I was talking with University of Novi Sad media studies student Andrea Jerinic about the future of her career path. Independent media plays an important role in all democratic societies, but many non-partisan media outlets are struggling to stay afloat. I asked Andrea if she really believed newspapers and other forms of traditional media will survive.
She does. She thinks what the media industry in Serbia needs is some fresh voices, that today’s media students are exactly what they need. “They need fresh energy, and we can do everything.”
At first it seemed like an overly optimistic statement that I would expect to hear from a student who had yet to spend much time in the working world.
But since then I have been thinking more about it. In Serbia, youth have proven they can do just about everything. A few days ago I mentioned in an America.gov article B-92 radio station. B-92 was a student-run radio station in the 1990s that was a leading voice against oppression. Today it is among the popular mainstream radio and television stations in Belgrade. European music fans are probably familiar with Novi Sad’s annual EXIT festival which brings hundreds of thousands to the city for concerts. But how many of these fans know that EXIT was started in 2000 by a group of young people seeking a way to rebel against leader Slobodan Milosevic?
All this optimism makes me want to visit Serbia again in ten years to see what these students have done as young adults.