Digital Tools for Spreading a Message

Dates: 7 – 11 February 2014

Country: Tunisia, Tunis

TunisiaYoung man is talking to the camera. The only way we can tell he is young is by his clothes, hands and voice. We don’t see his face. And we don’t see it because he does not want to be seen since he is talking about one of the biggest taboos in Tunisia, Algeria and other countries in the region. AIDS.

The powerful video about the AIDS, a stigma that surrounds the patients and the difficulties in raising that topic in the media, was made during the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) workshop in Tunisia. Fourteen Algerian journalists and civil society activists came from Algeria to neighbouring Tunisia to attend the training on digital media tools and the better usage of social media in communication with media, public and other CSOs.

“I have discovered how easy can be to make a video, take a photo and by posting it on Facebook and YouTube, to start a debate on the important issues”, said one of the participants after the workshop. He also remembered how he introduced himself at the beginning. He said he was a print journalist, but the trainer replied: “You will be a multimedia journalist when you finish this training”. During the 5-day workshop in Tunis all the participants started developing their digital media skills and understanding the potential of the Internet and social media in spreading their messages, archiving their goals and gaining the new sources of information.

The result was that all the journalists attending the workshop started their own blogs, while some of the civil society activists changed and developed their organisations’ websites. Other participants worked on defining the messages and their presence on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

The very important part of the training was the collaboration between the journalists and the participants coming from Algerian CSOs. The best illustration of their joint work and effort was the simulation of the press conference. Not only that the activists learn how important is to be prepared when facing the media, but the journalists understood how many important issues, topics and human stories lie beneath each of the activists’ experiences.

The workshop on digital media skills for CSOs and local journalists was organised as part of MDI project “Inclusive Media for an Inclusive Society: Building the presence of youth and marginalised voices in Algeria” supported by UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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