UNESCO supports Community Media Network, in Building the Capacities of Female Citizen Journalists in Jordan’s Rural Areas
Six young women from the Jordan Valley, Karak, and Irbid have been enrolled in a series of training courses in radio reporting techniques as part of a project supported by UNESCO´s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). “Building capacities of Female Citizen Journalists in Jordan’s Rural Areas” will provide the selected young women with skills to produce professional reports on socio-economic issues present in their communities from a female, rural perspective.
Throughout the next 7 months, participants will receive intensive training in order to form a sustainable network of qualified female citizen community-radio journalists, and at the final stages of their course, will produce 12 shows voicing the needs of their communities by providing them it with a media channel and local content.
The project, which was launched on Wednesday, January 4, 2011 at the Jordan Valley, was approved for funding by the IPDC Bureau at its 55th Meeting held in Paris in March 2011 and is implemented by Community Media Network in Jordan (CMN).
Just over ten years ago, Jordan liberalized its media landscape granting licenses to private media which caused a steady growth of satellite channels, private radio stations, and few magazines and newspapers. However, content and production have mainly catered for the needs of the urban population, have been characterized to be purely commercial, are quite often male biased, and largely centralized in the capital Amman. Except for very few community radio stations and campus radios in Irbid, Karak and Maan, and very limited space in the newspapers and two local TV stations, correspondents to the 12 governorates have little space or time on air to cover local issues of their areas and thus, local communities in rural areas, particularly women, have limited access to media production and are underrepresented.
To provide women in rural communities with the chance to participate in the media arena and voice their concerns and needs, and those of people in their communities, CMN applied to the IPDC in 2009 by sending a project proposal, as part of an open invitation to countries worldwide.
Each year, the IPDC calls for proposals from countries around the world, and only projects that meet the requirements and specific criteria are supported. A bureau of 8 countries elected by the 39 members of the IPDC Intergovernmental Council evaluates the proposals according to clear standards and makes decisions on the allocation of the annual funding budget.