Sami: We seek to raise the capabilities of youth in Arab societies and the Middle East on citizen journalism in light of artificial intelligence
“Basha”: We must raise awareness of the ethics and standards of society so that citizen journalism does not constitute a social, political and ethical challenge
Ajwa: We need public partnerships to protect society from misleading, malicious and false news
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights continued the activities of the local training of “Citizen Journalism Academy for Youth” Project in Cairo, which aims to promote youth work in journalism through the provision of training materials and the application of learning methods that would enhance critical thinking, media literacy, as well as digital and leadership skills for youth and NGO workers, with the participation of 25 young men and women, and in the presence of the project’s international partners from (Bulgaria & Greece).
The first day of the local training discussed the basic concepts related to citizen journalism and the importance of citizen journalism as a tool for community participation. The second day, however, highlighted the danger of false news and misleading information on society and raised the skills of the participating youth on the effective means to verify the validity of information, news and online content, in addition to stressing the importance of leadership, and how to mobilize and build an interactive audience. The third day covered propaganda activities and discussed how to create awareness campaigns, in addition to increasing participants’ knowledge about different points of view, and developing critical and journalistic thinking skills, by promoting cooperation and exchanging ideas and solutions among participants, in the presence of journalist Tamer Ibrahim.
For her part, Marina Sami, Director of the Media Unit at Maat and the Project coordinator, stressed the need to raise the capabilities of youth in Arab societies and the Middle East to respond to the rapid technological advancements and the changing digital world.
Sami confirmed that the Citizen Journalism Academy, with the participation of 7 European and Arab organizations, aims to raise and promote the skills of participating youth on how to verify information using modern methods and effective means, especially in light of artificial intelligence.
Abd al-Rahman Pasha, Director of the Sustainable Development Unit at Maat, pointed out that modern citizen journalism plays a vital role in strengthening traditional journalism and enriching it with effective materials to validate the news and cover it from all aspects; however, it is a double-edged sword. Thus, it is necessary to pay attention to educating young people about the ethics and standards of society so that citizen journalism does not constitute a social, political and ethical challenge in our time.
Farida Ajwa also affirmed the need to educate young people about this new type of advanced media, which rearranges priorities and adopts a new way of presenting problems and then involves all official and unofficial media parties in contributing to proposing and figuring out solutions to protect society from misleading, malicious and false news.
It is worth noting that the Citizen Journalism Academy Project is funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union and aims to promote citizen journalism and media education as a means of effective participation in society and to enhance the leadership and organizational skills of the participating youth, with the participation of seven partner organizations, from seven different countries ( Bulgaria - Greece - Italy - Albania - Jordan - Egypt - Tunisia).