Towards a Strong Youth-Media Relationship
With the aim to contribute in the promotion of a fair and objective media coverage of information on young people, their rights, achievements and viewpoints, UNESCO Office in Beirut, with the support of the European Union and in partnership with "MENA Media Monitoring", organized a sub-regional workshop on media monitoring methodology focused on youth and youth-related themes.
"Following a national mapping for Youth perception on media, this training, targeting participants from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan, comes as a natural step to help those youth organizations to establish an effective monitoring methodology, particularly on themes and topics related to youth", stated UNESCO Programme Officer George Awad. "For youth, understanding media monitoring can be crucial to further promote their causes and ideas".
Participants emphasized the importance of such activities considering the current problems that the media and youth are facing. "With the political and security situation in the Arab region, media is actually facing additional restrictions in terms of freedom of expression, and we, as youth, acknowledge the need to address that and are working for it", stated Tareq (Jordan). "However, there are also new problems related to quality and content, with youth issues and concerns being dangerously neglected by mainstream media. We are looking forward to see how we, as youth, can overcome this major problem", he added.
On another hand, Hazar (Lebanon) stressed the negative impact of the "decreasing credibility of media institutions among youth", considering this training as "an important step to improve youth's perception and application of citizen journalism", a concept that's increasingly abused.
Lack of participation, low representation in public and political spheres, disinterest in civic engagement, exclusion from mainstream media, high unemployment and weak labour market, and economic marginalization are common challenges related to the social inclusion of youth in this region. NET-MED Youth is a UNESCO-EU joint response to these issues, built on an analysis of youth aspirations and needs in each partner country from the South Mediterranean. Through this pioneering programme, UNESCO aims to improve the access and effective participation of youth in developing and implementing national strategies and policies affecting young women and men.
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.