The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the development of local information and citizen mobilization in the governorates of Tozeur and Kebili through the professionalization of associative radios and media literacy for youth and active civil society in these regions.
The project is being implemented in two components. The project’s first component focusses on improving the access to local information for the populations of Tozeur and Kebili , by strengthening the editorial capacities and economic viability of Djerid FM and Nefzaoua FM, the only associative radios in Kébili and Tozeur; The project will also work to increase the participation of youth and civil society in the governorates of Tozeur and Kebili in community radio programs and make responsible use of social media to disseminate, exchange and discuss local news.
TOKE Objectives :
Objective 1: To strengthen the capacity of community radio stations to produce information programs;
Objective 2: To enhance the capacity of youth and civil society to interact with community radio and social media.
Our project works to achieve these objects through the following activities:
- Workshop on local journalism and radio animation for ATMA trainers;
- Trainings in local journalism (« journalisme de proximité ») and radio animation techniques for journalists from Djerid FM and Nefzaoua FM.
- Workshop on innovative business models for managers of Djerid FM and Nefzaoua FM.
- Media and Information Literacy (MIL) training of trainers for ATMA trainers followed by a training of ATMA’s officials of Youth Centers in Tozeur and Kebili.
- Organization of MIL workshops for youth groups, bloggers and representatives of civil society in Youth Centers.
- Production and dissemination by Djerid FM and Nefzaoua FM (with the support of ATMA) of the making-of of MIL workshops.
The expected results of the project are:
- Outcome 1: Journalists and facilitators from Djerid FM and Nefzaoua FM have the necessary know-how to produce information programs focused on the concerns of the populations of Tozeur and Kebili and to organize at the community level a citizen dialogue reflecting the pluralism of currents of thoughts and opinions.
- Outcome 2: Djerid FM and Nefzaoua FM strengthen their economic viability by developing different formats of programs with low production costs but adapted to their mandate as citizen and participatory media.
- Outcome 3: Youth and active civil society in the governorates of Tozeur and Kebili participate more in community radio programs and make responsible use of social media to disseminate, exchange and discuss local news.
The project aims to increase the resilience of the Central Asian population to false news and disinformation and promote an understanding of the role and responsibilities of the media in a democratic society.
IREX Europe is leading the media literacy aspect of the project, working in collaboration with local organisations to provide training of trainers for teachers, university lecturers, librarians and media organisations to deliver media literacy programmes to encourage critical thinking. We are also developing a media literacy curriculum for the Central Asian context.
With false news a global epidemic and no strong culture of investigative journalism in Central Asia, it is important that individuals have strong critical thinking skills and an awareness of bias in the media so that they are able to make their own informed decisions.
The programme will be based on a training manual and methodology pioneered by an IREX Europe project in Moldova entitled “Strengthening Independent Media and Media Literacy”. This project set-up media literacy programmes in libraries across Moldova to great success.
PROJECT RESULTS and ACTIVITIES:
- Training of trainers for university professors, librarians, teachers and other media professionals will equip them to run their own classes in media literacy and critical thinking.
- A curriculum of lessons and accompanying manual for trainers will be produced for libraries, universities and schools. This will be tailored to the Central Asian context and available in Russian, Kyrgyz and Kazakh languages.
- An pilot online platform for lessons, exercises and other resources will be tested in Kyrgyzstan, with the potential to be rolled out across all Central Asian countries.
Under SIMML, 99 librarians were trained in media literacy and they have gone on to run more than 100 media literacy trainings and activities in raions across the country, reaching more than 1800 citizens (librarians, youth, students and local authority representatives). Media corners where citizens can access news and information with guided assistance from the librarians are also being established under the project, under a small grants scheme. The media corners offer local citizens access to a wide array of media including online media. Our trained librarians then offer guidance and counseling in how to access an array of information and how to check the information against a range of sources.
Under SIMML IREX Europe is also working with Moldovan media to build the capacities of the new generation of journalists through learning-by-doing internships. 26 journalists and journalism students have received training so far, producing and broadcasting more than 30 video and radio reports, as well as online and print articles.
We’ve combined the media production and media literacy components by organising public discussion sessions in partnership with the libraries where the journalists have joined discussions on the issues covered in their stories, and the librarians and other guests have discussed the issues in the context of media literacy.
The project runs until December 2018. For the remainder of the project we will work to:
- expand our network of trained journalists by involving new young journalists and journalism students in the learning-by-doing process at leading Moldovan independent media.
- Continue to train librarians in media literacy so that they can go on to run media literacy activities in more raions across Moldova.
- Continue to set up Media Corners in public libraries across Moldova.
- Objective 1: Improve the quality and quantity of media reports on social and political developments affecting Moldova.
- Objective 2: Strengthen links between media and their communities through open discussion platforms gathering journalists, civil society organizations, and local audiences.
- Objective 3: Empower citizens to engage with new media technologies, traditional media, and journalists by developing and expanding media literacy and media corners in libraries across Moldova, by supporting community’s media initiatives.
Our project works to achieve these objects through the following activities:
Strengthening local media reporting
IREX Europe is working closely with project partners; Association of Independent TV Journalists (ATI); Radio Free Europe; Gagauz Media; and OWH TV Studio. Together we select and recruit journalism students and young journalists from different raions to join a learning-by-doing production process, from pre- to post-production (including the filming phase). The report topics focus on economic, social and political issues including the national education system, corruption, international events that affect Moldova and many others. The key focus is to interpret the events in a way that ordinary people will understand and will relate to, producing balanced, well researched stories that put the issues into a Moldovan context.
