and journalists specifically was one part of the organization’s work. Skopljanac also understood Romani media development as having two goals: to strengthen Romani media outlets and to create contacts for mainstream media that would help counter the typical coverage, which was fuelling racism and discrimination. Her idea was to try to forge professional and personal cooperation between Romani and non-Romani media outlets by having them “co-produce” a piece. There were drastic differences in the training and resources between Romani and non-Romani media, and training both partners together was part of the process. The result was a piece that could air on both Romani and non-Romani media outlets (Lange, 2006; Struthers, 02202012). The goal of the piece was to provide “another image of Roma than what people usually see in the mainstream media. It is presenting another perspective, more in-depth, more nuanced,” while also teaching Romani journalists more sophisticated journalism skills and providing the outlets with media products that were of “at least minimal quality” (Skopljanac 02202012). The training involved three to four days of storyboarding and then weeks of production with a trainer available as needed. Most of the trainers were local journalists from the region. The project expanded quickly in the various countries in the Balkans, but, in 2005, when the Decade of Roma Inclusion chose not to include “media” as a priority issue in its mandate, 124 funding was drastically reduced. This was a turning point. Although the Decade of Roma Inclusion did not offer additional funding, the fact that media were not included signalled to donors and states alike that Romani media were not important. This had drastic financial consequences. Romani media, which had always struggled, were now struggling even more, and staff turnover was quite high. Consistency was lacking in partnerships, and it had become harder to build on pre-existing knowledge, relationships, and skills. Romani media organizations, which had their core funding support cut, were surviving on co-production funds (Lange, 2006; Skopljanac; Struthers, 2008; Struthers, 02202012). Given the lack of consistency of participation, this was an unsustainable approach. Skopljanac explained, “I had to adjust our priorities but keep the same actors and partners.” In 2005, the OSF asked Medienhilfe to oversee funding distribution for all Romani media production. It is clear that too little money was being distributed to too many media organizations, and Medienhilfe’s role as an intermediary was at times challenging. As one grantee who preferred to remain anonymous explained, “Why is the media content on my radio show in Serbia being dictated by Switzerland?” After a few years the project stopped and, as of 2012, there was no longer a partnership between the OSF and Medienhilfe (Struthers, 03232013). That said, the training component of Medienhilfe’s work, the process of learning by doing and forging professional relationships between Romani and non-Romani journalists, remains a cornerstone of many of OSF-funded media projects, both Romani and non-Romani (Struthers, 02292012). The focus on reaching out to non-Romani audiences and using media to change their perception has only increased. 125 “Working with the Stars”: Shoulder-to-Shoulder Reporting as Pioneered by Transitions In 2004, Gordana Jankovic, founder and then-director of the Open Society Foundations’ Network Media Program, approached Jeremy Druker, Executive Director of Transitions, to see how they might be able to work together. Jankovic’s idea was to create a cadre of Romani journalists who would be able to publish in international English-language publications like Transitions Online.57 Druker’s expertise is in training journalists from Central and Eastern Europe, often through intensive mentorship, to produce high-quality journalism (Druker, 04172012). Journalists from Transitions had covered Romani issues since its inception in 1999, but prior to 2004 it had not particularly focused on working with Romani journalists. Transitions initiated an innovative training approach the organization called “shoulder-to-shoulder” reporting in 2005. This training program paired experienced journalists (usually non-Roma) with a Romani journalist or small group of journalists. They would go together into the field and cover a story “shoulder-to-shoulder” in a mentor-mentee relationship (Dragomir). The model was simple: The trainer (for the first couple of years it was only Marius Dragomir) engaged in one-on-one mentoring with each journalist in the different countries throughout the region. They worked on the story together, with constant back and forth until it was ready for publication. If the story was of suitable quality, it was published in Transitions Online and the journalist was paid the standard Czech market rate for his or her work. The Romani journalists would then take those skills and experiences and use them in their independent work and would still be able to call upon the mentor for advice as needed. Tihomir Loza, deputy director of Transitions, and the person primarily responsible for 57 Although Transitions Online (http://www.tol.org) has some breaking news, its focus is in-depth reporting and analysis. It is an award winning online-only English-language publication. Most of its subscribers are local and international universities, policymakers, think tanks and NGOs. 126 Roma-specific projects since 2008, explained, “What we call shoulder-to-shoulder reporting is simply collaborative reporting in which trainees and trainers work together on story assignments.” He explained that although the sophistication of the projects has changed over the years — from “how to do a decent blog post to how to conceive, plan, produce, and sell a 20-minute video” to be distributed internationally, the method of teaching, learning, and assessing the work has remained the same (personal communication, June 26, 2013). What has changed, however, is the availability of EU funds. The EU is interested in building the European project and thus is attracted to, and may have a mandate to pursue, multi-country projects. In the past, the trainers would move from country to country to work with Romani journalists on stories written for an international English-speaking audience but focused on the local context. Now, however, there is a push to have Romani journalists from different countries work together on larger projects.58 This allows the Romani journalists to be trained together for general skills and then go to the field in smaller—often country-specific—teams, with some returning to work together on editing (Center for Independent Journalism, 2013; Cox, 05072013; Transitions, 2009; field notes May 21–22, 2013; field notes May 24, 2013). Based on internal and external evaluations, evaluations by trainees, and the distribution of media content, this model of training has been deemed highly successful by all involved. The journalists have continued to produce high-quality stories even when they are no longer in the training program and have been able to improve their skills consistently, sometimes sharing them when returning to their media outlets “back home” (Struthers, 02202012). Shoulder-to-shoulder 58 All of those involved in running the journalism programs recognize the specificity of the socio-political, economic, and cultural context and how it affects Roma and non-Roma populations. As evidenced by Sosinet and Tocak, there is a slow move towards producing more media in local languages for both the domestic press and local language news sites, although this effort is sporadic and not well funded. These local media productions are well used and appreciated by local and national media, but they have not been nearly as generously funded as the larger pan-European projects. 127 training serves as a cornerstone for all Romani, and many non-Romani, training programs run by Transitions and is promoted by the OSF’s Network Media Program as an innovative technique to be replicated by other grantees (Druker, 04172012; Struthers, 02292012). However, there are some concerns with the model noted by both external reviewers and trainers. Specifically, there was a limited number of people that fit into the category of “the stars.” These “stars” need to be Roma who not only are highly talented and dedicated journalists but also have at least functional written and spoken English (so they could work with their trainers, who are almost all English speaking) and have enough flexibility in their jobs that they can participate in these programs (Dragomir; Jordan; Walter, 2010, p. 26). These were published in the internal review of Transitions Roma projects conducted by Walter in 2010. Since this evaluation was shared with Transitions, some changes have been made for the ostensible purpose of opening up the pool of eligible participants. In 2013, during the Europe: A Homeland for the Roma project, which involved 20 journalists (Roma and non-Roma) from five countries and primarily North American trainers, English language proficiency was not a requirement and simultaneous translation was used in all trainings (field notes May 21–22, 2013; field notes May 24, 2013). The Party Line: A Journalist is a Journalist! “You cannot have this Roma angle in everything you do when you are trying to teach them and explain something. You leave the Roma thing aside. They are journalists. They are just journalists! So we put the whole Roma thing away….What was important was the skill of multimedia storytelling. It doesn’t mean that it won’t be present later—the Roma angle will come back. But once you master this thing—how to make a good video story—you will always find a way to put your Roma angle into it.” – Nedim Dervišbegović, journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, journalism trainer As can be seen from the description of the three main Romani journalism programs above, OSF-funded journalism training programs have always been marked by tension. On the 128 one hand, no one wants to have “yet another Roma program” that could potentially “pigeonhole” journalists of Romani origin, and on the other, the OSF has a “commitment” to developing and supporting media training programs that specifically promote Romani journalists (Jankovic, 06202012; Struthers, 02292012). This is seen as a delicate balance. One example is the fact that although the trainees in both educational schemes are Roma, the trainers for shoulder-to-shoulder reporting are almost always non-Roma. Although concerted efforts were made in the RMMIP to ensure that successful Romani intellectuals, journalists, members of civil society, and so on returned to the trainings as mentors, such an approach is not considered a priority for the more skills-based training programs. As Loza explained, trainers were selected based on skill and availability—the ethnic background of the trainer was it “simply not a priority.” Since the focus was on the skills themselves, the question became, “What difference would that make anyway in terms of the training?” (06052013).59 Dragomir designed the Romani Journalism Advancement Project for Transitions and considers “getting Roma out of the box” to be one of his greatest achievements. He believes that actively foregrounding the identity of the participants as journalists, rather than specifically Romani journalists, increased not only the popularity of the program during an era of many “Roma projects,” but also the quality of the journalism. He gave the example of a “brilliant” written story about the first Romani policeman in Romania, noting, “Working this way they got better and more interesting stories than what you normally see of just poverty.” Because the goal of Romani journalism has changed from covering Romani issues for a 59 Loza and I had many discussions on the demographics of the international journalism trainers. For Loza, this was a moot point. His concern is not the ethnicity, gender or nationality of trainers (he pointed out that although the international trainers were mostly from North America and male, the local partners are often Roma and more often female) but the structural changes that need to take place so that Romani journalists can enjoy equal rights, opportunities, and professional upward mobility once they are in the newsroom (personal communication, December 28, 2013) 129 Romani audience to producing “good-quality Romani content” for a mainstream audience (Struthers, 02292012), the language used to describe the field has changed. Struthers explained that, rather than “Romani media” or “Romani journalists,” the preferred term is now “Romani media initiatives.” This broader term includes filmmaking, news agencies, blogging, or “whatever it is that furthers good-quality content on Roma issues and is able to reach and speak with credibility to as large an audience as possible” (Struthers, 02292012, my emphasis). Struthers was quick to point out that this work can be done by Romani or non-Romani media makers and broadcast on Romani or non-Romani media outlets. For some, this broader approach has worked well. As noted previously in this chapter, Ferenc Papinot, a Romani graduate of the RMMIP, has written stories addressing the rise of racist attacks in the Hungarian Press for Sosinet.hu but has also covered soccer matches for Nemzeti Sport. He was respected as a multimedia sports journalist by his colleagues. Others, such as Daniel Petrovski, a Romani journalist from Macedonia, see their journalism as a method of activism. Petrovski chooses to focus on Romani stories as a means of ensuring different angles, and perspectives on Roma are made available to both Romani and non-Romani audiences. He is quick to say that this is his choice, not a choice made by his colleagues or editors. This push to make sure Romani journalists are “taken out of the box” is not only a move to ensure