With the support of the NET-MED Youth project, young people in Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia celebrated World Radio Day under the overall theme of “Radio and Sports” this year.
On 11- 15 February, ten young radio staff and volunteers at university radio Yarmouk FM took part of a sports reporting course that focused on key elements of event coverage, writing, interviewing, broadcasting, social media, and working in mixed zones and at press conferences, as well as on increasing diversity in sports reporting. A key component of the training unpacked gender stereotypes, for instance facilitating discussions on how trainees “would cover a female sporting event, and how they would change stereotypical images through their reporting”, explained Rabbi Hamamsah, freelance news correspondent and one of the trainers at the course. The audio packages produced in the by young reporters will be broadcast by Yarmouk FM.
FMAS/E-joussour, a member of the Moroccan NET-MED Youth Working Group, coordinated a packed programme of events between 10-13 February, in collaboration with associative radios Air du Mboa, Sala Web Radio , Salam Media , Kech Radio , Web radio Missour, Sawt Ouarzazate, Mères en Ligne and Radio Izerfan.
Activities included the organization and coverage of a football match held in Casablanca between Moroccans and players from sub-Saharan countries, under the theme of "Sports as a lever of integration and fraternity”, broadcasts of radio features and interviews focused on sports fostered by civil society associations in rural communities, women in sports and the impact of sports on youth education, and the set up of a studio at a school from which students hosted programmes. Video portraits on urban sports, sports and tolerance, sports journalism as a profession and the highlights of the World Radio Day celebration in Morocco were also produced.
A forum organized under a traditional nomadic tent in the town Douz in South Tunisia, looked at the space that associative radios and youth have in the Tunisian audiovisual landscape, and highlighted the role of associative radios, regulation and self-regulation in advancing media independence, pluralism and diversity. It was supported by NET-MED Youth, the associative radio Nefzawa the Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HAICA), and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Tunisia. Through diverse parallel sessions, the forum examined the relationship between youth and radio, the place of associative radios in the audiovisual bill in Tunisia and issues related to their sustainability, the links between radio and sports and the promotion of gender equality.
In the West Bank and Gaza, five radios joined NET-MED Youth in a campaign focused on diversity in sports coverage, gender equality in sports and peace and development through sports coverage. They invited young sport reporters to speak about their experience, while also featuring young sports players and decision-makers.
“Sport awareness and education should begin from the youngest age, as it plays a crucial role in spreading the values of peace and tolerance,” said Taghreed Al Omour a 35-year old, sports reporter from Gaza that took part of these efforts. In turn, Remah Mahmoud, a 23-year old, sports player and football trainer from the West Bank noted that “Media and government bodies play a major role in improving people's perception of women in sport. Women, just like men, are making achievements in this field and the media should highlight them more”.
NET-MED Youth aims to improve the access and effective participation of young people in mainstreaming their priorities into legislation and national planning in the Southern Mediterranean Partner countries. Specifically, it aims to build the capacities of youth organisations in ENP South countries and to enhance networking among them in order to reduce the fragmentation of efforts and harness the collective potential of young people in achieving democratic transition towards active citizenship, political participation and social inclusion.