Roma News Agency of the Cserehát
Civil Csereháti Roma Hírgynökség (Cicsero)
"The first duty of a man is the seeking after and the investigation of truth" (Cicero)
There is almost no news available about the Roma of the Cserehát, and even the little news available is negative news. The average Hungarian citizen has no information about the everyday lives of Roma and is often driven by prejudices. Roma often don’t know about each other either- which is especially true for small village communities where people don’t leave their homes or their small communities very often. But they do watch TV and use the internet. At the same time, there are very few Roma news agents , who would be capable of producing news for TV or the internet.
To establish a civil news network and agency for the disadvantaged people living in the area of the Cserehát – both Roma and non-Roma. The aim of the news agency is to allow people to report about their environment, political and non-political events which affect their everyday life.
The first step of the program was to start cicsero.net, the Independent Roma News Agency of the Cserehát. Our association has developed an educational program with volunteer workers from the media, which was realized during two-day workshops. Anyone could participate who wanted to learn and express themselves, both Roma and non-Roma. People had a chance to get acquainted with information technology, internet use and the basics of media theory and practice. Based on the acquired skills, people learned to cooperate and deal with conflicts more easily.
Long term results
The reporters who participated in the training aim for self-enhancement and widening their worldview. The communication skills acquired can be used in everyday life, helping to develop understanding between Roma and non-Roma. The reports that were made available to the wider public online helped to provide insight into the everyday lives of the Cserehat people to the wider Hungarian public.
In 2008 and 2009, the Embassy of the United States funded the project with seed-money. In 2009, the Embassy of the United Kingdom supported our work with technical devices. The Open Society Foundation donated regular aid throughout the period of 2009-2011.