intellectual freedom. Although it is never said directly, there seems to be an unspoken assumption that neither the participants of the Romani programs, nor the media outlets, nor audiences see journalists who foreground their Roma identity as equal to “real” journalists—who may or may not be of Romani origin (Dragomir; Druker, 04172012). In an internal report reviewing Transitions programs, Walter (2010) quotes the editor of Romea.cz as stating that 130 “alumni from ‘Roma programs’ may actually have a harder time getting jobs in mainstream media because they may be perceived as having an agenda” (p. 21). And tension does exist. Kinga Rethy, deputy director of the Roma Initiatives Program, stated that Romani journalists have to be “excellent journalists because you will be attacked on fact versus opinion all the time” (my emphasis). In reflecting on the internship experiences of RMMIP participants, the people running the program in both Macedonia and Hungary acknowledged that the interns often had to “prove themselves” before they could work on non-Romani stories. Petrit Saracini explained, “In a lot of newsrooms, our interns got that attitude: OK, because you are Roma, you work on Romani issues. But, but, if you are good, you get to work on other issues” (05072012). There is almost a sense of a progression. Mainstream media initially pigeonhole Roma as Romani journalists who thus need to be assigned “Romani stories.” The goal is to minimize this distinction—which is assumed to decrease the status of Romani journalist in the eyes of the larger journalistic field in the region (Beckman, 01072013; Cox, 12172012, 05242013; Loza, 03052012, 06052013). The Romani journalism training programs are skills-based trainings that enable journalists (almost always working in teams comprised of Roma and non-Roma) to produce “good-quality Romani content.” The trainings are usually seven- to ten-days and are focused on preparing participants to use the hardware, going out into the field, editing video, and synching audio (Dervišbegović, 06052013; Transitions, 2013). It was assumed by nearly all the journalism trainers that by providing the participants with the technical skills needed, a good and persuasive story would emerge; identifying and catering to one’s specific audience was seen as nearly irrelevant. When pressed on this point, many of those I interviewed appeared impatient with questions about audience: We’re just training them to be good journalists! (Beckman, 05242013; 131 Loza, 0162012, 06052013). The audience for such media pieces was often assumed to be “everyone” or “the general public” (Loza, personal communication, December 28, 2013). But if the goal is to change opinions in order to change how Roma are perceived and treated, then what knowledge and perspectives do journalists assume audiences bring to a piece—and how does this affects the way stories are framed? In every interview I conducted with journalism trainers, I asked, “What is a journalist?” The answers were rich and varied but often included answers such as, “to inform and educate,” a “messenger,” or the “eyes and ears of the public.” I would then ask what, if anything, distinguishes a Romani journalist from a non-Romani journalist. The initial response was typically that, ideally, there was no distinction at all: “A journalist is a journalist.” There would perhaps be some caveats about Romani language or what media outlet the person works for, but, at least at the beginning of the conversation, no distinction was made between a journalist who is Roma and a journalist who is not Roma. To make that distinction was to take away from the Romani journalist’s professional identity as a journalist. However, after we had established that Romani journalists should not have to cover only Romani issues and that, even if they came from a lower socio-economic or educational background, Romani journalists were just as capable of learning journalistic and technical skills as anyone else, these same journalists and journalism trainers would start discussing how Romani journalists had better access to stories and people, and that this actually made them better journalists when covering Romani issues. They would know what questions to ask and could better understand what was being said and what was not being said. They would be able to look for and possibly get the unique angle that makes a good journalist a great journalist. Even Tihomir Loza, who had been quite insistent that there was no distinction between Romani and 132 non-Romani journalists, explained it this way: We are not really encouraging journalists of Romani origin to only cover Roma issues, but there is an advantage if you are a journalist and you cover an issue you know a lot about because you know the language and cultural and social norms. But you shouldn’t be limited to those issues. Just like a journalist in Finland covers Finnish affairs but they shouldn’t be made to only cover Finnish affairs (03052012). Petrit Saracini explained it by drawing a map of Shuto Orizari, the largest Romani mahaala (neighborhood) in Europe. When most journalists are assigned to cover Shuto Orizari, they walk to the main street, stop, talk to some people, see what is happening, and walk out with a story; a Romani journalist, by contrast, would know the side streets, the shop owners, and the people in the bazaar and would be able to get better, richer, and more nuanced stories (05072013). The goal is to then reach the major news channels so that non-Romani viewers can see these rich stories. The skills and background to which Loza refers—language, cultural context, familiarity with persons and institutions, and nuance—are assumed to be part of the Romani journalist’s existing toolkit (Loza, personal communication, December 28, 2013). They are not specifically cultivated or taught in the journalism training. Nedim Dervišbegović, a journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and one of the trainers for Transitions’ Advancing Romani Visibility Project, explained his approach this way: Your role is as a Roma journalist, or a journalist working for Roma media or any other media reporting on Roma issues. If you are a journalist, you have developed, or you should have developed, a sense of your news judgments and journalistic skills [as well as] other story selection skills—what is important, what is not, how to explain this situation, and so on…these are the basics (05242013). Over and over again I was told that priorities in the trainings were to create the best piece possible with the highest technical skill. There was “no time” for discussing more “philosophical questions” like audience or perspective (Cox, 05132013; Dervišbegović, 05242013, 06052013; Loza, 04162012). This is an important distinction from the training of Saami journalists, as will 133 be seen in Chapter 5, as well as from the cohort structure that was developed in the Roma Mainstream Media Internship Program). No longer was the goal to cultivate Romani journalists as Romani journalists but rather “just journalists.” Conclusion “Yes, creating specialized programs and opportunities for journalists of Romani background can be seen as activism, but it can also be seen as conducting good professional journalism. Because good professional journalism brings public interest issues to the broadest public possible. If that means readjusting the balance (by having specific projects for producing good-quality Romani content), so be it.” – Marie Struthers, senior program officer for the OSF Network Media Program The skills of fact checking, searching for multiple perspectives, creating good story arcs and compelling characters, and technical craftsmanship are universally upheld as the hallmarks of “good” journalism. As Struthers explained, this is what makes a journalistic piece credible as journalism (02292012). Good journalism creates an attractive and accurate story that “decent-minded people who want to be informed and educated about the reality” find compelling and interesting (Jordan). As Jankovic explained, Romani journalism also has another role—to change how non-Roma audiences perceive Roma and thus (it is hoped) to change how Roma are treated by non-Romani people and institutions. As I discuss in more detail in Chapter 6, those interviewed made a direct connection between representation within the media, production of the media, and larger social and political structures (Fairclough, 1992). The goal is to provide “good-quality content” to the largest possible audience, which means content that challenges prejudice and stereotypes, provides other tropes and possibilities, and thus strengthens democracy, tolerance, and debate within the local, national, and transnational societies. From the mid- to late 1990s through the mid-2000s, the OSF invested in Romani media outlets and Romani training programs. The goal was to create Romani media based on the 134 minority media model common throughout Europe but without the political will and pressure often exercised by an “external homeland” (Brubaker, 1996; Gross & Spaskovska, 2011). Most of the training programs were evaluated as successes, but the Romani media outlets themselves were not (Lange, 2006). Now, a cadre of more and more highly skilled Romani journalists (and non-Romani journalists with a particular interest in Romani issues) exists, but funding for the stories these journalists produce is, and has been, drying up. Journalism as a field is struggling, and journalism within Central and Eastern Europe is facing the competing pressures of increased politicization, media restrictions, and capitalism run amok. Journalists are losing their jobs, and a journalist without a place to run his or her work is not a working journalist. As Ilona Moricz explained: Opportunities are different now than they were five to 10 years ago. Even talents who are already there cannot easily show themselves. But without a job you certainly cannot show your talent. You cannot write for yourself—you need a job. [Long pause] One of our graduates recently went to work for the unemployment office—at least there she has a job for living. And when she has the time, she writes for Sosinet.hu (03022012). From grant applications written since 2009, it is evident that a new trend is emerging: media platforms are built into the training program schemes (Transitions, 2009, 2010). This enables the participants to have an outlet and develop a portfolio while also exposing the content to a real audience (and, ideally, generating discussion). In addition, because of EU funds and the push towards more online journalism, programs have become increasingly transnational since 2005 in terms of both content and the composition of participants. However, as noted above, the outlets are not financially self-sustaining, and neither the states nor the EU have the political will to ensure sustained journalism and journalistic outlets. Both journalists and editors must be paid. As 135 noted earlier in this chapter, there is a stigma attached to journalism reliant on donors, and yet without consistent and non-partisan public funds, “public service journalism” is deemed “unsustainable” and thus not viable (Dekic; Jovanović; Loza, personal communication, December 28, 2013; Moricz, 03202013; 03212013). Without funds there is no new content except for what people are willing to do for free (Loza, 06052013). Romani issues are increasingly subject to “European” framing, which can be both strategic and problematic. There is cachet in securing international cooperation and distribution. However, the local press is often more extreme than the national or international press (Sobotka & Vermeersch, 2012). Examples include the coverage of the now-infamous wall dividing the Roma and non-Roma neighborhoods of Usti and Labem in the Czech Republic and the coverage of segregated schooling in Hungary and Bulgaria. Whereas the national media was critical of these moves, the local press fanned the flame of racism. Although there have been some moves to try to bring Romani stories, if not Romani media, back to the local level, these initiatives are more difficult to justify to funders than larger, “splashier,” and much better funded, internationally focused (English-language) projects (Jovanović; Moricz, 05212013; Rethy). Donors and Romani journalists have different ideas of what it can mean to be a “good” Romani journalist. My research shows that the overwhelming current (although not uniform) trend is to see a good Romani journalist as someone with excellent technical and journalistic training who happens to be Romani, rather than someone trained to pursue a story from a Romani perspective (Dervišbegović; 05242013; Jordan; Moricz, 03212013; Waisbord, 2013). It is important to note this is not how it has always been in the nascent world of Romani media. This is a response to (and perhaps fuelling) the social and political realities of where Roma fit within the countries of Europe and within the evolving idea of Europe. 136 How are Roma negotiating a transnational identity and framing their socio-political realities within, between, and across borders? The strategy that has gained the most prestige at this time is to have Romani voices, perspectives, and realities seen and recognized as equals by the non-Romani population. Therefore, the targeted audience is increasingly non-Romani people both within the state and across Europe. According to the donors funding such media, it is the non-Romani population that must be educated through media, as that is where the power for change is assumed to lie. This model of transnational political advocacy supported by donors has become increasingly Europeanized and is strikingly different from the case of Saami journalism, which advocates for media as a form of nation building and an exercise in self-determination, as shown in the next chapter. As Lange pointed out in his 2006 assessment, there is no push to create a “Romani framework” or “model” of journalism. While Lange saw this as a failure of Romani media, it appears that he was applying a “national minority media” frame, which is inappropriate for Romani media. Roma do not have an “external homeland” protecting them, and their political goals and strategies must operate in the transnational and domestic realm, where the media can be a powerful tool. At the same time, there is risk in over-Europeanizing the approach so that the audience, and journalism, become geared towards “everyone.” In this process, Roma once again risk becoming marginalized and excluded. 