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To provide reliable news to young men and women from the Sahel region, and make it possible for them to express their opinions, take part in public debates and contribute to public life in their respective countries, through the media.
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In recent years, the Sahel region has experienced a series of multifaceted, overlapping and worsening crises. One of the factors behind this fragility is the sense of neglect, injustice and marginalisation felt by part of the Sahel's youth, with the under-30s representing about 65% of the population.
This crisis, which is sweeping across the entire Sahel-Saharan belt, cannotbe resolved without making young people feel more included in social and political circles. In this respect, the media have an important role to play by offering young people forums for expressing their opinions and promoting dialogue between citizens, civil society representatives and the authorities.
Through the media, the MediaSahel project is helping to increase youth inclusion, foster stabilisation and establish democracy in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. A scheme for supporting production has been planned to run during the 48-month-long project. In addition to nationwide initiatives, a regional dimension will make it easier to broadcast news and promote dialogue between those three countries, with the focus being placed on shared problems and solutions, and content being offered in local languages.
“Conscious as we are that the media are essential to improving understanding of a complex environment and to initiating a more inclusive and more balanced public debate, we are delighted to be teaming up with CFI to work with the young men and women of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to produce reliable and independent news that is both focused on their interests and sensitive to gender.”
Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive of the French Development Agency
Media professionals (radio stations, websites), bloggers, young people, civil society and local authorities representatives in the three countries.
1.Strengthening the capabilities of the media
> Encouraging young people to take part in interactive shows and get involved in the production of content; > Training local trainers in journalism; > Strengthening the skills of media professionals: the fundamentals of professional journalism, journalism that is sensitive to conflict and gender, interactive shows engaging young people, discussion shows, encouraging representatives of the State and of civil society organisations to take part in discussion shows and raising their awareness; > Aiding the development of media outlets or new formats created by young people; > Providing training courses on new interactive formats for the internet; > Supporting media management teams; > Raising the awareness of the media, regulatory bodies and civil society organisations on the issues relating to fake news and the verification of facts.
2.Supporting the production of content created by and for young people
> The production of news and debate programmes aimed at the young, focusing on both national and international issues, in the local languages of the priority areas and in cross-border languages (unifying languages); > The production of content that is both entertaining and educational, focusing on international issues, in the main languages and in cross-border languages; > Supporting the local production of interactive content and discussion shows, in French and/or in local languages; > National competitions on new interactive and discussion formats, with production grants being awarded to three winners over the course of a year.