Creating socially responsible media platforms in the Arab world
Middle East & North Africa
Socially Responsible Media Platforms in the Arab World is a new multi-platform initiative being developed and implemented by the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST).
The purpose of the project is to develop lasting media platforms through which vulnerable, marginalised and disenfranchised groups in the Arabic-speaking world can access diverse viewpoints, air their concerns and learn from comparable experience.
The project will be implemented in a number of countries and output will be readily available across the region.
Media types: Television, radio and online
Issues: Social issues and governance
Working across several platforms
The project will seek to reach and serve its target audiences by:
Supporting the production of television drama series which will address issues affecting the Arab world; promote diverse points of view; and create a sustainable model for socially responsible programming. The BBC WST is working in partnership with Arab Telemedia Productions in Jordan and Misr International Films in Egypt.
Improving the capacity of local radio to deliver programming strands which facilitate community participation and support improved local governance. The project is collaborating with regional radio stations in Yemen and Jordan to introduce discussion-based programmes focusing on the provision of local services.
Developing online communities which offer users a more proactive space for opinion exchange. A web drama currently being produced in Lebanon will give audiences an opportunity to help shape storylines and discuss familiar challenges.
Strengthening the ability of bloggers and web journalists in Syria to represent the views of young people on the Internet. An online training platform will work to enhance writing skills, showcase multi-media outputs and encourage a debate around key issues.
- The population of the Arabic-speaking world is more than 200 million, most of them under the age of 25.
- Television penetration is almost universal across the Middle East. There are around 38 million television households and 300 satellite channels catering for them.
- Watching drama is a favourite pastime: more than 100 drama series were produced and screened in 2009 alone.
- Internet penetration rates vary dramatically across the region, ranging from 1.6% of the population in Yemen to over 60% in the United Arab Emirates (Internet World Stats 2009).