The innovative news talk show Vicinities was in the spotlight, and for good reason, as journalists from around the region gathered in Belgrade for the launch of the series’ second season, the chance to talk with the lead organisers, and a sneak peak at the issues to be covered in the upcoming months.
Reporters from all the major media outlets of the Balkans and Southeast Europe were there to see clips and get the scoop on the fresh season of the show, the only one of its kind in the Balkans. Vicinities gathers experts and influential players from the countries of former Yugoslavia and beyond, to discuss and resolve topics that affect the region as a whole. The guests speak in their native languages, which are mutually understandable, making for a comfortable scenario and enabling heartfelt discussions and the rekindling of mutual support. This season, Vicinities is expanding its reach and will be broadcast on eight channels in a multitude of countries.
Ms. Karin Marschall, first secretary of the German Embassy in Belgrade, was at the press conference and spoke of the positive impact that Vicinities is having in the region by prompting real discussion and true reconciliation. Hedvig Morvai, the Executive Director of the European Fund for the Balkans and Nenad Sebek, the Executive Director of the CDRSEE, the heads of the organisations that partnered to make Vicinities a reality, talked about the initial idea of taking grassroot discussion and debate, necessary for reconciliation and peace, to the airwaves.
Vicinities Editor In Chief Zvezdana Kovac moderated the conference, which also included Vicinities Director Dragan Elcic, and Voja Zanetic, an accomplished journalist and satirist who makes sure that everyone involved can step back and have a laugh as well.
And being able to laugh occasionally is key, as the new season will tackle difficult topics, such as “Identity” and “Youth and Violence”. Vicinities will look at the importance of history teaching, recalling and retelling, in a show called “Our history versus yours”. The issues of the European Union that touch everyday lives will be debated in “EU Between Lament and Rhapsody”, as well as other issues such as “The good and bad sides of sport”. Somewhat lighter shows will also have their serious sides, for example in “Vicinities through Cartoons”.
After critical acclaim for the first season, Vicinities II received true interest from the journalists who want to be a part of the show and the results. Filming is underway and the anticipation is building ahead of the first broadcast of the season, which will take place during the second week of May.