Promotion of media literacy through media and library partnerships
IREX Europe is supporting libraries to develop media corners in at least 12 raions as well as train librarians in media literacy, online media access and “how to run a media corner”. The project is also supporting the local librarians to run media literacy programs targeting youth and adults. The media corners give access to local, regional and national newspapers and magazines, and are equipped with computers and internet access, allowing the librarians to provide training and facilities to help local citizens access online information, and to do so with a critical approach.
Public platforms for discussion
The aim here is to bring together communities for active discussion on the important issues affecting Moldovan citizens. Our partner librarians with our support, organise and lead public discussions involving project journalists as well as local journalists, and local community leaders.
The 30-month international project “Belarus: Improving Media Education” was officially launched in Vilnius in May 2010. The project, which focuses on building capacity at the European Humanities University to enhance journalism skills and create TV programming, is supported by the EU and is implemented jointly by IREX Europe and its partners the BBC Media Action and the European Humanities University (EHU).
Belarus remains a tightly controlled authoritarian regime, marked at the end of 2010 by Presidential elections officially won by incumbent President Lukashenka, but whose results were broadly contested. Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets resulting in some 700 being detained. Dozens of journalists were attacked and some briefly detained; the KGB raided homes and offices of journalists to seize equipment and footage. Lukashenka told a press conference he had thwarted a revolution and promised there would be no “brainless democracy.” He also vowed to “reform the Internet” and warned journalists that they should “stop jeering at the authorities and the people.” (click here to learn more about the media situation in Belarus )
The European Humanities University is a Belarusian University in exile based in Vilnius, Lithuania, and its mission is to combat the Belarusian State’s control and suppression of Belarusian citizens’ right to education, and through providing an academic environment free of discrimination it aims to promote democracy and human rights in Belarus. The EHU offers quality liberal education and research at the BA and MA level via classroom teaching in Vilnius and also through “low residence study.”
The project aims to increase the role of the EHU and Belarusian academics in reform efforts through improved teaching and improved teaching content. Through the project, IREX Europe and the BBC will help the EHU Media and Communications Department set up a multimedia training facility (learn more about the Emediahub), where students will receive practical training in television broadcasting, radio, print, and modern multimedia journalism. This includes producing regular news reports, helping students gain concrete, practical skills and a solid base in ethical, independent journalism to utilise in their future careers.
The project also will provide increased access to independent, unbiased, up-to-date information through the dissemination of project-produced multimedia reports, including student news and information programming produced at the EHU. This will increase awareness and provide greater access to information, especially on issues which are currently low on the media agenda in Belarus such as women’s and children’s rights, EU-Belarus relations, European issues, economic issues, social and cultural rights and the right to peaceful assembly and association.
IREX Europe is part of a consortium led by the BBC World Service Trust to improve standards through the Journalism Education at Ukrainian Universities program. The two-year project, funded by the European Union, is establishing the foundation for long-term professional exchange and educational reform triggered by the Bologna Declaration of 1999.
IREX Europe is launching its activities at the Kyiv Institute of Journalism (KIJ) and two pilot schools. These institutions are among the first journalism faculties in the former Soviet Union to pioneer educational reforms under the Bologna process. Teaching methods and curricula will be evaluated and successful models developed and expanded to Ukraine’s other journalism training centres. The results of the initiative will also be widely disseminated outside the Ukraine.
The consortium will improve the standards of journalism education by :
- Bringing the journalism curriculum and teaching practices in line with EU standards.
- Improving the journalistic and teaching skills of university lecturers.
- Developing textbooks for distribution to universities across Ukraine.
- Forging stronger links between journalism students and the media industry.
Local partners will be able to apply the best practices from international experience, creating a blueprint for journalism faculties across Eastern Europe seeking to follow the same path.
IREX has been working in the Ukraine on media development and educational exchanges since 1992 and is implementing this project under the leadership of the BBC World Service Trust from Britain and in partnership with the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland; the Ecole Superieure de Journalisme in Lille, France; and the Marie-Curie Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland.
Russell Peasgood, IREX Europe’s representative on the implementation team, brings his experience as a journalist, manager and trainer to lead the “training the trainers” component of the project. This key element aims to ensure that university lecturers in Ukraine acquire the skills necessary to implement the new curricula and training programs for a new generation of journalism professionals.
“Human Rights, Civil Society, Governance, Justice and Home Affairs”
EuropeAid Multiple Framework Contract Lot 7
In the mid-nineties, the European Commission introduced a fast track system to enable rapid implementation of smaller PHARE projects. In 2004, this became known as the Multiple Framework Contracts (FWC), operating worldwide across many development sectors, for assignments of up to € 200.000. The FWC exists for 13 Sectors known as Lots.
Framework Contract – Lot 7
IREX Europe is currently involved in the EC’s Framework Contract Lot 7 which focuses on Culture, Governance and Home Affairs, through Human Rights, Democracy and Institutional Strengthening. This includes :
- Promotion and defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms
- Democratization processes including elections and good governance of public affairs
- Conflicts prevention and dealing with the consequences of conflicts including landmine clearance
- State, Justice and Parliament reform processes
- Police and security
The procedure: The European Commission Delegations (ECD) in beneficiary countries around the world can launch Requests for Services (RfS) to the consortia within the Lot 7 Framework agreement. The consortia then compete against each other to provide the best team and methodology for each RfS.
Examples of specific Lot 7 projects:
- Ghana – Feasibility study for support to independent Governance institutions involved in the electoral process
- Serbia – Preparation of the Media Study for the National Media Strategy of Ministry of Culture of Serbia
- Nigeria – Study on Identification of Support to State and Local Governance Reform Programme in 6 EU Focal states