Networks of Mediterranean Youth
As part of a project funded by the European Union, UNESCO is working to enhance media coverage of youth perspectives and positioning of youth vis-à-vis national policies and programmes in European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) South countries.
The Networks of Mediterranean Youth Project (NET-MED Youth), aims at mainstreaming youth issues and priorities across national strategies and policies in 10 ENP South countries. UNESCO´s expertise in Social and Human Sciences, Communication and Information, and Education is being mobilized for the project´s smooth implementation.
In light of the geo-political developments in ENP South countries since 2011, the project will support enhanced networking among youth organizations in order to harness the collective potential of youth to affect democratic transition towards active citizenship, political participation, economic contribution and social inclusion. Initially, the activities will be implemented mainly at national level, while a second phase envisages the development of transnational exchange, aiming to create a network whereby young women and men can share successful or helpful experiences between at least two countries or more.
While social media has been widely acknowledged as a vehicle for change in the region, research on mainstream media has found critical shortcomings in terms of their role and function as platforms for youth voices and their response to youth concerns, needs and aspirations.
Recognizing the essential role that youth have played in the ongoing social and political transformations in ENP South countries, the communication and information-focused component of the NET-MED Youth Project will encourage mainstream media to support youth interests and will build youth capacities to ensure that their voices are heard.
Overview of Activities
The NET-MED Youth Project foresees the creation of three working groups at national level, focusing, respectively, on Media, Employment and Mainstreaming Youth Issues in National Legislation.
Regarding media-focused activities in particular, in order to foster quality coverage of youth news, achievements, rights and perspectives, the NET-MED Youth Project will facilitate monitoring of media coverage, research on youth´s opinion about national and regional media, and connections between media outlets and young audiences.
The project will promote awareness of freedom of expression and the key related issues among young women and men. Through training in media and information literacy and media production skills, it will enable youth to better assess the information received through different types of media, and to make informed decisions as users and producers of information and media content. Young journalists, bloggers and citizen journalists will develop enhanced professional capacities that will allow them to exercise their freedom of expression and their watchdog role regarding strategies and policies that affect youth in their countries.
The project will also facilitate South-South and North-South interaction between youth organizations, young journalists, bloggers and citizen journalists. Activities under the project will allow for the exchange of experiences, tools and approaches between at least two target countries or more, and will also reach out to peers from EU countries and other regions.
Media and ICT-enabled applications and platforms will be developed in support of the project´s different components, including an online portal to facilitate exchanges between youth organizations, their systematic and structured mobilization around common challenges, and their engagement and watchdog role in regards to the development and implementation of public policies and national strategies on youth.
The NET-MED Youth Project comes as part of UNESCO’s ongoing work in countries in transition to foster free, independent and pluralistic media.
|February 2014||January 2017|