On 25 and 26 January 2016 a meeting held in Gammarth, Tunisia, brought together youth civil society organizations that are members of the NET-MED Youth Working Group, national broadcasters, journalists and regional and international media experts for a truly exceptional event. It focused on facilitating mechanisms to find out what young people want to see on TV; examining ways to involve them in the production of innovative programmes; and promoting TV programme formats that improve youth participation and inclusion.
The two-day meeting was full of lively discussions, which began with opening words by Bruno Montariol, Representative of the EU Delegation to Tunisia; Rached Younes, President-Director General of Tunisian Television; Jocelyn Grange, Deputy Team Leader of MedMedia; and Salma Negra, country coordinator for NET-MED Youth. Among the highlights was a creative forum where young participants pitched their ideas to a panel of international and regional media experts, including Abdelmajid Mraihi, Director of Al Wataniya 1.
“I hope that this meeting will bear fruit and that we will achieve the desired changes… Youth and media is a subject that causes controversy, and this initiative will have a positive impact”, optimistically stated Yasmine Labidi, from Tunisian CSO Jeunes Indépendants Démocrates (JID). “I think our message regarding the challenges to be faced was conveyed… I think it made a good impression among representatives of national television”, she concluded when reflecting on the discussions held about the current situation of the media and the representation of young people in the content disseminated.
This was the third national meeting held in the framework of the "Youth on Screen" initiative, launched through a sub-regional conference in Amman in 2015 and followed by national meetings focused on Jordan, Palestine and now Tunisia.
"Youth on Screen" is a collaborative effort framed under two projects funded by the European Union, NET-MED Youth and MedMedia, which are being implemented, respectively, by UNESCO and by a consortium led by BBC Media Action. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency also contributed to the initiative's launch.
The Networks of Mediterranean Youth (NET-MED Youth) project is implemented by UNESCO and funded by the European Union. It aims at mainstreaming youth issues and priorities across national decision-making and policy implementation in eastern and western Mediterranean countries by building the capacities of youth and youth organizations and promoting their active engagement in the development and implementation of national policies and strategies on youth, ensuring that youth issues are adequately covered by national and regional media and by identifying workable models for improving youth access to employment and youth inclusion in different sectors. To learn more about Networks of Mediterranean Youth (NET-MED Youth), follow us on: www.facebook.com/netmedyouth.