The idea of Antirumours Agent is quite new which is why it is very important to constantly redefine their role with new experiences. The “Antirumours Agent” idea is based on the experiences of the “antirumours strategy” implemented by Barcelona, which aimed to counteract negative stereotypes, commonplace and false rumours, which abound regarding immigration and cultural diversity, making interaction and coexistence difficult and which can lead to discriminatory attitudes and racism.
At the beginning, the BCN Anti-Rumour Network defined anti rumour agents as having four distinctive dimensions or areas of action:
- interpersonal dialogue
- one’s own organisation or service
- the media.
Each dimension establishes specific objectives and actions that can be carried out by anti rumour agents. Regardless of which dimension participants choose for themselves, skills from the first one – Interpersonal dialogue are the basis of being a real Antirumour Agent in each and every other dimension. Direct contact and possibilities of personal interactions with interlocutors are the same when we talk with our neighbour in an elevator, our uncle at Easter breakfast or union representatives in our own institution. Ability to listen and show respect to the other side stay unchanged whether the conversation takes place in an office or at a coffee table. Being an Antirumour Agent is not to recite data memorised by heart but to be able to discuss stereotypes and prejudices in such way that builds space to express freely, even when the opinions are in conflict. Communication skills are the key tool to be used by an Antirumour Agent and this is what Antirumours Agents training focuses on.
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