Jordan Media Institute - Amman
Young journalism graduates and members of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) received training at the Jordan Media Institute (JMI), on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in partnership with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
This training took place in the framework of the MENA-OECD Governance Programme and the Jordan Citizens’ Voice Project, which has been organized through the support of the Foreign Federal Office of Germany.
A key objective of these efforts is to bring together young people, stakeholders from non-profits, government, and academia, to pool their expertise and collaborate to develop the tools on skills to increase media literacy across the country. In this regard, youth are the most active and exposed on social media, where a majority of content is shared, thus making it critically necessary to raise their awareness of disinformation and misinformation as well as provide practical advice on how to be more critical and responsible consumers (and producers) of news and information.
“Such trainings in MIL are especially relevant given a rapidly evolving media landscape and changing ways of consuming and sharing information,” according to Michael Jelenic, OECD Policy Analyst who helped to organize the trainings. “In responding to global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens need to be equipped with 21st-century media literacy skills as well as awareness of how to recognize the role that mis- and dis-information can play."
During the training, a group of 44 youths were split into three groups over three weeks and supported with skills to identify disinformation and misinformation and be more critical and responsible consumers and producers of news and information. The sessions also included ways to identify and fight hate speech, racism, and bullying. As a key output of the training, participants were trained to produce content that disseminates MIL skills and concepts in different forms including photo essays, memes, and videos which would benefit their peers and organizations.
Dana Zindaki from the Chechen Women Charitable Society in Amman said the training will not only help her as future journalist, but in other areas and as a person.
While Haitham Al-Ghwairi from the We Participate 4 Civil Society Development in Zarqa, which supports the political participation of youth, appreciated the workshop as a “safe place to express ourselves freely”. “I will use my new skills to benefit my organization and community”, he added.
Hadeel Al Ma'ayah, a member of the Shabab42 Foundation in Madaba, said the practical approach was what made the training special for her. Journalism graduate, Samira Awwad echoed her remarks and noted how she is now able to verify news and check sources and websites.
Ghalib Abu Alim, who studied journalism at the University of Zarqa, and is an activist at Afaq AL-readah for Development and Training in Mafraq, said the information was presented in a simple and professional way and that the participants were able to identify hate speech and bullying.
Other participating CSOs included Musa Saket Cultural Center in Salt, Creativity Club in Karak, the Young Women’s Christian Association in Amman, and Sisterhood is Global Institute Jordan (SIGI) in Amman.
The implementation of the training program complements OECD’s engagement with the Government of Jordan to build capacities for youth-responsive policymaking through the “Youth in Public Life” project (2016-21), financially supported by the MENA Transition Fund of the G7 Deauville Partnership.