Media literacy is becoming increasingly important in the Palestinian Territories. In a politically heated environment, young people need to have a critical approach to the media to be able to form their opinions.
Palestinian youth are greatly benefiting from digital transformation. It was never this easy for young people to publicly express opinions and share their views, and social media have made it easy to gain perspectives beyond geographical borders. This, however, can also be dangerous.
Israel's security forces as well as the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Palestinian Authority control digital space. As a result, young Palestinians in this conflict-ridden environment are monitored by three different sides. This endangers youth's private sphere as well as the protection of their data. Young people's careless online activities can lead to their downfall in the real world. Many young Palestinians have been arrested for their postings and messages or subject to heavy fines.
Women are particularly affected by negative aspects of digital communication and are increasingly becoming targets of digital violence and cyber blackmailing. This, in a conservative society, exacerbates the problem.
DW Akademie's projects support civil society organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in strengthening media and information literacy (MIL). The projects focus on digital safety, the private sphere and the countering of gender-based violence.
Pyalara, a youth organization, is being established as a national and regional MIL center of excellence and together with DW Akademie aims for MIL to be part of school curricula. For this, the project team is in continual contact with the education ministry and is working with teachers and students in 16 schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
DW Akademie also supports the partner organizations 7amleh (Ramallah, Haifa), TAM (Bethlehem) and Al-Saraya (East Jerusalem) in sensitizing young people to online privacy and security, and is developing learning packets. Conferences, hearings and campaigns aim to raise people's awareness of digital security and gender-based violence. The Media Development Center at Birzeit University is developing a digital media diploma with current content and aimed at young Palestinian journalists.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Program Director: Markus Haake
Locations: Hebron, Nablus, Jericho, Haifa, Ramallah, Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Gaza City
Local partners: Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation (Pyalara), 7amleh, Women Media and Development (TAM), Al-Saraya, Media Development Center (MDC) at Birzeit University
Main focus: Civic participation, media and information literacy, digital safety, journalism education