Building capacities to monitor youth’s representation in media coverage in the Maghreb
16 representatives of youth organizations in the Maghreb region met in Tunis on December 15-20, 2014, to discuss and learn how to implement a methodology to monitor both the image of young women and men in media, and the extent to which it represents them.
Following-up on the formal launch of NET-MED Youth Working Groups in Morocco on November 22-23 and in Tunisia on December 5-6, the aim now was to collect concrete evidence that will allow youth to organize different media activities.
"[To do any media monitoring] means to learn to observe, to look at things from a more logical and objective perspective,” said Jihen Ayed, a young NET-MED Youth member in charge of media and communication at Tun’Act in Tunisia. “We could never improve media and ensure youth’s participation in it if we don’t look for its weak points. Monitoring enables such a quest.”
Media monitoring efforts will be complemented, early 2015, by country-specific surveys on youth perceptions about media. The findings of this research will feed into a youth-led outreach strategy seeking to mobilize media so that youth concerns and perspectives are better reflected in the coverage, particularly in support of their participation in the elaboration, revision and implementation of public policies with a special impact on youth.
The same activity will take place in different NET-MED Youth beneficiary countries, thus leading to a transnational sharing of knowledge and expertise and paving the way to an improved media portrayal of youth in Southern Mediterranean countries.
Workshop participants are central to the development and identification of a methodology that they can later on apply through practical exercises consisting of the observation of radio and TV content from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
Adel Boucherguine, member of the Ligue Algérienne pour la defense des droits de l’ homme in Algeria highlighted the utility of media monitoring under the NET-MED Youth project, saying that it allows young people from the region to learn about how media outlets function, it deepens their knowledge on the way media treats information, and it sheds light on the media coverage of different themes. To Adel, media monitoring allows youth to observe media “in a scientific and objective manner.”
The workshop not only provided tools for participants to be the drivers of NET-MED Youth, but it contributed to the reinforcement of their critical thinking and constructive engagement with media outlets.
“The knowledge acquired and the techniques that we learnt throughout this week-long training will certainly be a platform for us to develop media monitoring projects and create partnerships focused on media monitoring regarding social, cultural, political and religious issues in the Moroccan context,” said Mohamed Outahar, member of the Association Médias et Culture in Morocco.
The workshop was organized by UNESCO's NET-MED Youth project in partnership with MENA Media Monitoring within the framework of NET-MED Youth.
Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.
Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs.
Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.