This is the stand of Valery Novoselsky, the executive editor of one of the biggest networks dedicated for publishing information about Roma issues. The news that are published are not just for Roma audience, but also for non-Roma as well, especially for those who support the Romani communities and who work for and along with them.
EDNO: Are there debates on Roma issues?
Novoselsky: Yes, there are regular, but not intensive debates on the links related to Roma Buzz Monitor, which itself is a part of Roma Virtual Network. Once per week since April 2010 me or someone from subscribers of Roma Virtual Network channels asks the question regarding current situation of Roma. Before this June they were posted on http://debatewise.org, but since then they are regularly posted on http://romadebates.wordpress.com and a dozen of listserves of Roma Virtual Network and Roma Facebook groups. Debates are mainly performed on Facebook, in some cases they are really “hot”, especially in regard to deportations of Roma from France, Italy, Germany. I keep good watch, so that they would not become insulting or confrontational.
EDNO Are there some changes as a result of the debates?
Novoselsky: You said the exact word “some”. Yes, some changes happen, when people in a course of debate become more educated. More facts and broader mind modify the views of people with radicalism in their character. This way they realize that they should learn the facts and locate the true co-thinkers well before launching social campaigns.
EDNO How much the information about the Roma issues are important?
Novoselsky: For Roma they are definitely important in all their aspects. Not only about music or social aid, but also about possibilities of enrollment into MA and PhD programs, on the logistic support to business enterprises, on the Roma Police Union, etc. All these news are also important for non-Roma, those who are friendly to Roma, those who work with them in the same projects, those who are simply concerned about tolerance and well-being of civil society. Carefully selected and moderated information on Roma issues posted on various electronic outlets of Roma Virtual Network since July 1999 already helped to many thousands to be better educated on Roma issues, on the opportunities offered for Roma and the events related to history, culture and improvement of the situation of Roma across the globe.
Novoselsky: Defining briefly: Roma and pro-Roma. Regardless of geographic location and age. Those who are interested in politics, literature, human rights defence, language, history, hate crime prevention, business and educational projects. Many Roma are having already access to the Internet and Roma Virtual Network is already present on various social networks. They are present not only on Yahoo and Google Listserves, where there are already up to 11 000 email subscribers (individuals and organizations). There are also around 7 000 contacts on Facebook and 1300 direct LinkedIn connections. There is also permanently updated account on Twitter.
In technical terms the institutions and policy makers are connected to Roma Virtual Network too. There is the principle of equality in getting of information published in various media sources. Me and editorial board of RVN respect this principle. We do our best to deliver the most accurate information on events and news related to Roma communities on local, national and international levels. Accuracy is more important than speed and it is often more than a question of getting the facts right. We strive to be fair and open minded and reflect all significant statements of different opinions by exploring the range and conflict of views. We also provide news and opinions equally from all sections of Roma communities. RVN is open to constructive criticism and contributions to make it a better service for Roma and non-Roma, who are willing to learn more on Roma issues and to contribute into the process of Romani emancipation and integration in contemporary world.