28.05.2017 - UNESCO Office in Amman

UNESCO Launches the “Youth Media Perceptions” Discussion Papers

H.E. Andrea Matteo Fontana, EU ambassador to Jordan, addresses youth. ©Laylaty Studio

Amman, 17 May 2017 – To mark the launch of the “Youth Media Perceptions” discussion papers, the UNESCO Amman office held an event at the Country Club in Amman. The discussion papers represent an initiative under the regional EU-funded “Networks of Mediterranean Youth (NET-MED)” project, implemented by UNESCO in partnership with youth organizations, institutions and partners across Jordan.

The launch event attracted high-level representation, including H.E. Dr. Mohammad Al-Momani, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and H.E. Andrea Matteo Fontana, EU ambassador to Jordan. It also brought together media professionals including approximately 120 journalists and media practitioners, government and civil society organizations as well as representatives from the international community, including UN agencies.

A day before the launch, 16 May 2017, a round table discussion with 30 young journalists and media professionals took place, seeking reflections and encouraging debate surrounding the findings of the discussion papers. This was followed by identifying potential ways to best optimize the outcomes in order to enhance youth representation and priorities in the media.

One of the strongest issues that emerged was the critical importance of contributing to fair and objective coverage of youth news, achievements and perspectives in mainstream media while ensuring their rights are highlighted. The NET-MED Youth project encourages stronger participation and representation of youth and youth organizations within national, regional and international media.

Around the world, young women and men are driving change and claiming respect for fundamental freedoms and rights, improved conditions for themselves and their communities and opportunities to learn, work and participate in decisions that affect them. Recognizing the acute challenges faced by youth, the project strives to reduce the fragmentation of efforts and to harness the collective potential of youth in affecting democratic transition towards active citizenship, political participation, economic development and social inclusion.

In addressing the audience, H.E. Andrea Matteo Fontana, EU ambassador to Jordan, touched upon the importance of supporting a variety of stakeholders in an effort to encourage young people to play an active role in emphasizing youth priorities and challenges. H.E. expressed that, “The European Union has put youth very high on its agenda in Jordan and the concerns of the youth that have been expressed in this study are very important and they will influence our other initiatives in the field of youth.”

Ms. Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative in Jordan also delivered remarks, stating, “We must encourage young women and men to foster a renewed sense of belonging to society and the global community, with a new vision of the future. This calls for robust policies that ensure that young, peaceful voices are able to take part in promoting positive dialogue and mutual understanding in the media.”

During the launch event, the main findings of the papers were disseminated. The discussion papers are the result of a survey and a media coverage evaluation conducted throughout 2015 and 2016 by “Strategies”, a local company focused on performing policy research, social marketing and political communication. A team of experienced national researchers utilized quantitative and qualitative techniques, conducting face-to-face interviews with over 1,000 youth at universities, colleges, and households across the kingdom. In addition, researchers analyzed content across news portals related to youth over a period of six months.

Journalism graduate, Mr. Waleed Al-Hareem, also spoke, highlighting “the importance of supporting the initiation of media platforms that are youth friendly and sensitive to youth priorities”. Following the presentation and summary of main findings and recommendations, youth provided suggestions based upon the findings. The event closed with an engaging question and answer session, followed by a well-attended reception.

For more information on the NET-MED Youth project, please visit: netmetyouth@unesco.org or check us out on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/netmedyouth/

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