Engaging youth through "citizen journalism"
About The Future of our Journalism ("Mustaqbal Sahafatuna") project
Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development - ARDD is implementing The Future of our Journalism (“Mustaqbal Sahafatuna”) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through a grant from the USAID Civic Initiatives Support Program implemented by FHI 360.
The project aims to provide a space for active and diverse collaboration among youth in Zarqa in addressing social, economic and political issues and advancing change. This will be achieved through enhancing community dialogue among youth in Zarqa, for the purpose of promoting positive social behavior and attitudinal change. In addition to this, the project will build the capacities of youth in Zarqa to enable them to actively engage with their communities.
ARDD’s goal is to provide youth with tools to empower them to play an active and meaningful role within their communities and enable them to advocate for community issues. In addition, ARDD seeks to enhance stakeholders’ understanding of the positive role youth can play in identifying and responding to issues of concern within their communities in Jordan.
Culture of engagement and dialogue
There are three core interconnected issues that hinder youth engagement in communities:
1. Lack of civic education on why and how to participate;
2. Lack of skills, and sometimes interest, by young people to have their voices heard; and
3. Lack of opportunities for the participation of young people.
The project responds to the structural problems that hinderyouth engagement in Zarqa by providing opportunities and skills to empower young people to actively engage with their communities. The initiative encompasses the model of “citizen journalism”, which will aim to provide youth in Zarqa with the analytical and technical tools to identify issues that concern them and their communities, while fostering a culture of engagement and dialogue.
The Future of our Journalism (“Mustaqbal Sahafatuna”) uses a comprehensive approach to train 30 youth from Zarqa to be citizen journalists. Additionally, this initiativeworks to increase awareness about the issues facing communities in Zarqa and the role citizen journalists can play in enhancing civic engagement.
The approach consists of:
- Providing solid skills in team- building and citizen journalism.
- Journalism mentoring sessions and field visits to obtain more information from active journalists; and to expose the youth to environments and experiences different from their own.
- Production of community newsletters highlighting key issues facing their communities.
ARDD will provide an equal opportunity environment. The participation of women and persons with disabilities will be ensured throughout the implementation of the project.