As part of Net-Med Youth Project, an UNESCO initiative and funded by EU, UNESCO Beirut office launched a Media training programme for youth NGOs to enhance their communication skills, through enabling them to build media relations, increase their capacity to produce media material, push their news through national and international channels, and efficiently monitor this process.
In this context 30 youth NGOs representatives took part in the inaugural session where Mr. George Awad, UNESCO Communication & Information programme officer, talked about the programme, its stages, benefits and the commitments needed from each NGO. This was followed by a brief on each NGO current communication status, which was lead by Ms. Nada Hamzeh, UNESCO consultant.
The second session was a panel discussion with Mr. Sam Menassa, General Manager of Radio Voice of Lebanon and Mr. Ghassan Hajjar, managing editor at Annahar Newspaper. The two guests shared their perspective on “Understanding the Media” and how it is dealt with at different media outlets through their own experiences. Mr. Menassa talked about the structure of the media outlets and the changes that have happened over the years. While Mr. Hajjar emphasis was on the quality of information to be shared as not any information is Media Information and not any information is important enough to be published.
The Round-table also addressed the fact that Youth are not interested in Radio, nor Newspaper and even less in TV (as per UNESCO latest study). Social Media is the Youth Hub nowadays; that is why it was crucial to develop websites and phone applications in order to advance at the same pace with Youth on the level of Technology.
Next, Youth from different NGOs shared their own Media experience with the speakers and asked for advice on what to do in order to attract more the Media to cover their news achievements.
The Net-Med Youth Project aims to create an enabling environment for young women and men to develop their competencies, exercise their rights and meaningfully engage as active citizens, particularly in decision-making relating to political, social, economic, educational and cultural policy and planning processes.