Digital Media Training for Young Moroccan Activists

Dates: 26 – 30 October 2013

Country: Casablanca, Morocco

morocco training 4Almost every representative of the Moroccan civil society organisations (CSO) attending the workshop in Casablanca had a Facebook profile at the start of the training. But only a few were familiar with tweeting and only one young activist described himself as a blogger.

By the end of the workshop, organized by the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) in partnership with Association Jeunes pour Jenues (AJJ), on digital media and strategies, every participant had a Twitter account and was tweeting comfortably using hashtags; almost two thirds had started blogging and the rest were creating websites for their organizations with the intention of interconnecting their online presence and drawing traffic from one digital platform to another.

Although increasingly popularized in the last few years, social media networks and digital media in general do not have widespread usage in all the parts of Morocco. There is still a wide gap between the rural and urban areas although internet access in Moroccan homes, according to some statistics has jumped from 2% in 2004 to 49% in 2013. Facebook is the most popular social media network and it is used by most of young representatives of CSOs. But Facebook, as some of the participants stressed, is not good at getting their voice into the mainstream media and does not guarantee an increase in association membership.

morocco digital training 3“We need young Moroccans to be heard and we want to use as many digital tools as we can to archive that”, said one of the participants. After attending the panel session with three prominent Moroccan journalists, the young CSO representatives at the workshop understood the importance of combining traditional media with digital media tools as well as knowing the techniques of communicating with media.

One of the highlights of the workshop in Casablanca was the exercise of promoting the CSO’s activities through digital media. Discussing what could be possible headlines and why some journalists or members of the public or decision-makers would click on the article that young Moroccan activists have tweeted or posted or published online, some of the participants came to the conclusion: “Short and powerful messages of the objectives and goals, with good video or photos on the websites/profiles/blogs can be a solution”.

The workshop in Casablanca has been organized as a part of the MDI project “Promoting Freedom of Expression, Diversity and Inclusion in Morocco” funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and the UK Embassy in Rabat.

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