July 29, 2011
Policy Center for Roma and Minorities salutes TVR’s decision to suspend Lucian Pîrvoiu, TVR2’s news anchor of the “Ora de știri” news bulletin.
„We salute TVR (the National Romanian Television) for its prompt and ferm reaction in the case of journalist Lucian Pîrvoiu. We are encouraging a critical and open dialogue about the situation in Ferentari, and especially about issues like drug abuse, criminality, prostitution or child abuse. A well documented debate, where the guests have actual experience with the issues in the Ferentari area would also have been saluted by our organization. Unfortunately, the news was poor documented and the news anchor compensated the lack of information with aggressivity. The racist comment at the beginning was very unfortunate”, said Valeriu Nicolae, the president of Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, guest in the “Ora de stiri” news bulletin on the 27th of July.
“Unfortunately, the public debate tends to be extreme – it is either of a hypocrite political correctness that leads to the lack of responsibility of the minorities, or it is extremely racist, that leads to a dangerous polarization of interethnic relations in the Romanian society. We hope that TVR continues its efforts to keep the discussion within normal limits and that we can have more efficient public debates about both the rights and responsibilities of minorities and majority population regarding the Romanian citizenship”, added Valeriu Nicolae.
In his newscast, Lucian Pîrvoiu discussed the sports event organized Wednesday in Ferentari by Policy Center for Roma and Minorities and The British Embassy, as well as the declaration made by the British ambassador Martin Harris, who said that he had found the Olympic spirit in Ferentari. As a response to this affirmation, Pîrvoiu asked Valeriu Nicolae: „Let’s be realistic, olympic spirit of what? Of stealing wallets and doing drugs?”
TVR qualifies the journalist’s words as „unacceptable”, while Active Watch – the Media Monitoring Agency considers that ”the news anchor’s question describes a discriminatory attitude towards the population of Ferentari; it promotes stereotypes and considers the residents of the neighborhood and the young people involved in the project as being thieves and drug addicts”. Also, one of the best known Romanian bloggers, Chinezu says that he is „astonished by the TV show discussion ” and expresses his dismay towards the news anchor’s attitude in an open letter published on his blog.
Policy Center for Roma and Minorities and the British Embassy, with the support of District 5 Mayor’s Office, celebrated on Wednesday, 27th of July, one year until the official opening of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, through a series of sports and cultural events organized in the Ferentari ghetto.
Several hundred people participated in demonstrative games of basketball, football, fencing and box on Aleea Livezilor, in Ferentari. Policy Center for Roma and Minorities opened in October 2010 the Alternative Education Club, in order to answer to some of the needs in the ghetto area and to offer children in the neighborhood a chance to take part in sports and educational activities. The event was supported by the Romanian Olympic Committee and by the basketball, football, fencing and boxing federations. Participants included musician Damian Drăghici, former boxer and world champion Marian Simion, olympic medalist Violeta Beclea and Ionela Târlea, captain of the national men’s basketball team, Virgil Stănescu and the street dance group Trouble Crew.
The fact that so many positive role models were present at the event had a powerful impact on the children in the area, therefore we hope that more and more children from the neighborhood will be attracted to the courses offered by the Alternative Education Club at School no. 136.