137 Chapter 5 — “You are thinking from Sápmi, not Oslo!”: Building and Serving the Nation through Saami Journalism “It takes time to understand that nothing is neutral. It takes a long time for [the students] to understand that the Norwegian media is not neutral either. It’s hard for them to understand that the Saami society and the Norwegian society are equal. It used to be that when a person wanted to be a fine man, to wear fine dress, he would take off his Saami clothes and put on Norwegian clothes. There was this belief that the Norwegian clothes were better than the Saami clothes... [SP: And how does this reflect in Saami journalism?] Just the fundamental idea that Saami journalism is equal to non-Saami journalism. And that no one is neutral.” – Arne Johansen Ijäs, co-director of the Journalism Program at Sámi allaskuvla On November 8 and 9, 2011, as the sun was about to set for the winter, 13 Saami journalists, journalism instructors, media executives, and “veterans” of the Saami movement came together in Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino to discuss the role of media in the larger project of Saami determination. What resulted was a spirited discussion that pointed to both the unfolding understandings of self-determination and the larger conversation of the role of media, specifically Saami media, in covering and framing these conversations. There were many opinions, at times disagreements, and no clear-cut answers. The meeting was internal, and I was not able to participate, but I was informed about it from numerous sources. However, 18 months later, a summary of this discussion, an analysis of its implications, and a full list of participants were published in English on the website for Galdu, the Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This level of transparency speaks to what appears to be the three main goals of Saami journalism: nation building, “facilitating the debate within society,” and developing and 138 maintaining professional journalistic standards. This chapter examines how these goals of Saami journalism, which I argue are both shaped by and reflective of larger socio-political realities, are taught to the next generation of Saami journalists. Based on conversations with journalism educators and people in positions of power in various Saami institutions, I have identified five key considerations in producing and teaching Saami journalism, which may at times be in tension with the norms of mainstream journalism60: 1. language choices; 2. topic selection (what is deemed important to the presumed audiences); 3. journalists and editors’ assumptions about the audience’s cultural knowledge and familiarity (referred to by those interviewed as the “starting point” of the audience and of the journalist); 4. how to create news that grabs the audience’s attention without harming the community61; 5. journalistic ethics in a small, often interrelated society. Saami media, which are often expressed as a manifestation of the Indigenous right to self-determination, are also inherently tied to the larger socio-economic and political norms of professional journalism, the state educational system, and the Nordic models of public access to media and social democratic governance. These different institutions and values can create a more nuanced media but can also cause tension in articulating the role and practice of journalism and the training of the next generation of journalists. It is for this reason that I reference them as both considerations and tensions. These tensions have informed many conversations taking place in curricular, political, and policy circles as well as “on the ground” within both mainstream and 60 In Chapter 6 I compare how these considerations affect Saami and Romani journalism programs. 61 Media that is created to grab audience’s attention is referred to in Nordic media as “tabloid” but that word does not have the same connotations as North American press (celebrity gossip, alien landings etc.) 139 more specialized, including Indigenous, journalism institutions (Browne, 1996; El-Nawawy & Iskandar, 2002b; Hackett & Zhao, 1998; Markelin, 2003; Markelin & Husband, 2007; Pietikäinen, 2003, 2008a; Solbakk, 2006a; Wilson & Stewart, 2008). They have also led to new, unique media institutions and programming. For example, in 2008, nine directors of Indigenous television sections/channels came together to create the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Network (WITBN) (Påve; field notes, March 25, 2012). The goal of the network is to create a space for the sharing and co-production of Indigenous media content. Every two years, the network directors and key staff get together for a face-to-face conference to enable skill sharing and networking. The theme for the third World Indigenous Television Networking Conference, hosted by The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation—Sápmi (NRK Sápmi) and Sámi University College in 2012, was “Developing Indigenous Journalism”; the aim was to explore these issues through both academic and practical lenses. Another example of the ongoing, unfolding conversation on what constitutes “Saami journalism” can be seen in the curriculum created for the Master of Arts in Indigenous Journalism being put forth by Sámi allaskuvla (Sámi University College). The MA curriculum was approved by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (the body that approves accreditation of new university programs throughout Norway). With a projected start date of September 2014, the program will be the first of its kind in the world. The student body is expected to be at least half Saami, but the University College also hopes to recruit other Indigenous journalists so the students can learn from each other’s experiences.62 Mandatory coursework includes two classes that directly address the evolving definitions of Indigenous 62 For more information please see http://www.Sámiskhs.no/index.php?c=604&kat=Indigenous+Journalism&p= 140 journalism and the Indigenous journalist: “What is Indigenous Journalism” and “Ethics, Law and Professional Identity” (Sámi allaskuvla, 2011). The content of the curriculum is yet another example of how the tensions of nation building and the norms of professional journalism are both constitutive of the journalism education process. The curriculum identifies a “gap” between “what is” and the “what ought to be” in media performance and explores the individual Indigenous journalist’s professional practice. The goal is for such self-reflexivity to potentially lead to “changing professional norms of journalistic production” (Sámi allaskuvla, 2011, p. 23). Throughout this chapter, I illustrate how various institutions of Saami journalism and Saami journalism education attempt to develop and teach these standards to the next generation of journalists. Unlike Romani media training, Saami journalism education primarily occurs in two places: on the job with other working journalists or through formal journalism training, including at Sámi allaskuvla, where students can currently receive a BA in journalism taught in Saami language. I argue that both forms of education are shaped by the five considerations noted above. Saami journalism and journalism education are shaped by and engaged with the larger socio-political contexts of Saami realities as an Indigenous people living in the rural areas of prosperous countries creating media within, between, and across borders. Media Context Within the Nordic Public Service Model Journalism is recognized and promoted as an important function, indeed a public service, throughout all the Nordic countries (Losifidis & Steemers, 2005; Salokangas, Schwoch, & Virtapohja, 1997). The state guarantees and funds media based on the premise that they provide the service of informing, building, and entertaining the (implicitly singular) nation for the purpose of facilitating a self-governing democracy. Both within the law and in social practice, 141 Saami media are recognized as a right within the Nordic countries and to some extent in Russia (Graham, 2010; Haetta, 2013). The states have assumed financial responsibility and all Saami media are dependent on state support either by being a part of a public media outlet or by receiving direct and substantial subsidies (Markelin, 2003).63 Without being prompted, all of my interviewees consistently reiterated that all Saami media are financially dependent on the state. Although they were aware that state funding creates limitations, they also saw it as a continuation of the state’s responsibility to financially support media that entertain and educate. According to those interviewed, access to consistent quality programming in Saami language is both a right for and a service to the Saami people and majority population, if not the larger world. As RK, a Saami journalist for NRK-Sápmi explained, “You cannot underestimate the tradition of broadcasting in the Nordic countries; without the public broadcasting corporation [the Saami division], Saami journalism, as we know it, would not exist.”64 Unlike the case of Romani media, it was rare for people to raise concerns about the sustainability of state funding. The majority of those interviewed saw the funding of NRK-Sápmi (and SR/SVT and Yle Sápmi) and the press subsidies of Avvir and Ságat as the state accepting its legal and moral responsibility to ensure, support, and develop the media of its Indigenous people, as it would any other form of public broadcasting (Browne, 1996; Graham, 2010; Markelin, 2003; Markelin & Husband, 2007). Some, like Torkel Rasmussen (a former journalist and head of the journalism program at Sámi allaskuvla) and John T. Solbakk (a media historian and publisher) bemoaned what they considered a lost opportunity to create a financially 63 The Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish states all support Saami language radio and television on their public broadcasting channels, and the Norwegian state provides financial subsidies to the two daily Saami newspapers, one of which is written in Norwegian (Ságat) and the other in Saami (Avvir), and both of which have a printed circulation of under 3,000. 64 RK and PS both agreed to be quoted but asked to remain anonymous. 142 independent, pan-Sápmi media outlet, but they were by far the minority. As a person from United States who was raised with the idea that the separation of the press and the state is sacrosanct, what was perhaps more striking for me was the lack of discussion about the possibility that state dependence might lead to cooptation of the Saami movement. When I pushed the discussion, some people, such as Solbakk and Ande Somby65 (and other people who could be seen as “veterans” of the Saami movement), spoke about the possible co-optive potential. Others, although aware of the issue, responded in a very pragmatic matter. As Katri Somby explained: I spent 10 years working in NRK-Sápmi. There were five or six people working in NRK in the 1980s and now there are 70–80 people. It’s like the BBC having its own Indigenous branch. It’s a frontrunner in Saami media. Some people would say it’s not Saami self-determination, but after working there for 10 years I have to say I don’t know where else we would go…we have a foot in the biggest media in the world, economically and politically. As I have explored in other work, it appears that state support, which enables a financially solid, consistent form of media, may actually be a form of self-determination (Plaut, 2014). This differs greatly from the model of constantly struggling grant-based projects seen in the funding of Romani media projects. The question raised is: What are the implications for the transnational identity of Saami people and their framing of socio-political realities across borders when relying on the state system for funding, infrastructure, and airwaves? Does such consistent financial support enhance the potential for transnational mobilization or does it dampen its potential? Is it a situation where the “soft rights” of culture and language placate the possibility of advocating for the “hard rights” of economic and political self-determination? Or can journalists, if they can concentrate on journalism and are not constantly struggling, actually do their job and “facilitate a 65 As four of the people whom I interviewed have the last name Somby, I refer to them using either full names or first names to avoid confusion. 143 debate” within society and thus provide the information and framing that enables change to take place? Who and What are Saami, Saami Media Outlets, and Saami Journalism? An estimated 70,000 Saami live in the territory that is currently known as Norway, Sweden, and Finland, and the Kola Peninsula of Russia; the area is called “Sápmi” in Saami language.66 Of the approximately 70,000 Saami, approximately 30,000 speak one of the nine Saami languages. Figure 5.1 is a map of Sápmi. The different colors represent the distribution of different Saami languages, and the checkered areas show the traditional reindeer patterns of migration. Many of these languages are not mutually understandable, and some are nearing extinction. What the map fails to show is the very large Saami populations in Oslo, Helsinki, and Stockholm. The Saami broadcasting arms all recognize this reality, and all ensure that their radio (if not television) programs can be accessed in the capital cities (Eira; Näkkäläjärvi; NRK-Sápmi, 2010). The most commonly spoken Saami language is “North Saami,” which is represented in dark green on the map; unless otherwise noted, when I use the term “Saami language,” I am referring to North Saami (Fjellheim; Solbakk, 2006a; Lehtola, 2004; Magga). 