Let’s Be Represented in the Media… Let’s learn How to Advocate!
“Thanks to the advocacy tool, I will be able to better defend causes that are important for youth,” says Raghda Hamdi, one of the participants in the workshop on media-coaching and initiation to plea-writing held by the NET-MED Youth group in Tunisia. A representative of Reso association, Raghda is amongst the twelve activists from Tunisian youth organizations who convened in Tunis for three consecutive workshop sessions, in May, September and October 2016, with a common objective – to reinforce their civil society communication tools.
The workshop series is part of the Media axis of NET-MED Youth, which intends to build an equitable and objective coverage of information about youth, their rights, achievements and points of view in mainstream media. A good relationship with the press is essential to convince media outlets to grant a substantial space to information about youth-related issues – and this can be done more effectively if young civil society activists master communication tools.
From message-creation and press release-writing to the initiation to prepared and spontaneous interview exercises and much more… These were all some of the activities covered in this interactive media-coaching workshop for young NGO members in charge of press relations.
“I have learnt techniques in writing and communication during these training cycles. Today, we are able to promote our association’s events and activities in a professional and concise manner,” declares with satisfaction Yasmine Laabidi, member of Jeunes Démocrates Indépendants association (JDI).
Initiation to plea-writing was one of the main goals of this workshop session. Thanks to the coaching of Farida Ayari, journalist and instructor, young participants could finalize their advocacy texts during the session of October 19-21, which followed the session of September 15-16 that introduced them to writing methods and the selection and discussion of themes.
The coach’s role was notably to put the participants on the right documentary and study paths in order to produce pleas that reflect the wishes of most, on topics as diverse as “Migrations: the moral failure of the European Union”; “Tax evasion: the urgency for a controlling body” and calls for the youth to get involved and engage in decision-making processes.
“This training has taught me how to properly construct an advocacy text,” says Raghda. “I have learned the different steps necessary to its construction, from the initial research to the drafting phases. Personally, I chose to work on the issue of tolerance. My plea is addressed to officials of the Ministry of Education, for them to integrate modules on tolerance and freedom of conscience in primary, middle-and high-school curricula. The training was rich and I especially appreciated the feedback on the advocacy texts to which we have all participated. Thanks to the tool for advocacy, I will be able to better defend causes that are important for youth.”
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Next up on the agenda of this Media axis of NET-MED Youth in Tunisia is the creation of a database of young experts aged between 18 and 35 years and capable of intervening in various fields – politics, economics, society and culture. For each selected young expert, there will be a short biography, and information on their area of specialization and on their languages of working proficiency. The database will be gender-balanced, and will thus have as many male experts as female experts.
This database will be made available to Tunisian media outlets so that they can diversify their selection of speakers to comment on current events and so that, finally, voice will be given to the youth in a more regular manner.
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.