During summer 2007, the Euro-Mediterranean region witnessed a new fresh beginning of establishing a culture of tolerance, understanding, and a common vision of a peaceful, prosper, safe, and liberal community, when the first session of the Euro-Mediterranean Youth Parliament took place in Berlin under the German EU Presidency.
Besides the high level of discussions and the resolutions drafted on various important topics, the focus of the EMYP lay always on possible follow up-projects in the region, creating a new phase of sustainability and consistency. One of them was the
EURO-MEDITERRANEAN ACADEMY FOR YOUNG JOURNALISTS (EMAJ)
Although the EU countries and the MEDA countries are closely linked in many ways, there is no network between the journalists active within the region. At the same time, numerous mutual misunderstandings and prejudices create a climate of hostility and distrust.
The media definitely plays a crucial role in the distribution, selection and valuation of information. Especially the spreading and multiplying of stereotypes about “the West” and “the Arab World” negatively influence public perceptions, and cause the rise of prejudices as well as fear and hatred of “the other”.
An increased awareness for the relation between journalistic work and cultural/ political frameworks as well as for the role and responsibility of the media, combined with the establishment of an active network among young journalists of the whole region could lead to a positive change.
Objectives & Program
The Euro-Mediterranean Academy for young Journalists aims at raising the knowledge of young journalists about the importance of a responsible and critical international journalism. Due to their ethical responsibility, journalists have to report in a truthful, well-researched and objective manner. Through active discussions and expert hearings, the participants’ knowledge on the role and functioning of the media and its responsibility in dealing with sensitive issues in the context of intercultural journalism shall be increased. By working in teams on given assignments, the participants shall analyse and compare their working methods, approaches and results, and shall realize which factors influence the valuation, interpretation and utilization of information.
Moreover, the Academy should enable the young participants to create active information networks and sustainable cooperation beyond borders, designated to change mutual misperceptions and fight prejudices usually spread and increased by media. A sense of ethic responsibility for journalistic work shall be developed, as well as a critical understanding of the functioning and strategies of media in intercultural journalism.
Profile of Participants
18 young adults from the whole Euro-Mediterranean region, nine from the EU member states and nine from the Mediterranean countries taking part in the Barcelona Process (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Mauritania) were be selected based on their educational background, their motivation and, most importantly, by the quality of their work samples.
The team of the EMAJ consists of five former delegates to the Euro-Mediterranean Youth Parliament. By sharing their knowledge, experiences, ideas and energies, they created the project idea in June 2007, developed it further with the support of the Goethe-Institute Jordan and contributed to the successful outcome to realize the EuroMediterranean Academy for Young Journalists.
The team members:
- Eva Pentz (Austria)
- Mia Andersson (Sweden)
- Wadia Ait Hamza (Morocco)
- Randa Kamal (Sweden, Lebanon)
- Hamza Alamoosh (Jordan)