Dune Voices – A Platform for Stories about People and their Communities Print

Dates: 28 September – 20 October 2015

Country: Mauritania

Mauritanian_FishermenMauritania is one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Its 754 kilometre long Atlantic seaboard is the subject of fishing agreements between Mauritania and different countries, including the EU.  The Financial Times reported that Brussels has “one of the most important fisheries agreement, both in terms of volume and product diversity” with Mauritania. However, there are not many media reports about “les pecheurs du Mauritanie (Mauritanian fishermen).  They are ordinary people who struggle to survive, not only at the ocean when they go fishing, but also in their everyday lives since most of them don’t have any social security, insurance for their boats or state pensions.  Article on Mauritanian fishermen is just one of several stories produced for the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) multimedia platform Dune Voices, during the second round of journalism training for Dune Voices reporters.

Some other articles produced during the workshop held at the end of September 2015 include stories about the sell-off of several public schools and its impact on pupils, parents and the community.  Dune Voices team also produced stories about women who are employed as maids, migrants seeking job in Mauritania without speaking the official language Arabic, as well as about refugees mostly from neighbouring Mali.

Putting people in the focus of reporting and finding the way to tell the stories of voiceless communities in the Sahara region have been Dune Voices’ objective since the beginning. “For example, most of the media reports in Mauritania are coming from the capital Nouakchott. But Dune Voices have reporters in villages and smaller cities such as Rosso. They report on people and their lives from within of Mauritania and that is how we promote inclusion and diversity,” says the Editor-in-Chief of Dune Voices, Mourad Sellami.

Dune Voices has established a network of journalists and citizen journalists in Mauritania, Morocco, Mali, Algeria and Libya. Their stories are regularly published and republished in different languages in the media in the region. At the moment, Dune Voices reporters are being given additional training on security reporting, diversity and gender reporting, as well as on multimedia and web publishing.

Next training will be held for the journalists coming from different parts of Libya.

Dune Voices is a part of the MDI project “Inclusive Voices for Conflict Prevention and Democracy Building in North Africa: Bringing the Voices of the Sahara into Public Sphere” supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.