A constructive look at the latest developments in Palestine

March 4, 2019

Palestinian journalists are taking a new look at the latest developments and tackling new subjects thanks to the solutions journalism approach.

Through the "Hal Media" project, 6 Palestinian media outlets receive expert support for three months to assist with their writing and to help their journalists to handle certain subjects using the constructive journalism approach.

For young journalist Walaa Shamali from the Al-Hayat al-Jadida daily newspaper, these articles "can allow readers to think differently, make them consider issues from another perspective and help them in concrete terms". She worked for several weeks with the help of Shuruq Asad, correspondent for Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, on an article looking at a number of schools that accept pupils with Down's Syndrome. These initiatives have been adopted by other schools, which allows for better integration of these children. Shuruq Asad insists "on the necessity of showing the knock-on effect of these stories and emphasising the positive long-term impact of isolated initiatives on society as a whole".

For Montaser Ham Dam, this approach enables us "to encourage the reader to think and not be emotional, as is often the case". He is preparing a report on the first female football team in Palestine, which was launched at Doura Al Qarea and has already inspired other villages.

Maysaa Bsharat handled the topic of water, "but not in the manner in which it is always treated in the Palestinian media: crisis, shortage, etc. but by highlighting an initiative that could inspire others". This is the approach she used when covering the story of a farmer who, by using techniques that are often traditional yet forgotten, successfully stored water by playing with the relief, hollowing out and shaping the watercourse. He has also trained other farmers to reproduce his system.

In Nablus, pure player DOOZ has worked more closely with residents and concerns in their daily life since its launch in 2015. Solutions journalism is in their DNA. Trainer Shuruq Asad was able to work with the new recruits on video reports. Marah Hijazi and Lina Fraitekh are preparing a piece on a group passionate about biking that organises outings to encourage people to take part in sport and women to participate. Filming will take place during the next outing planned by the group.

Amal Nabulsi and Mosab Quzmar covered the story of a baker who decided to replace all plastic packaging with paper bags for ecological and health reasons. Within a few days, the video had tens of thousands of views, more than 7k likes and 1k shares and comments. Jalaa Abu Arab, editor-in-chief, is "impressed by the success of the video and the many overwhelmingly positive comments, which is not normally the case. She has also been contacted by a Palestinian TV channel and an international one who wanted more information on this story".

On Radio Nisaa, an FM station whose programmes focus on the progress made by women, Anwar Abdo is working on two long-term stories, both radio and audio-visual, about:
- campaigns implemented by Maison des femmes d'Anabta, a village located near Tulkarm in the north of the West Bank. This sociocultural centre helps young women in this area to liberate themselves from the guardianship that men traditionally exert over them;
- the EcoPhilics initiative, aimed at collecting rubbish in rural areas and raising awareness among the public and the authorities about the importance of recycling.

Expert Jocelyn Grange was able to accompany the young journalist on the ground to prepare interviews and various sequences that will be recorded and also filmed for content for social networks.

Wattan TV and Roya TV, two television channels based in Ramallah and coached by Angélica Tarnowski, employee of Reporters D'espoir, are currently preparing video reports that will be shot and aired in the next few weeks.
Topics include:
- The use of solar energy in the village of Jenin
- The use of natural repellents to avoid pesticides for olives growing near Jenin
- Reintegration of young people on their release from prison
- etc.