66 Sápmi as a unified region existed for the Saami before the creation of modern states. Thus, when Saami refer to the countries (or activities taking place in the countries) that are now in Sápmi, they refer to “sides,” that is, Saami on the Norwegian side of Sápmi have different rules for reindeer herding than those on the Finnish side. I follow that usage in my work as well. 144 Figure 5.1 Map of Sápmi. Originally published in Samefolket; reproduced with permission of the editor. The definition of who is Saami is based on both subjective and objective criteria. Norway, Finland, and Russia recognize Saami as an Indigenous population; Sweden classifies Saami as original inhabitants with special rights but does not use the term “Indigenous” in its constitution. Only Norway is a signatory to International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 169, which lists detailed rights but does not specifically mention the right of self-determination as articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Grote, 2007; Henriksen, 2009, 2011).67 There is a long and painful history of colonization in all four 67 ILO 169 is a legally binding treaty that codifies the minimum standard of rights for Indigenous peoples, including language and other cultural rights as well as the need for consultation on any issues that may directly affect them (development, resource extraction, etc.), to ensure “free, prior and informed consent.” The declaration states, “The spirit of consultation and participation constitutes the cornerstone of Convention No. 169 on which all its provisions are based. The Convention requires indigenous and tribal peoples to be consulted on issues that affect them. It also requires that these peoples are able to engage in free, prior and informed participation in policy and 145 countries, which has had a drastic effect on the socio-economic conditions and the sense of cultural worth among the Saami. Although a “Saami revival” began in the 1970s, as can be seen from the Ijäs quote at the opening of the chapter, the idea of being a “fine man” is often internalized as subsuming one’s Saami identity: to be a “fine man,” one had to take off one’s Saami clothes. Thus, according to my interviewees, for many generations Saami would try to “pass” as a member of the majority society and/or deny their Saami origins. Thus, the notion of “Saami identity” is evolving. There is an elected representative body for Saami people in the Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish sides of Sápmi.68 A person is eligible to vote in the elections for the Saami Parliament if one of his or her parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents spoke Saami as a first language and if that person feels he or she is Saami.69 The rationale behind this decision is partially based on the forced linguistic and cultural assimilation policy targeting Saami in all four countries, especially Norway.70 The definition of “Saami-ness” can, of course, also lead to interesting situations in which some members of some families are registered as Saami and vote in Saami Parliamentary elections but their siblings are and do not.71 development processes that affect them.” For more information, see http://www.ilo.org/indigenous/Conventions/no169/lang--en/index.htm and http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_norm/@normes/documents/publication/wcms_118120.pdf 68 There are Saami Parliaments in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. At this time, the Saami on the Russian side do not have a Saami Parliament, although there are ongoing discussions to start one with or without Kremlin permission. In addition, the Saami Parliamentary Council brings together the Saami Parliaments of all three countries and representatives from the Russian side and the Saami Council (as observers) to discuss cross-border Saami issues (Fjellheim). “The Sámi Parliamentary Council came into being because the Sámi Parliaments saw the need for a close cooperation across national borders at a parliamentary level, since many types of affairs touch the Sámi people as a whole. The objective is that those elected by popular vote can, through such a council cooperate and coordinate Sámi points of view in matters of common interest and in current Nordic and international issues” (Solbakk, 2006a, p. 243). 69 For more information on the discussions that helped solidify this definition, see Ahren et al. (2008). 70 The policy in Norway, for which the Norwegian government formally apologized in the 1980s, was referred to as the Norwegianization policy. For more information on the effect this has had on language, see Kangas-Skutnabb & Dubar (2010). 71 The 2009 film Suddenly Saami by Ellen-Astri Lundby offers a very compelling narrative illustrating this situation. 146 History of Saami Journalism Self-identified “Saami media” began in 1873, when the newspaper Muitalægje launched, followed by the more famous Nuorttanaste in 1898 (Somby, 2009). That said, radio and, more recently, television, rather than written publications, have become the cornerstones of Saami media. Quite quickly after the end of World War II, Saami language was present on the radio. The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) began broadcasting Saami news in 1946, and Finnish public broadcasting (Yle) followed suit a year later. Swedish radio (SVR) has had Saami programming since 1953. In 1992, Saami Radio (now NRK-Sápmi) was founded as its own division of NRK; it boasts seven regional offices. The head of NRK-Sápmi reports directly to the director general of NRK. Presently, Saami media comprise television, radio, newspaper, and online content.72 Each country in Sápmi, with the exception of Russia, produces Saami language radio and television content through the publically funded broadcasting network. The various public broadcasters also participate in program/file sharing across state borders (NRK-Sápmi, 2010).73 Although the language of transmission is primarily North Saami, each radio station makes a concerted effort to have programming in other Saami languages. Only Yle Sápmi has its own radio station (in Ánar /Inari); the Swedish and Norwegian programming runs on the main channel in both countries but is available only in certain areas although more radio content is available online. Two newspapers are printed and distributed five days a week: Avvir (in Saami language) 72 Although personally run Web pages exist and social media use is quite common (later in this piece I discuss a film about Saami reindeer herders using Facebook—Viddas Facebookgutter by “Anything,” 2011), in this section, I only review online content formally connected to a media institution. 73 In 2002, with the support of the Saami Council, NRK-Sápmi engaged in a three-year project to create a Saami radio station on the Russian side of Sápmi. Many of the most senior and respected Saami journalists (such as Liv Inger Somby) were engaged in that program. Unfortunately, the radio station was not sustainable. However, many of those Saami journalists continue to contribute to Saami media throughout Sápmi, and there is now an Internet radio station broadcasting out of the Kola (Eira 05252011; Rasmussen, L. I. Somby). 147 and Ságat (in Norwegian). Both are printed on the Norwegian side of Sápmi. Additional publications come out less frequently, including a magazine focused on Saami women and a Christian periodical, both of which are in Norwegian, as well as Samefolket from the Swedish side of Sápmi, which is written in Swedish (Berg-Nordlie, 2011; Solbakk, 2006a, pp. 174–175; Somby, 2009). Starting in 2013, the largest newspaper in Northern Finland Lapin Kansa, began publishing a Saami-language insert (Näkkäläjärvi). The online presence is linguistically mixed: NRK-Sápmi’s website is primarily in Norwegian, and SVR Sámiradion’s website is in Swedish, but Yle Sápmi’s website is primarily in Saami language with increasing amounts of Finnish. Yle Sápmi is also unique in that it is the only online source of news in Skolt Saami and Inari Saami (two Saami languages that are unique and struggling for revitalization). 148 Table 5.1 Saami Media Outlets and Initiatives Name of media outlet Country Medium Head of the outlet (at time of research) Website Transnational content/initiatives NRK-Sápmi Norway TV, radio, online Nils Johan Haetta http://www.nrk.no/Sápmi Ođđasat (15-minute pan-Sápmi news show). Links to Yle Sápmi, SR Saami, and STV Saami on website; one of the founders of the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Network (WITBN). Avvir Norway Newspaper Sara Beate Eira (has since taken leave) http://www.avvir.no/ Has freelancers in every country in Sápmi, including Russia. Ságat Norway Newspaper Geir Wulff http://www.sagat.no/ Primarily focused on the Norwegian side of Sápmi, especially Sea Saami issues. Has taken an active role in covering issues throughout Sápmi, particularly in its editorial pages. Yle Sápmi Finland Radio, online, some TV programming (As of October 2012) Pirita Näkkäläjärvi http://yle.fi/uutiset/Sápm/ Contributes to and broadcasts Ođđasat; associate member of the WITBN. SVR Saami Sweden Radio Per Johannes Marainen http://sverigesradio.se/sida/default.aspx?programid=2327 Links to Yle Sápmi on its website. 149 Name of media outlet Country Medium Head of the outlet (at time of research) Website Transnational content/initiatives SVT Sweden TV Per Johannes Marainen http://www.svtplay.se/oddasat Contributes to and broadcasts Ođđasat; associate member of the WITBN. Samefolket Sweden Magazine, online magazine Catherine Hällgren http://www.samefolket.se None World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Network (WITBN) Online presence Online Currently Nils Johan Haetta, changes every two years http://www.witbn.org Produces Indigenous Insight—a show tackling one theme from a variety of Indigenous contexts that is distributed and broadcast to all its members; engaged in file sharing of other shows. NRK-Sápmi is a founding member; SVT and Yle are associate members. Galdu Norway Online Janne Hansen was acting director at the time of research, now Laila Susanne Vars http://www.galdu.org Covers Indigenous issues worldwide; produces the policy/academic journal Gáldu Čála. Publications are often translated into English to ensure a wider audience; certain stories are only available in Saami. 150 Although all Saami media outlets are explicit that their primary audience is Saami, non-Saami do consume Saami media, especially TV broadcasts, which are all subtitled in the state language. Every weekday, a 15-minute television news program (Ođđasat) is broadcast across Sápmi (those on the Russian side can pick it up from NRK-Sápmi) in Saami language and subtitled in the majority language of the state.74 Journalists from TV stations across Sápmi contribute material, but the program is cut and edited at NRK-Sápmi headquarters in Kárášjohka/Karasjok. Although there are only 70,000 Saami, according to the director and deputy director of NRK-Sápmi, Ođđasat averages 300,000 viewers daily. This suggests that at least three-quarters of those watching do not identify as Saami (Haetta; Valio). Unlike Roma interviewees nearly all of those interviewed identified “Saami media” as media aiming to address a Saami audience in their local communities, and across Sápmi, rather than Saami journalists working to produce content to inform a non-Saami audience. This definition is consistent with Saami journalism curricula (Sámi allaskuvla, 2008, 2011), the historical policy documents that established these media outlets (NRK-Sápmi, 2010), and the Galdu report summarizing the 2011 workshop referenced at the beginning of this chapter (Henriksen, 2011). In fact, the official NRK-Sápmi brochure (English version) states: Through its programme policy Sámi radio will activate an inherent wish among the Sámi People throughout to live and act in Sámi ways. Likewise Sámi Radio must generate greater knowledge inside the populations of Norway about matters [concerning] Sámi and Sámi people, their culture and society (p. 1). Many have argued that by having “their own media,” Saami are better able to serve their nation in cultivating and developing the desire and the knowledge to “live in Saami ways.” Thus, although much attention is paid to content, the sheer existence of Saami media is seen as an 74 According to Valio and Näkkäläjärvi, at the end of 2013, NRK-Sápmi and Yle Sápmi began broadcasting five-minute segments about news taking place on the Norwegian and Finnish sides of Sápmi, respectively, to be broadcast nationally. 