Team Serbia are back from their research trip to Belgrade, where they took every opportunity to fully immerse themselves into the culture of the city.
One of seven third year teams to have come back from an EU city, the group are now writing up their findings and interpreting their experiences into their presentation for their degree show conference, ‘Living in a Digital World’ on Tuesday 26th May.
Harpreet Sehmbey from the group explains that “being able to have the experience of a research trip abroad and be immersed into a whole other culture was incredible, because it was the first time we could drop our notebooks and pens and become the real researchers Coventry University has been training us to be.”
The team aimed to explore the power structures behind Serbia’s national imagination and the country’s sense of identity, for a nation in the process of rebuilding itself.
Our students set up focus groups with Belgrade University Journalism students, and also scooped a prestigious interview with Serbia’s high profile Journalist and TV presenter Olja Bećković.
Bećković’s long running flagship political debate TV Show Impression of the Week (Utisak Nedelje) was controversially taken off air by Serbia’s independent broadcaster B92 in 2014, sparking wide protests amongst the nation’s journalists who held the show up as one of the only informative programmes that truly encouraged freedom of speech.
Bećković claims that the show has been banned, although B92 maintain that the cancellation of the show was down to failed negotiations with her – an intriguing twist for a broadcaster originally set up to provide an independent voice against the authoritarian nationalist regime of Slobodan Milosevic, and itself facing off several bannings in it’s early days as a radio station.
In pursuit of multiple perspectives, the team also interviewed the CEO and founder of B92, Veran Matic, keen to find out how he feels about the outlook and the work of journalists in Serbia.
TV news journalism wasn’t the only area of cultural capital explored by the team. Our group also enjoyed an afternoon with Serbia’s best selling children’s author Uros Petrovic.
These insights will make for a truly fascinating presentation of the team’s project at the upcoming Media & Communications Living in a Digital World Conference on Tuesday 26th May in the Alan Berry Building here at Coventry University.
Team Serbia includes students Harpreet Sehmbey, Mandy Chun, Rajinder Aoujla, Charlotte Jones, Esme Spurling and Adam Teighe. Photos courtesy of the team.