Press release 28.10.2016

Innovative ways of bringing the voices of young people and civil society to national audiences were the focus of a networking session hosted by the EU-funded MedMedia project at the Anna Lindh Foundation’s Mediterranean Forum in Malta this week.

Entitled “Reach”, the session explored a range of digital media strategies, assessing the potential of social media tools to reach a broad cross-section of society as well as opinion-formers and decision-makers.

The MedMedia project took the opportunity to showcase “Generation What?”, a cutting-edge cross-media programme which is currently being rolled out in 13 European countries, the USA and Japan.

Consultations are under way to develop an Arabic version of the programme in collaboration with national broadcasters in the Southern Mediterranean Region. If the initiative gets the go-ahead, it could act as a highly effective interface between young people, civil society and government in the partner countries.

Supported by counterparts from Net Med Youth, a UNESCO-led youth media and advocacy initiative which is also funded by the EU, the October 24 discussion group brought together CSOs from both sides of the Mediterranean.

Participants addressed three key issues: the potential of different media platforms to amplify CSO voices; creative approaches for improving the participation of young people in public life; and the role which media can play in transnational projects.

The discussion also focused on ways of facilitating a meaningful dialogue between CSOs and government as well as the need to ensure that appropriate media platforms were leveraged for specific initiatives. The merits of Instagram and Facebook versus broadcast media came under the spotlight.

On the second day of the forum, MedMedia expert Aida Al-Kaisy took part in a panel discussion entitled “Media: Communicating for Cross-Cultural Understanding” which looked at the role played by media in shaping public perceptions and attitudes in the Middle East and North Africa.