151 enactment of self-determination. This is an important distinction from Romani media, which, as discussed in Chapter 4, have seen a shift away from Romani-specific media outlets to Romani content aired for a non-Romani audience. Understanding the Saami within the Larger Indigenous Movement Saami have played and continue to play a leading role within the global movement for Indigenous rights. Partially due to the financial advantage of living in the affluent and peaceful Nordic states, the Saami have been able to build up international, regional, and local structures and systems that work for their own communities, other Indigenous nations, and Indigenous movement worldwide (Fjellheim; Lam, 2006; Plaut, 2012a; Sanders, 1980; Wilmer, 1993, pp. 2, 18–19). Along with other Indigenous peoples, most notably the Maori and the Inuit, Saami played a founding role in the World Council of Indigenous People, The Arctic Council, the United Nations Permanent Forum for the Rights of Indigenous People (they were also active participants in drafting the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples), and the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Network (Sanders, 1980; Wilmer, 1993, pp. 2, 138). The Saami Parliament system and the Draft Saami Nordic Convention, which places Saami Parliaments in direct conversation with governments of nation-states, is a model of self-determination admired by many other transnational Indigenous peoples (Ahren, Scheinin, & Henriksen, 2007). The Saami are well aware that their experiences can serve to support other Indigenous communities but that each Indigenous community needs to develop its own models of resistance, accommodation, and governance based on its own needs (Sámi allaskuvla, 2011, p. 3; Henriksen, 2011, Chapter 3). As I have noted in previous work, there is a politics of “cooperation without co-optation” among Arctic Indigenous communities (Plaut, 2012a). Like 152 Inuit diplomacy, Saami politics are rarely centered on confrontation; rather, there is an attempt to accommodate, cooperate, and legislate, and then build systems that work smoothly (Abele & Rodon, 2007; Solbakk, 2006a; Henriksen, 2008). The Nordic model of democratic socialism also provides an environment in which a more centralized form of governance and funding is recognized as normal and unproblematic, as long as the governance is by the Saami from Sápmi rather than those from Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, or Moscow (Fjellheim). This is in stark contrast with Romani political advocacy, which sees competing parties and NGOs vie for the attention spans and resources in “a competitive marketplace” (Bob, 2005) of causes and funding. The Role of Saami Language The issue of language is sensitive because, although there are no official statistics, it is believed that less than half of the Saami population on the Norwegian side of Sápmi (where the language is considered the strongest) speaks Saami, and less than 10,000 read and write Saami (Berg-Nordlie, 2011; Gaski, 1997; Lehtola, 2004; Solbakk, 2006a; K. Somby). Nonetheless, the use of Saami language in journalistic practice continues to influence how media makers, managers, and editors identify Saami media (Pietikäinen, 2008b, p. 186). Several scholars (Browne, 1996; Fraser, 1991, 2007; Graham, 2010; Kelly, 2011; Rasmussen, 1999) have written about marginalized peoples’ production and circulation of media and the relationship between such media and socio-political change. Some of these media makers self-identify as Indigenous, ethnic minorities, linguistic minorities, and/or part of a sub-/counter culture. For Indigenous peoples, and to some extent other national and ethnic minorities (particularly in Europe), much of the conversation has revolved around the relationship between 153 media and language based on the assumptions that (a) media both preserves and develops minority languages, and (b) language is a cornerstone of protecting, preserving, and promoting culture (Donders, 2002; Kymlicka, 1995; Magga).75 Of course, the state (colonizing) language has become the first language for many Indigenous peoples. Thus, Indigenous languages are not used in media to ensure communication per se, but as a means of teaching the language (to children and adults) and as a source of pride (Browne, 1996; Graham, 2010; Wilson & Stewart, 2008). One interviewee who preferred to remain anonymous recalled that the first time his mother heard Saami on the radio, she stopped washing the dishes, looked up, cocked her head and said “Oh! Our language can be used here, too!” Those interviewed recognized that preserving and nurturing Saami language may not, and perhaps should not, be the explicit goal of Saami media because other institutions have been established specifically for this goal. As Sara Beate Eira, editor of Avvir, the only daily Saami language paper, explained, “[i]t’s not our official role to keep the language alive, but we’re doing it by our sheer existence” (05252011). In fact, many of the arguments by those involved in Saami media production and journalism education drew parallels between the goals of Saami media and the language policies of other Saami institutions, arguing that where the use of Saami language becomes the norm, a Saami worldview becomes normalized and, in turn, valued as equal to that of the majority society (Magga; Solbakk; A. Somby; Pedersen). Quite a few journalists who identify as Saami do not work in Saami language, including people I interviewed for this project. Some work for Saami media outlets, including Ságat, 75 Knowing and using one’s “mother tongue” is a right enshrined in various international and regional treaties such as the European Convention on the Rights of Minority Languages, the Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Right of the Child. The right to media in one’s language is specifically mentioned in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Graham, 2010; Markelin, 2003; Rasmussen). 154 written in Norwegian, whereas others work for non-Saami media outlets. Thus it was a bit puzzling that interviewees, even those who work in non-Saami languages, almost always assumed that by Saami media I meant Saami-language media. In other words, it seemed much easier to identify Saami-language media than to articulate (a singular) Saami perspective within a media story or media outlet. This assumption is telling because when asked directly if one needs to use Saami language in order to be considered a Saami journalist, nearly all those interviewed said no. They were quick to clarify that “Saami media” involved issues surrounding ownership, perspective, story selection, and editorial control, as well as an assumption of audience. Another key point emerged—what was often referred to as the journalist’s, and audience’s, “starting point”: the lens through which the story is both cast and consumed. This can help explain why journalists working for Ságat are considered Saami journalists, and why, regardless of ethnicity, the majority of people tuning in to Ođđasat are non-Saami speaking. Saami stories are assumed to differ from those of the majority society in content, framing, and access. But there is still work to do to better understand what it is about the “starting point” that helps shape the media content— in terms of the stories selected and how they are presented. In other words, how can one cultivate and practice a Saami starting point, or what Sandra Harding (1993) might refer to as a “standpoint,” while working both within and outside of the language? Media as a Form of Self-Determination: Nation Building, “Watchdogging” and Facilitating “Debate within Society” One of the ways in which media are seen as serving the Saami community is by enacting many of the “traditional” roles of media, such as keeping an eye on people and institutions of 155 power (“watchdog journalism”) and unearthing issues (“investigative journalism”) to highlight opportunities for change. As Stein Svala, a veteran journalist who now works for Ságat, but has previously worked for both Saami and non-Saami media outlets worldwide, explained, “We are very sensitive to misuse of power among our own. Money. Public money. Typical watchdog issues of journalism.” Not wanting to presume my own North American definitions and assumptions of journalism, the first question I asked those interviewed – as I did with those involved in Romani journalism – was, “What is a journalist?” The response was surprisingly uniform: a person who helps inform the people as a form of public service about the debate within society. Society in this case means Saami society, but not only within Sápmi—Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, and the rest of the world get quite a bit of coverage. This is in line with Silvio Waisbord’s (2013) understanding of journalism as a public service (pp. 126–130). As Jan Gunnar Furuly, who identifies as Saami and writes for Aftenposten, one of Norway’s largest newspapers, explains, “A journalist should want to tell modern stories for your own people, and also, a journalist should have a motivation to change society. Something should be different after you run the story.” Noble as Furuly’s ideals are, this process can become particularly complicated for a transnational, Indigenous minority within a state-funded media system. In trying to make sure something is different after the story runs, specifically what kind of change is sought, and for whom? Who are “your own people?” For whom are you reporting, and whom do you choose to investigate? How does this actually work in the world of professional journalism, which has so often promoted the distance between the journalist and the world as it is observed (Lippmann, 1920)? Ande Somby, a Saami law professor and veteran of the Saami movement, explains this need for balance as a kind of dance: 156 Saami media is in a very delicate position. On one hand, they need to serve the Saami population stories, and on the other hand they need to fulfill the role of media in general….Saami journalism has to relate to the fact that what they produce can be hurtful to the Saami society and used against you by the Norwegian society. If we understand that “fulfill[ing] the role of media in general” can be understood as watchdog journalism, then this dance brings up an inherent tension identified by many interviewed. How does a Saami journalist “prove” his or her journalistic credentials, and by whose standards? Does being objective mean being against the Saami (S. Somby), or does it mean engaging in fact checking and the journalistic rigor of “critical media” (K. Somby)? According to Ande Somby, too often there is an overeager desire to prove that Saami media are “real” media without necessarily examining what criteria are used to define and assess real media. There is also a fear that negative information/coverage can be used against Saami by those in power (both Saami and non-Saami), which Ande Somby referred to as a “bird shitting in its own nest.” An example of this can be seen in the very real problems facing overgrazing, leading to malnourishment and internal fights, in the reindeer herding community. I discuss this in greater detail towards the end of the chapter, but suffice to say that at times the fights over resources resulted in the tundra being referred to as “the Saami wild west,” including snowmobile shoot-outs and all. These are issues that warrant serious media coverage but can also result in sensationalism and accusations of Saami being incapable of regulating their own people and industry. All these issues are weighed carefully when deciding how to craft a media piece and for whom – how can this piece be helpful and how can it be used against the community? Ande illustrated the tensions by drawing out a diagram, which I have duplicated as Figure 5.2. 157 A bird shitting in its own nest Thin/trivial media “Resistance Radio”—a “soldier marching to his own cause” (activist media/propaganda) CRITICAL MEDIA = not being that bird, that soldier or that thin media Figure 5.2 Four Typologies and Tensions of Saami Media; designed by Ande Somby. Like Furuly’s notion of media needing to create positive change in the society, Ande Somby suggests that Saami media should aim to be critical media, and he was not unique in this view. When asked what “good Saami media” look like, nearly all those interviewed (journalism educators as well as those working in Saami institutions) defined good media as putting “a critical eye on Saami society” and “airing the debate within society.” Steinar Pedersen, then rector of Sámi allaskuvla, explained that Saami journalists “are persons who are able to put a critical eye/focus on different parts of the Saami society where it is necessary to put critical questions. And without critical questions, no society will be able to develop.” An example of this “critical eye” can be seen in the next section which explores Galdu’s journalistic decisions in covering the contentious, multi-year negotiation between the Saami Parliament and the Norwegian government regarding Saami fishing rights. Speaking Inside; Speaking Outside—The Example of Galdu’s Story on Fishing Rights Although many people associate Saami with reindeer, in actuality only 10% make their living through reindeer herding. A much larger portion survives by farming and fishing. Those whose living is based on fishing are called “Sea-Saami.” In early spring 2011, the Saami 158 Parliament and the Norwegian government reached an agreement regarding the recognition, or lack of recognition, of historic water rights for Saami who make their livelihood from fishing.76 This was a contentious issue, as some Saami felt that the Saami Parliament compromised too much with the Norwegian government and failed to ensure that Saami had access to both traditional waterways and fish. The Galdu Resource Center for the Rights of Indigenous People (Galdu) was one organization heavily involved in covering and providing analysis of this issue. Galdu is a publically funded research and advocacy organization charged with being independent and non-political. According to Janne Hansen, then Galdu’s acting Director, one of the main ways it fulfills its mandate is through the production of accurate and timely news and analysis regarding issues concerning Saami and other Indigenous people.77 Galdu had covered water rights issues for some time, both in its hard copy journal, Gáldu Čála, and on its website. In addition, the director at the time, Magne Ove Varsi, had published numerous articles framing water rights as a human right in the Norwegian-language Saami newspaper, Ságat (Hansen). When the fishing rights decision was to be announced, Galdu decided to send Silja Somby, an advisor for Galdu who is fluent in Saami, to cover the story and elaborate on its possible implications. When she arrived, Silja recalled, “Everyone said that they didn’t have high expectations going in, but it was obvious as the meeting progressed…It was obvious that the Saami were very, very sad.” It was obvious to Silja that this was “an injustice” that the majority society, and thus the majority media, would “want to bury.” Given this, she chose to write a feature piece about the meeting and the reaction to the meeting using evocative descriptions of how people were sitting and their facial expressions. Galdu does not normally run 76 For an in-depth review of the issue and the various ways it was framed within Northern Norway’s media, see Søreng (2008). 