20.04.2016 - Communication & Information Sector

Youth and media professionals meet to improve youth TV programming in Algeria

Youth on screen meeting in Algeria © UNESCO/EU - NET-MED Youth

The "Youth on Screen" workshop held in Algiers on 3-4 April 2016 brought together representatives of NET-MED Youth organizations, programme managers of national TV channels and regional and international media experts. These different actors reflected on the possibilities of joint work between media and youth organizations to strengthen the influence of youth in the media.

Participants examined the means of getting the media interested in young audiences to involve them in programme development and to strengthen the links between media and civil society. Programme formats could, for instance, be transformed into platforms for young people to express their opinions and participate in public life.

Following an opening ceremony marked by the interventions of Mr Marco Sioli, Representative of the EU Delegation in Algeria and Hakim Amara, International Cooperation Director at Algerian Television, the floor was given to Aida Al Kaisy. This BBC Media Action Special Advisor on media reforms presented case studies on how public service broadcasting can influence attitudes, inspire innovation and improve skills. Graeme Moreland and Zoe Hodgkinson, both BBC experts, presented models for audience research, creative platforms and civil society engagement. These models enable public service broadcasters to remain aware of young people’s expectations and aspirations in terms of media diffusion.

“This workshop is an opportunity for us, young people, to hold direct exchanges with those in charge of national television programming. This allowed us to share with them insights regarding youth’s expectations and to begin a collaborative effort toward creating programmes that are more in line with what young people want”, said Meriem Chikirou, member of the SIDRA organization.

Christophe Nick presented the “Generation What”, an initiative launched in France and currently being developed all across Europe. This web platform captures young people’s views on a wide range of key issues and allows for a unique comparison of their attitudes and concerns. The possibility of a "Generation What" in the MENA region was discussed with workshop participants.

Fares Khiari, member of the NET-MED Youth project in Tunisia, presented the radio programme "Up to Business". This programme, primarily dedicated to youth employability and entrepreneurship in Tunisia, aims to prepare young people for the labour-market. This presentation generated much interest and exchange among participants.

Another highlight of the workshop was the creative forum, during which representatives of youth organizations presented innovative TV programme ideas to national television programme managers and international experts. After each presentation, the panel members commented and discussed the programme concepts with young people, highlighting strengths and weaknesses for each proposition.

"The workshop allowed for face-to-face contact with young people, and this enables us to better understand their expectations in term of programmes, which we will take into account”, said Mrs. Nabila Khouidmi, Head of Programming at Algerian Television.

Beyond the in-depth exchanges and the lessons learned, the debates highlighted several areas for future joint work between media and civil society to strengthen the influence of youth in the media.

"Youth on Screen" results from a collaborative effort of two projects funded by the European Union: NET-MED Youth and MedMedia, which are implemented respectively by UNESCO and a consortium led by BBC Media Action. The Swedish International Cooperation Agency and the European Broadcasting Union also contributed to the launch of the initiative.

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