Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG) organized the first School of Digital Unionism in September, October and November 2021.
School is part of the “Union to Union – Recruitment and Organizing Campaign in CEE 2021” program, which is implemented with the support of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Union to Union and the Swedish Journalists’ Union.
23 participants applied for the School, and 14 of them received certificates of completion.
Eight thematic lectures in the field of trade unionism and digital media were held within the School. The first lecture on the topic “Fundamentals of Trade Unionism” was given by the Deputy Secretary General of the Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro, Ivana Mihajlovic. The second lecture was about changes in the journalistic profession (the relationship between ‘old’ and ‘new’ journalism), and Dragana Zaric spoke on this topic. The third lecture was given by the TUMM expert associate, Kristina Pasic, who spoke to the participants about digital skills. Assistant Professor at the University of Montenegro, dr. Vuk Vukovic, gave a lecture on “Podcast – a new chance for action.” The fifth lecture was given by financial analyst Ana Nives Radovic on the topic “Digital Economy and Youth Employment”. Lawyer Mirko Boskovic spoke about copyright on the Internet, and the TUMM expert associates, Bojana Lakovic Konatar and Drazen Djuraskovic, presented the working conditions in digital media, with a focus on “Covid crisis” and teleworking (work from home). The last lecture was given by photo reporter Boris Pejovic, who spoke about the working conditions of photo reporters in the digital age.
Participants of the School of Digital Unionism were given the opportunity to participate in a competition aiming to arouse young people’s interest in trade union topics. Nine papers (infographics, articles, comments, videos and photos) arrived on the given topic “Youth, trade unionism and…”. The jury consisting of TUMM President Marijana Camovic Velickovic, TUMM Vice President and editor of Vijesti Television Radomir Krackovic, and researcher Bojana Lakovic Konatar, awarded three participants of the School: Andjela Asanin, Tanja Ceklic and Andrea Cvorovic. Asanin conducted a survey on youth and the union and presented the results on an excellent infographic. The data she obtained will also be used by the Trade Union of Media in its future activities. Ceklic wrote an article about freelancers, noticing the challenges the unions will be facing within the process of digitalization of jobs. Cvorovic created an interesting video, the focus of which is the extinction of the print media. The call for the School of Digital Unionism is addressed to all young people who are interested in working in the media. As expected, social science students dominated among them.
In the applications, the participants marked the topics “Digital Skills” and “Relationship between traditional and ‘new’ journalism” as the areas of most interest to them.
When asked “How close are the topics of the School to you” (which we sent them through an online survey) more than 13 percent of participants said that they are not familiar with trade unionism and digital media, which was a special challenge for SMCG.
Most of the participants at the School wrote in the final message (exit survey) that such trainings, exercises and lectures are very necessary for young people and should be continued. When asked – which topic was the most inspiring for them, the majority of participants answered that it was copyright (28.5%). Others said they were “old” and “new” journalism, digital economy, trade unionism and photojournalism.
When asked to rate the knowledge acquired at the School of Digital Unionism on a scale of 1 to 5, 75 percent of students gave a “five” and 25 percent a “four”. The overwhelming majority claim that the School has fully met their expectations.
SMCG plans to make the School of Digital Unionism traditional.