77 For more information, see www.galdu.org 159 feature pieces, but, ultimately, the organization decided to publish the story but to do so in Saami language only. Acting Director Janne Hansen explained, The last article Silja has published in Saami we decided not to (translate)…We decided to just publish in Saami because it is a little bit…It’s about the situation when they made the final decision on fishing rights…It was very tender. She was trying to show the emotions, not that people have, but what people show, and it was…Well, we decided to keep it internal information (My emphasis). The question then arises: Why did Galdu staff feel it was advantageous to keep this “internal information?” As Søreng (2008) points out in his review of the public fishing rights debates that took place over 10 weeks in Nordlys (the largest newspaper in Northern Norway), it is important to note “the kinds of stories these stakeholders tell and the narratives they create about fishing rights” as a kind of strategy of seeking support from what they presume to be a supportive audience (pp. 81–82). Is this a strategic use of private space, as detailed by Nancy Fraser’s (1991) conceptualization of subaltern counter publics, or is it a case of Galdu not wanting to risk losing the financial support of the Norwegian government? Decisions about audience and framing are examples of the considerations and tensions discussed at the beginning of the chapter—what Ande Somby referred to as “the dance.” How much “disagreement” should be exposed to a larger—historically oppressive—public, and how much should be kept internal? What are the benefits to having a safe, “counter-public” in order to air such differences of opinion and strategy? How can this assist in developing both strategies of resistance and alternatives? And what role can journalism, and journalists, play in this process? As can be seen from this example, it is a dance that is ongoing. 160 The Role of the Media in Nation Building and the Reality of Multiple Audiences There was not one common understanding of the role of media within Saami society. Although all agreed that media should keep an eye on those in power and “reflect the debate within [Saami] society,” there were differences in which powerbrokers should be getting the most scrutiny as well as understanding journalism’s place in nation building. At times, there were heated discussions, as some journalists, such as Jan Gunnar Furuly, saw nation building as incompatible with the watchdog or investigative journalism that is the “engine” and “fire” of “good journalism.” Other people, such as media historian and former NRK journalist Katri Somby, saw much more synergy between the two goals, noting: You can build up the nation—your nation—by being critical. Only by having Saami journalism education and Saami journalists are you building up the nation. You need to be critical to society, to the system—you can bring positive stories, but you need to be critical too, and then sometimes you need to be critical of your own people. You need to have both. What does Saami society do wrong, and what does the majority society do wrong? It’s not about having Saami propaganda but a living culture—a true people, not an image. There needs to be debate to have a society that is vibrant, living, and evolving. At the same time, it is recognized that “wisdom” is required when being critical: there are multiple audiences with inherently different levels of power, and, as discussed, being critical can be interpreted by those on “the outside” as being internally divided (A. Somby). At the 2011 workshop, Arne Johansen Ijäs, then-director of the Saami Journalism program at Sámi allaskuvla, was quoted as saying, “Saami media has [sic]a duty to both [be] contributing to the nation building and also being critical to what happens in the Sámi community…[and] through critical journalism, Saami media has actually contributed to strengthening the Saami community” (Henriksen, 2011, p. 41).78 78 Further on in the chapter I illustrate examples of how two different Saami journalists chose to cover a rash of suicides among reindeer herders, exposing social and economic pressures, even though public discussion of suicide was deemed taboo in both Saami society and Norwegian journalistic practice. 161 A Saami Starting Point The Saami perspective is very much shaped by place. An example of this from outside journalism can be found at SIIDA, the Saami Museum in Ánar(Inari) on the Finnish side of Sápmi. One is greeted with an image of the planet—from the Northern perspective. This orients, or disorients, the guest to a different starting point from which to digest the information in the museum. Likewise, Liv Inger Somby—a senior journalist who has worked on the Norwegian, Swedish, and Russian sides of Sápmi, as well as in Oslo—drew a map of the North and explained, “most people in the south think that the Arctic is far away, but when one starts from the north, all of a sudden China, Russia, Canada, etc., become very close.” This is a different, and particularly Saami, way of seeing, approaching, and reporting on the world. 162 Figure 5.3 The world from up north, seen upon entering Siida, the Saami Museum in Ánar /Inari, Finland. The dots note the different Indigenous peoples who call the Arctic their home. Permission granted by Arja Jomppanen, head curator of Sámi Museum—Siida. It is this process of creating a common, Saami orientation that Saami journalists and journalism educators identify as a Saami “starting point.” Everyone I spoke with heralded the importance of media in this process. As Nils Johan Haetta, director of NRK-Sápmi, explained, 163 media create common points of interest and discussion by providing a singular program of news and entertainment, thus creating and maintaining a common audience. This process, found in all national and/or public service media, helps create and develop a more unified identity and can be identified as a nation-building project (Anderson 1983/1991; Hallin, 1994). But does the goal of nation building negate the role and responsibility of watchdog journalism? As evidenced in my interviews and in Galdu’s report on the 2011 media workshop (Henriksen, 2009), there is no settled answer. Haetta argues that all journalists are involved in a form of nation building by bringing their worldviews and identities to the story at hand, particularly if they belong to one of the groups affected by a story. He reflected on a piece that ran on Ođđasat in 2005 as an example of a starting point: There was a report in Norwegian news, in the main news program in NRK. Statoil, the biggest oil company in Norway, had a big success in Northwestern Russia. They were really doing well, I think they found some oil in an Indigenous area and they were really doing well. It was a story highlighting success. We also ran a story the same week, but our entire story showed that Statoil, the Norwegian company, was spoiling the Indigenous land in Russia and there was a lot of pollution made by the Norwegian company. So that is NOT a very successful story. That is the differences in how we (NRK-Sápmi) choose to tell things. Haetta repeated this point in the 2011 workshop, noting that “balanced media coverage” means that people will “reflect on their own point of departure and any prejudiced opinions” but that a journalist’s ethnic background and identity “would always affect their priorities, emphasis, focus and form of presentation” (Henriksen, 2011, p. 35). According to Haetta, this is because of the “borderlines” between “us” and “them” and how these manifest when investigating and framing a story (Henriksen, 2011, p. 35). Once the story is selected, the lines are already drawn and there will be different stories—a practice of agenda setting is already underway (Carpenter, 2007; Wade, 2011). Aslak Paltto, a Saami journalist on the Finnish side of Sápmi and president of the Saami Journalism Association, put it simply: “When you want to make the news for your people 164 and the whole country, you have two totally different cases (stories).”79 Again, Sandra Harding’s work on understanding the standpoint as an achievement to enable a stronger form of objectivity can help us here. Suddenly the question changes; one is no longer negating one’s worldview or trying to distance oneself but rather engaging with that worldview through journalistic means. Reindeer Herders on Facebook: How to Negotiate a Saami Starting Point when Working With, and For, a “Double Audience” “[When we were making our film,] we were quite loyal to our idea about wanting to show this very traditional profession/lifestyle…as a modern thing that is under development. And we knew that people would expect this very romantic and exotic thing and we knew there were people who wouldn’t like that we didn’t show that because there were expectations. And that was something that…[the professor] said to us. Because he is from Southern Norway... He said that he would have liked us to show more of the exotic thing because we have been out in the tundra...He would like to see more of... the mountains and the sunset and the reindeer…so we had to really defend ourselves… “ –“Anything,” a Saami journalism student who chose to attend a non-Saami-specific institution80 “Anything” was a student of journalism. She was born and raised near Guovdageaidnu, and her mother comes from a reindeer-herding family. Rather than study at Sámi allaskuvla, “Anything” decided to study journalism at another university in Northern Norway. Staying in Northern Norway had some advantages for “Anything”: It was close enough to home to allow her to be near extended family while far enough away not to be “home.” “Anything” believed being exposed to a variety of cultures and perspectives would help her in her studies and future career as a journalist: 79 Many journalists in Sápmi used the term “cases” to speak about the journalistic stories (news or features); according to socio-linguist Jon Todal, this appears to be a Norwegianized borrowing from English (personal communication, January 16, 2012.) To ease understanding for an English audience, I have noted this in the quotes by using “(story)” next to “case.” 80 “Anything” preferred to remain anonymous. When I asked her if she would like to choose a name; she said “Anything is ok.” 165 I chose to study [outside of Guovdageaidnu] because I have lived here all my life. I thought it would enrich my education to study with people…with different backgrounds. To get another perspective on things….Because I think it is really important when you are a journalist to know different kinds of people and many people. 81 The irony is that half of the students in her cohort are Saami, and yet all but one of the instructors are ethnic Norwegians. I met with “Anything” on a Sunday afternoon for nearly two hours, and we spent a good amount of time talking about the film she made with two classmates, another Saami from a reindeer-herding family and an ethnic Norwegian. The film, about reindeer herders using Facebook, is 12 minutes long and follows two young reindeer herders in their 20s out on the tundra; one of the young men has Internet access and the other does not. For “Anything,” the goal was to make a film by young people, about young people, and for young people and to “speak to the old people in reindeer herding who criticize the young people who want to participate with modern technology when they are out there.” In the end, though, she felt like it spoke more to a Norwegian audience. According to “Anything,” this was both because of the influence of the Norwegian student in the group and because the Norwegian professor kept trying to push them to make a more “traditional” film, even citing Nanook of the North (which is notorious for its staged events and colonial approach) as a positive example: But of course it would have been very easy for us to make this romantic traditional movie and get credit from our instructor. We knew that that would be very easy. To make something for someone from southern Norway—to film 81 Many of the people I interviewed expressed similar reflections on their time “down south.” Silja Somby, Ole Henrik Magga, and Katri Somby all discussed how their time “down south” taught them that “the North” in general is just not part of people’s realities and thus provided them the opportunity to reflect on how the rest of the country sees them and learn how better to communicate cross-culturally. As Magga explained, “I went to school in Southern Norway and I was living with a family. The mother of the family, when I would talk to her, I would have to think how to explain this (pointing to the outdoors) to her. She is in Southern Norway, and from Southern Norway, and had been to Finnmark once…I have to think, to really understand, how she may think…and then try to have her understand how we think. And that is what we need to do.” 166 reindeer and Saami people. We knew that, but we wouldn’t go there because that wouldn’t be our story and we couldn’t take the movie home and go and show it to our dad or mom…If we had made a romantic [mythical/stereotypical] movie about the Saami people, I would feel embarrassed to show it