Parallel coverage of NATO summit November 21 - 22 in Prague
We present a plan of parallel "shadow" news coverage of NATO summit called NSIR (NATO Summit Independent Report).
It emerged with the purpose of creating balanced and unbiased news from the summit itself, as well as related events
like marches etc..
The crew is formed mainly by the students of journalism on the Faculty of Social Studies of the Masaryk University
(FSS MU), Brno. Majority of us have some experience from the marches held during the World Bank and International
Monetary Fund summit in Prague, 2000. We carefully observed news coverage that time and we found out several
discrepancies with today mass-media theory and some journalistic principles (e.g. mixing different raid groups,
emotionality, undesirable fusion of different journalistic genres)..
The results of the negotiations were pushed aside by current marches, which were given excessive attention. Despite
this courtesy, real intentions and goals of the rioters were not presented, the news covered only the frequency and
common knowledge about the marches. Presuming the media are co-creators of mass reality and so they have some
responsibility, it is quite dangerous to simplify extensively and marginalize important facts.
Bare criticism is insufficient, and so NSIR project was created. Our goal is to point out the necessity of careful
and elaborate perception of the media, because not everything that is printed must be necessarily true. We admit that
it is impossible to achieve totally neutral and balanced reports, as we too have an opinion. But we will attempt to
reach these values as close as we are able to.
The summit is held on Thursday, 21st November and Friday, 22nd November, but the NSIR
reporters will be monitoring the situation for the whole week (17th November to 24th November). Two students
gained the Congress Centre entry permission (Ivana Okle??ková, studying international relations, and Jaroslav
Pet?ík, studying political science, both studying journalism simultaneously). More than twenty other people
form the team, which will cover the summit itself as well as the riots (including the characteristics of various
raid groups), police or army actions and other related events.
The outcome of NSIR project is a web page (http://skylined.org/nsir/), which will be continuosly updated with text,
photographs, audio-video records and everyday summaries. Various journalistic genres will be represented (e.g.
interviews with celebrities of all the participating parties), the project will be closed by a general overview.
NSIR project is backed up by the Department of journalism and mass-media studies, FSS MU, which provided a part of
necessary technology. "Department supports this iniciative and believes that the result of monitoring will correspond
to the criteria of neutral journalism," said the head of Department, doc. Ji?í Pavelka, CSc. We also negotiate the
cooperation with students of Charles University, Czech and the Czech Technical University in Prague.