Media literacy, digital rights and media viability are gaining importance in the Palestinian territories. Youth need a critical approach to the media and safe spaces to participate in society and fight for their rights.
Young Palestinians are greatly benefitting from the ongoing digital transformation, with social media offering perspectives that go beyond social and geographical borders. However, there can also be risks.
Palestinian and Israeli state authorities control the digital space, resulting in more pressure on digital rights; people’s careless online activities can therefore 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, as are young people and those who voice criticism. While social media is the primary information source for approximately half of the young population, many are not aware of how to use the media critically and are thus vulnerable to misinformation. As violence spreads, moderate civil society organizations are increasingly concerned about "shrinking spaces" – fewer spaces where they can operate safely.
On the Westbank, DW Akademie supports civil society organizations in strengthening media and information literacy (MIL), with a focus on digital security, privacy and combating gender-based violence.
Having established MIL as part of the curriculum at Palestinian schools, the youth organization PYALARA, a DW Akademie partner, is now developing an interactive MIL adventure center – a unique education and training venue that combines games with media education and is designed for children, young people, students and teachers.
With DW Akademie support, the non-governmental organization 7amleh is raising young people’s awareness about online privacy and safety. Related conferences and campaigns aim to educate the population about digital security and online violence against women.
Media viability and capacity building are also a focus, primarily for the partner organizations PYALARA andTAM – a non-governmental organization based in Bethlehem that strengthens local media and the role of women journalists.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Program Director: Heike Thee
Locations: Ramallah, Bethlehem
Focus: Civic participation, Media and Information Literacy (MIL), digital securitiy, journalism education, media viability