to my people, you know. Because it wouldn’t be something I could stand for. In the end, according to “Anything,” the film took on a life of its own—or perhaps a life of its three filmmakers and the professor. It is not the film that “Anything” set out to make, and she is not sure if she is proud of it as a final product. That said, “Anything” does not regret the process; she feels she learned a lot about teamwork and compromise, and most importantly she learned the importance of audience and how assumptions about the audience’s knowledge shape the production of the film: We had a lot of discussions and goals in our group. It was really a good learning experience because I think that we were the group that had to be really conscious of who is our audience because we came from different backgrounds. And I think that we all wanted to make a movie that we could be proud to show to mom and dad at home…[but] we had to make it understandable for people who don’t know the reindeer-herding culture. So we cut a lot of clips that were too based on knowing the culture, too specific. So we had to cut that so that people [not as familiar with the culture] would understand. That was one thing. And we also texted (subtitled) in Norwegian and had a voiceover in Norwegian. “Anything’s” experience making this film demonstrates some of the strategic decisions made based on assumptions of the audience’s starting point. When “Anything” was beginning to make this film she assumed her audience would be other Saami who already had in-depth knowledge of the language, culture and tensions as well as the inter-generation debates within the reindeer herding community. As Raheja (2007) points out, this use of film in general can be an act of de-colonization—there is no need, nor desire, to make it accessible to non Indigenous people because the audience was internal. But as the making of the film progressed, it became obvious for all three students that there would be multiple audiences and thus the various “starting points” for both the filmmakers and the audience became clearer. What could be seen as 167 objective or “neutral” to some people—long tundra scenes with frolicking reindeer in the distance, a soundtrack of joik (traditional Saami music)—would be seen as trite and stereotypical by others. However, by jumping directly into a story on the use of Facebook without any background on what is considered “normal” on the tundra (How long are people usually on the land? Are they usually alone or with others?) would leave other audience members confused. There was no longer “an” objective story, rather the practice of what El-Nawawy and Iskandar (2002a) refer to as “contextual objectivity,” came into play. Objectivity needed to be negotiated. Saami Journalism: Cultivating, Strengthening, and Promoting Self-determination The introductory video on the front page of the Galdu website begins, “We are Saami, and we want to be Saami, without being any more or less than other people in the world” (Galdu.org & Johansen, 2007). According to Rune Fjellheim, Director General of the Saami Parliament on the Norwegian side of Sápmi, this statement was made almost in passing at the launching of the Saami Parliament. It speaks to the approach Saami take towards their politics: self-determination. This context is important to understand, as it helps explain how policy and politics work in Sápmi. Saami rarely fear physical threats and attack (anymore), and thus most of the concerns surround control over Saami lives: Are the rights of Saami, as the Indigenous peoples of the land, respected (Fjellheim; Plaut, 2012a)? Are Saami provided with what they need to not only preserve but develop their culture and identity as Saami people? If, as Wilmer (1993) defines it, self-determination is the ability for people “to determine their own cultural, economic, social and political context” (p. 7), then what role do journalists play in creating the conditions and information to engage in these debates? As Fjellheim mused, “When people are fed and warm 168 and safe, how do you advocate?” That is one reason that the mandate of NRK-Sápmi is to “activate an inherent wish among [all] Sámi people…to live and act in Saami ways” (NRK-Sápmi, 2010). Although, on the surface, it can appear that this is similar to the idea of “cultural preservation” as seen in the tradition of “minority media” in Europe discussed in Chapter 4, there are significant differences. Rather than having an “external homeland” (Brubaker, 1996) safeguard Saami rights or, as in the case of the Roma, use media as a way to gain inclusion into full citizenship, the Saami are creating and using media to “activate an inherent wish” as a means of self-determination—the desire to be Saami stands in resistance to the attempted extermination of Saami culture through colonialism. Knowledge of one’s history, society, and contemporary ways of being is a political act. As Wilmer (1993) explains, “Political activism of Indigenous peoples in national and international forums calls attention to the macro-historical context in which the present world social systems developed” (p. 7). Journalists play a pedagogical and political role in this process as agents that should speak to the nation—not to create a monolithic idea but to encourage the vibrancy and development of the nation. Henriksen (2011) quotes Ijäs at the media workshop saying, “Sámi media has a special responsibility towards the Saami community due to its social responsibilities, including the duty to provide information, comments and criticism” (p. 39). In fact, one of the most important functions noted by many of those interviewed is the airing of different perspectives and “debates” within the nation (Haetta; Pedersen; Rasmussen; K. Somby; Valio). The learning outcomes for the forthcoming class “Ethics, Law and Professional Identity” put it clearly: At the end of the course, students are expected to have a sophisticated analytic basis from which to develop their journalistic practice and their understanding of 169 the position of Indigenous media in a wider context. This will provide a deepened understanding of their own role as Indigenous journalists with responsibility to their own community and multicultural society (Sámi allaskuvla, 2011, p. 23, my emphasis). The notion of “responsibility to their own community” is key and was reiterated by journalists and journalism educators working in both Saami- and Norwegian-language media. Also reiterated in interviews, books, and other documents produced by Saami is that Saami are not a homogenous group; there are differences between communities, and communities comprise individuals who, at times, make mistakes or act in ways other people do not agree with (Henriksen, 2011, p. 36). That said, there was caution not to get caught up in and distracted by scandal and thus lose sight of the big picture—of who has power. Repeatedly, those interviewed criticized the airtime spent covering the internal bickering in the Swedish Saami Parliament or counting the number of mini-bottles of alcohol consumed on a flight by Saami parliamentarians (RK; PS; Solbakk; A. Somby). Who is served by this coverage, who is hurt, and how does this align with the goals of Saami journalism? At the same time, Stein Svala, a journalist for Ságat, was quick to point out that Saami are very sensitive to “the misuse of power amongst our own” and often want to “break a bad story first” rather than having a non-Saami journalist do so. This is very different than the Roma journalists and journalism trainers’ approach to “bad stories” within Romani journalism where the goal is to counter-balance the overwhelmingly negative stories in mainstream media. Here the desire is for Saami journalists to engage in good, investigative and watchdog journalism within the Saami community. How, then, are students being taught the standards and skills to be good Saami journalists? 170 Sámi Allaskuvla Sámi University College (Sámi allaskuvla) was founded in 1989 as an institution of higher education serving Saami-speaking students and cultivating Saami-focused research. Instructors and students are recruited from throughout Sápmi, and North Saami is the language of instruction and administration. Founded originally to produce Saami-speaking teachers, Sámi allaskuvla now offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in education, Saami language, duojdi (traditional Saami crafts), and journalism.82 Sámi allaskuvla is one of the few institutions to offer a Master of Arts in Saami language (O. H. Magga, personal communication, May 1, 2013). In 1991, Sámi allaskuvla began offering its first Saami-specific journalism program (Rasmussen; L. I. Somby). What began as a preparatory program to enable Saami-speaking students to pursue journalistic studies in other institutions of higher education “down south” eventually evolved into a “candidate studies” two-year professional degree with the possibility of a third year to earn a bachelor’s degree. According to Torkel Rasmussen, coordinator of the journalism program at the time of my fieldwork, about 40 students have gone through some formal, professional journalism training at Sámi allaskuvla (personal communication, January 16, 2012).83 I asked Steinar Pedersen, then rector of Sámi allaskuvla, about his goals for the 82 For more information on the history and philosophy of Saami-focused higher education, see Keskitalo (2006). For more information about Sámi allaskuvla specifically, see http://www.Sámiskhs.no. For more information on the journalism program, see http://www.Sámiskhs.no/index.php?c=604&kat=Indigenous+Journalism&p=. 83 There is also a long history of Saami students attending journalism school outside of Sápmi. In fact, more than half of the professional Saami journalists I interviewed received their education “down south.” For example, nearly half of the journalists at NRK-Sápmi (which offers the most competitive salaries within the world of Saami journalism and often has “first pick” of the students) have journalism degrees, and of those 25 people, half (13 people) went to Sámi allaskuvla. However, the numbers are quite different at Yle Sápmi, where out of the 38 full-time and freelance journalists working for the station, five have formal journalism training and two attended Sámi allaskuvla (Näkkäläjärvi; K. Valio, personal communication, April 30, 2013). 171 journalism program. He answered by contextualizing it within the larger mission of Sámi allaskuvla, which sees Saami higher education as a manifestation and instrument of Saami self-determination: Well, we must look at the overall goal of the Sámi University College. That we are an institution which is designed to serve the Saami society and produce candidates who will be able to promote or develop different parts of the Saami society. And journalism and the media is of course a very vital arena for bringing forward Saami language and culture (my emphasis). But he also noted that journalists, in their professional role as journalists, offer certain specific things to society, particularly Saami society, because they [journalists] are people who are able to promote Saami culture, language, and also, of course, and not at least, they are persons who are able to put a critical eye/focus on different parts of the Saami society where it is necessary to put critical questions. And without critical questions, no society will be able to develop. And they learn that technique and they will be very relevant persons to put forward those critical questions. I want to emphasize Pedersen’s belief that a journalist’s role in society is to “ask critical questions,” and that this role is fundamental to the development of that society. The focus of Saami media on speaking with, to, and for Saami society is very clear in the pedagogical goals and differs significantly from that of Romani media. Whereas Romani media often purposefully choose positive stories to counterweigh the overly negative media coverage, Saami media often try to break the “bad story” about something taking place in Saami society rather than being misrepresented by the ethnic-majority media (Svala). Jan Gunnar Furuly gave a painful example of “breaking the bad story” in a series he ran in the late 1980s in the Norwegian-language newspaper Finnmark Dagblat covering the alarming rate of suicides among Saami reindeer herders. Although Norwegian media had traditionally not spoken openly about suicide, and Saami culture often refrains from discussing the public tragedy of a family, after eight suicides in a period of eight months, “we had parents coming to us, asking 172 and urging us to write stories about this problem. To stop this. So we wrote some stories about it...” The series helped create the initiative for public meetings open for the entire community, which was also covered by the newspaper. Reflecting on this more than 20 years later, Furuly concludes, “I am sure we saved lives because we broke the taboo and put it in the spotlight.”84 Referring back to Ande Somby’s description of the “dance” Saami media performs to address the tensions between thin media, resistance media, critical media, and “the bird shitting its own nest,” Saami media strive to achieve the watchdog role of media so that the story is investigated and presented from within Saami society (Solbakk; A. Somby). The Core Elements of Saami Journalism Education Charles Husband, a professor of communications at the University of Bradford and one of the founders and architects of the journalism education program at Sámi allaskuvla, noted in his address to the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference that there is a difference between formal and informal education, the former with “explicitly laid-down curricula and specified learning outcomes” and the latter based on “everyday experience to others, where knowledge…of the ‘old hands’ is passed on in a process of osmosis by shared participation in the craft” (Husband, 2012; field notes, March 26, 2012). However, he was also clear that these differences do not have to be confrontational but rather can be generative and inform one another. He argued that to become “professionalized,” one learns the limits of one’s professional responsibilities, and that “going beyond those expectations runs the risk of being accused of being unprofessional…” Nearly all of the people I interviewed noted that they aspire to be professional journalists creating and operating within professional media institutions (Eira 84 Svala also covered similar stories when working at Finnmark Dagblat. 