As a first element of the pilot project, a multi-media website called ‘Dooz’ was initiated. And the unique part of it was not only its interactive design allowing for internet users to participate in discussions on the platform, share their views and raise problems of concern to the community. It was its focus on local affairs – and especially those concerning young people – that was truly unique among Palestinian media. The diversity of formats and the link with social media have been able to generate a dialogue between local authorities and the young people of Nablus.
Preceding the creation of the website, journalists and journalism students from Nablus had been selected to form its editorial staff. They received training in online reporting and local news coverage, media ethics and political communication, and got to know how local administrations work. Based on this knowledge and backed up by the lecturers at An-Najah University and project managers, the editorial team designed, fed and operated the online platform.
As university education in the field of journalism tends to be rather theoretical, getting involved in a local news platform vested the students with hands-on experience. They have regularly contributed articles, audio files and videos, whose quality was assured by the professional journalists on the team.
To keep the website going and its reports competent and independent, the editorial team was also trained in marketing and fundraising strategies.