MDI Working to Give a Voice to Marginalised Groups in Algeria

Published: 8 August 2013

Country: Algeria

algeria un photoThe Media Diversity Institute (MDI), in cooperation with local partners, has started a new project in Algeria. The purpose of the project, “Inclusive Media for an Inclusive Society”, is to increase the presence of youth and other marginalised voices in the Algerian media and to enable more diverse and inclusive debate on the country’s future.

The young people of Algeria, who make up more than half of the electorate, were one of the main targets in last year’s elections.“I’m addressing the young people who must take over the baton because my generation has had its time. The country is in your hands.  Take care of it.”, said the Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika back in 2012.

But half of young Algerian people were disappointed with the results of election and the way candidates addressed relevant issues in society. As some regional news portals reported, young Algerians who did not take part in voting “wanted to improve things, but found that the old practices still prevailed”.

They also complained about the absence of marginalised voices in the mainstream media, demonstrating that there is a need to encourage media practices to include the voices of all groups in society.

Marking the beginning of the project in Algeria, MDI’s Executive Director Milica Pesic stated that “through this project MDI wants to encourage a public debate on a more inclusive society where young people would have a say on all issues relevant to their future”. “MDI we will make sure that itsproject is inclusive of all stakeholders in Algeria – civil society, media, regardless of their political affiliation, as well as the authorities.”, added Ms Pesic.

MDI’s key partner will be the Syndicat National des Jornalistes (SNJ) who will organise, among other things, roundtable debates on the importance of inclusive practices in the Algerian media.

In addition, the extensive media content that will be produced by the project will ensure the inclusion of diverse voices and opinions in the Algerian media, giving civil society, especially marginalised groups, the opportunity to voice their experiences, ideas, concerns and proposals to wider society.

MDI’s other partners in the project are: El Watan Newspaper, Association des Femmes en Communication, Rassemblage-Action-Jeunesse and Conseil des Lycées d’Algérie.

The project ““Inclusive Media for an Inclusive Society” will be realised over two years with the support of the UK FCO’s Arab Partnership Fund.