School students address social issues with sounds and images

25 Jan 2021

Jordan Media Institute - Amman


Raneem Shawabkeh never had any experience in writing, editing, or filming, as she has always thought she just wasn’t interested in media. That changed recently, however, after she participated in a training held by the Jordan Media Institute (JMI) on using mobile devices to create news reports.

Raneem, a tenth-grader at the King Abdullah II School for Excellence - Madaba, said this was the first time she had been given this opportunity.

"Creating news stories with a cell phone was a new experience for me. I enjoyed it a lot and gained self-confidence," said Raneem, who is working on a report on child labor and the violation of the right of education among working children.

Raneem added that “after learning from the instructors, we came to rely on ourselves in preparing the reports. We students are the ones picking the ideas and subjects of our reports, going to the filming locations, consulting experts, and addressing the topics of the reports."

Raneem's peer Abdel Nasser Al Youssef, from the King Abdullah II School for Excellence - Al Muqabalayn, has a different story. He has never been able to pursue his talent for media except on limited occasions whenever he got the opportunity to participate in his school's morning assembly program.

Nevertheless, eighth-grader Abdel Nasser is now able to shoot, edit, and produce video reports on his cell phone almost flawlessly. 

Abdel Nasser started off his project by picking a topic for his report; how young people make use of their time during summer vacation. He settled on the angle he would take on the topic, wrote an introduction for his report, and decided to conduct interviews with a student, a parent, and a school supervisor.

Abdel Nasser then began working under the supervision of expert instructors who, from start to finish, provided substantive advice to improve the project’s content and production.

Raneem and Abdel Nasser are two of 40 students from King Abdullah Schools for Excellence in Al Muqabalayn, Salt, Madaba, and Sahab who, in groups, received hands-on training in interviewing skills and the use of cell phones to create news stories. Both Raneem and Abdel Nasser said they will share their reports with family and friends in an effort to increase awareness.

Students chose a variety of topics for their reports. Some picked medical topics related to coronavirus vaccines, while others preferred to research environmental issues like global warming. There were also those who addressed economic and social issues such as begging, online bullying, and remote learning.

JMI is implementing the "Voice of the Youth in Media'' project in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and with support of the Carnegie Foundation in New York. The project aims to strengthen Media and Information Literacy (MIL) skills among students, and to equip them with the needed skills to create visual news reports that address issues affecting both young people and the wider community. Thus, in doing so, these students will be able to share their stories and voices.

JMI had trained this group of students on MIL concepts in July 2020, after having previously trained 12 teachers at the beginning of 2020.