173 05252012, 06152011; Paltto; L. I. Somby; Valio). As in Romani media, being skilled and appreciated for one’s professional journalistic talent is fundamental to journalistic identity. As Haetta explained, his number-one hiring criterion is that one has the skills to be a journalist (field notes, March 26, 2013). To be deemed “unprofessional” as a journalist by fellow journalists, Saami or non-Saami, is a serious insult (PS). This desire to be able to work as a professional journalist is key and, as Ijäs and Rasmussen both reminded me, they only have a limited amount of time with the students. Based on the original curriculum design from the early 2000s, students could take a two-year professional degree in journalism or add an additional third year to earn a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. Rasmussen decided that the first two mandatory years would focus on the basics of journalism; the in-depth work on Saami-specific journalism and journalism ethics (interrogating the Saami starting point) was relegated to the final, optional, year of the degree. By 2010, this was deemed unsatisfactory, and the curriculum was revamped. Partially to comply with the EU’s Bologna process (to harmonize higher education degrees across Europe), but also to respond to a need for deepening and integrating Saami content within the journalism program, the two-year program was discontinued. In addition, more effort was made to integrate Saami language, culture, history, and journalistic ethics—as well as larger Indigenous politics and perspectives—throughout the entire three years. In the winter of 2013, all the Saami media outlets were invited to a meeting to give their feedback on what was needed to make better Saami journalists for the workplace. Saami language, technical, and writing skills were all deemed to be in need of improvement, including through in-house training (T. Moring, personal communication, July 8, 2013). The need for graduates to have a more in-depth understanding of Saami society and perspectives in order to shape the news also came up repeatedly (Näkkäläjärvi). 174 “Everyone Knows Everyone”: The Ethics of Journalism in Sápmi “Perhaps it is more important not to travel out but to go inside our small Saami world and try to get something out of it.” – Sara Beate Eira, Editor of Avvir When seeking to “professionalize” a craft the accepted wisdom is often to standardize practices and thus standardize the profession. Like education and the medical field, this process has been attempted for journalism, and, like these other professions, the reality, is that standardization does not always work (Folkerts, J., Hamilton, J. M., & Lemann, N, 2013; Waisbord, 2013). How do the particularities of working in Sápmi—a large, remote land mass of one nation over four countries coupled with the small population that is often related by blood and/or marriage—affect the practice of journalism? Are there differences in journalistic techniques such as finding and identifying sources or engaging in investigative practices? What about story selection? RK, a journalist from NRK-Sápmi, explained, “everyone knows everyone. If there is normally five degrees of separation, with Saami it’s two.” How does this affect the assessment of conflict of interest or professional ethics? (RK; Sámi allaskuvla, 2008, 2011; Waisbord, 2013). There is no uniform response to these questions. Most people interviewed focused on language and a “starting point,” but the vast majority assumed, at least in the initial parts of the conversations, that the techniques of journalism would be the same. Many people said that “journalism is journalism,” and that all journalism students need to be comfortable with the basics. Some, however, did believe an additional skill set is necessary to be a journalist in Sápmi (Eira, 06152012; Furuly; Paltto; Svala). With further discussion it became clear that the journalism education at Sámi allaskuvla is unique. Arne Johansen Ijäs, Director of the journalism program from 2011 to 2012, explained that he has two “missions”: to teach students how to be 175 journalists in terms of techniques and laws, and to teach that they “should be Saami journalists, not Norwegian journalists!”(05312011). When I inquired whether the education journalism students receive at Sámi allaskuvla is the same as what they could receive in Oslo, Ijäs (05312011) was clear that, in his opinion, Sámi allaskuvla’s education is more robust: AJI: I think the Saami journalism students have a better education because they have a broader horizon. The Norwegian students don’t know anything else and when they look away, when they look for another perspective, they look South, they don’t look North. SP: Is it important that the Saami journalists are educated? AJI: Yes, they need to know the standards of journalism, but there are special Saami ethics/Indigenous ethics. Ijäs and others noted the importance of “starting point,” and of making sure that stories are relevant to the presumably Saami audience. It is this specific emphasis on cultivating, strengthening, and encouraging a “Saami perspective” and a “Saami starting point,” as well as the protocols of Saami ethics that connects journalism and media to self-determination. Ijäs was quite clear: “You are thinking from Sápmi, not from Oslo or Tromsø!” Pirita Näkkäläjärvi, head of Yle Sápmi, wants to hire more graduates from Sámi allaskuvla’s journalism program both for their technical expertise and for their knowledge of Indigenous issues on a global scale. But she cautioned that at times the specific Saami point of view could get lost: Yes, they need the basic technical education, of course, but also more understanding of Saami society in Finland, Sweden, and Russia, not just in Norway. Many of the graduates may know about the Indigenous people in Venezuela, but not about the amount of representatives in the Saami Parliament in Sweden! It is clear that Saami value getting the information they need from their media. How can learning to get, recognize, and craft a good story—what Ande Somby referred to as “critical journalism”—be taught? 176 Covering the Reindeer-Herding Crisis from Within the Community Compared to NRK-Sápmi, Avvir, with its staff of twelve, is a relatively small operation. Sara Beate Eira, editor in chief at the time of my research and herself a graduate of Sámi allaskuvla, was recruited in 2009 to help turn around what was then a struggling paper. She knew Avvir could not compete with the speed or financial resources of well-funded Saami media institutions. Rather than seeing this as a liability, she focused on the strengths of her staff: all of them spoke Saami, and many had deep roots within the various Saami cultures. Using these skills and starting points, Eira walked me through how Avvir chose to cover a potentially very controversial story. In May 2011, 83 reindeer were found dead in a pen in Kárášjohka. Reindeer herding holds considerable prestige within Saami society, but in all four countries of Sápmi, it is a profession that has become highly bureaucratized. In Norway, only Saami men who come from reindeer-herding families are able to herd reindeer. Even with this restriction, there are problems with overgrazing. Because of past colonial practices (including closing the borders for traditional migration patterns across Sápmi), there are also competing claims to grazing and migrating territories. Thus, what is held up as one of the most esteemed professions within Sápmi is actually one of the least financially lucrative. Worse, there has been a spate of suicides, vandalism and other kinds of conflict within the community (Svala). This has been referred to as the “reindeer crisis.” Eighty-three reindeer being found dead was a scandal that the TV media, both Saami and non-Saami, gave ample coverage. As a print newspaper, Avvir could not break the story and, as Eira explained, “people don’t want to read today in the paper what they read yesterday online” (05252012). Avvir staff knew the story could be used against the Saami—to cultivate and continue feuds between 177 families and different reindeer herders and to once again resurrect the debate about the “reindeer crisis.” So, rather than focus on the shock value (“the tabloid”), Avvir took another approach: They spent days developing a rapport with the owner of the reindeer and then told his side of the story. You will need to go a little bit deeper before you can make the headline, the tabloid headline about the reindeer crisis…. It is so clear for me when you haven’t gone deep, when you’ve just gone on the surface to make a story.… There was probably some kind of crisis there, but you have to go deeper, and you have to tell. You have to tell the story with the knowledge (Eira, 05252012). Through the use of personal contacts, patience, and a nuanced appreciation for language, Avvir journalists focused on unearthing systemic problems and highlighting potential solutions from within Sápmi rather than on the sensationalist scandal. For Eira, much of this focused on word choice: what terms were used for older reindeer and younger reindeer, and for the reindeer herder himself? Having the language skills and the cultural literacy allowed for a “richer” story to emerge, one that did not create an “us” versus “them” of reindeer herders versus non-reindeer herders. It was understood by the writer, the reader, and the protagonist that there must be a very bad situation to result in the death of so many reindeer. Eira explained how decisions were made about what pictures to print—not of the reindeer carcasses (which is culturally offensive), but of the reindeer herder looking forlorn and of the overgrazed tundra. For Avvir, the story focused on unearthing why the reindeer died. What bureaucratic decisions or failure to comply or enforce the Saami and state laws led to this catastrophe? And, perhaps most importantly, what needed to happen so that this tragedy (rather than scandal) would not occur again? This kind of coverage is an example of the critical journalism that can facilitate a debate within society (Pedersen; A. Somby; K. Somby). This was journalism created by and for the Saami community; the journalists involved were aware of, and respected, the context in 178 which the story was crafted and told. El-Nawawy and Iskandar’s (2002b) understanding of contextual objectivity can help explain Eira’s approach to this story. The cultural and historical context that surrounds and creates the story must be considered in conjunction with the context in which people consume the story. According to Eira and others reflecting on Saami media, this is particularly important in Saami society given how community oriented it is and how important people’s reputations are to their greater social and economic health. Thus, the consequences of appearing to “attack” someone’s reputation can be greater within Saami society than in other, more individualistic cultures (Magga, A. Somby; S. Somby). Engaging in “critical debate” for the betterment of Saami society is good, but publically destroying a person’s reputation is not acceptable. As Silja Somby explained: Saami should be much more sensitive to aggressive journalism. I mean this in terms of what you do to go and find an answer. In Saami journalism you should be more cautious with ethics because already we are living in a double society. Already Saami, we are constantly representing ourselves in Norwegian [mainstream] media and in our own Indigenous society. And in mainstream society we are already marginalized—Saami individuals are already vulnerable and much more affected by reputation, by what is said. Neither Silja Somby nor Eira advocate for “thin” journalism. They see good, critical journalism as very important. But the focus of journalism should be on examining why things happen. The readers who flooded Avvir with letters to the editor and congratulatory emails seemed to agree. As an editor, Eira could identify what she considered good journalism, but as an editor she struggled to articulate exactly how this different form of journalism could be taught: And we have people who are working here who are coming from Saami communities and they are…they don’t have that…that founding…they don’t have the [journalistic] basics. They learn the basics from us in this institution, in Avvir. We learn from each other. But I think that opens up to think in a different way. You can think to tell stories and articles in another [way]…you can have a more open mind to make the story…how to build it up. 179 And I think [those without formal journalism education] are more grounded in trying to be respectful, and I think…for us it’s important, before we send them out to make the big stories, that they have an understanding of what are Saami communities, what do Saami believe…to try and get a picture that they haven’t maybe thought of before. Because…sometimes we [are] focused on the [techniques]…when we should be focusing on why, why…why is it like this? But…but I thi
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Writing/righting truths across borders : learning from transnational peoples' journalism and politics Plaut, Shayna Gilana 2014
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