Erasmus + mobility in Serbia – an experience to remember

I will remember Erasmus+ mobility in Serbia (from 21 to 25 March) for various beautiful experiences, but what I liked the most was the kindness of all the people in the towns we visited. After they heard that we come from Croatia, everyone was very kind and told us which city in Croatia they visited, about their relatives in Croatia or something similar. That we should not have prejudices but we need to judge people on the basis of our own experiences, I think that is the most important thing I have learned on this mobility.

The same is with the news, when we read it, we should not believe it blindly, but we should think critically about it.

The workshop on fake news started with an “attack” on balloons

I mention the news because the news and its credibility were the main topics of this Erasmus + mobility. At the fake news workshops, Ilija Jovanović, the workshop leader, told us that we need to think about what we read and publish so that we wouldn’t belong to groups of people who spread fake news. He also taught us the easiest way of checking the news credibility is: 

  • to check when the article was published
  • who the author of the text is
  • what other sources write about the topic
  • what the purpose of the text is. 
  •  

Jovanović said that such a test is called a CRAP test (an acronym from the English words current, reputation, author, purpose). We did news checks in groups and then presented them. Those whose knowledge of English was more advanced did the task better, but the favorite task for all was one from the beginning of the workshop. Namely, we needed to save the balloons from the other students – kidnappers for at least 30 seconds. What followed was a more complex task, to tell how to write the news about this activity. 

The hosts organized everything perfectly

Workshop leader Jovanović also introduced us to websites where the origin of photos can be searched (TinEye, Yandex). He also presented some sites that deal with the analysis of fake news. It was also interesting at the workshop of journalist Jelena Markovic. The importance of photography in journalism was the topic of the workshop led by Markovic. She has told us about trolls, people who are paid to comment on articles according to the demands of those who pay them. She also reminded us of the importance of checking data and mentioned that journalism should not be done by people who do not care about the truth.

Together with journalist Markovic, we wrote the news about our mobility in Serbia. She also showed us how the article is entered into the system and published. We were able to view immediately the article we wrote together in English on the Centarpress portal, one of the portals for which Markovic writes. The article was published in the Serbian language two days later too.

During this mobility, we visited a museum in Kruševac, some cultural monuments in Kruševac and Ćićevac so we learned something about the history of Serbia. We also visited the Kruševac television, where Lea Hrandek and Gabrijel Kurpez gave statements for TV. Gabriel became friends with journalist Nikola Stevanović, and the reason was Gabriel’s comment on the corn cob on Stevenović’s table. 

It was a lot of fun and lively at our evening gatherings at the hotel Petrus in Paraćin. We hope that some students who were in Serbia will come to mobility in Northern Macedonia too and that we will continue our socializing. And finally, a big compliment to our hosts from Serbia. They organized everything very well. This mobility will remain also in my memory of the huge portions of food served by restaurants in Serbia. /Ivona Siladi; foto: S. L./

The original article is published in the school digital newspaper Klinček.

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