Part of InternewsNext, a series highlighting 30 youth-led media initiatives.
“I used to watch TV [and] radio, but never realized that I can do film or be an announcer,” said Mohamed Ahmed, one of 50 Egyptian students who recently took part in two social media camps designed to expand youth participation in Egyptian media.
Hosted by Internews in collaboration with the Egyptian Association for Media Creation and Development and the Hawaa Al-Mostakbel Society, the three-day camps served as a platform for students to learn practical media skills such as objectivity, accuracy, ethics and the negative consequences of hate speech, as well as work collaboratively and share knowledge with their peers.
The camp was a hands-on activity for the students, following weeks of theoretical training as part of Internews’ Future Leaders Project, which aims to use social and new media tools to raise the awareness of youth on topics of civic education, diversity, gender equality, religious freedom, democracy and active citizenship.
During the camp, students from Cairo and Al-Minya University used their media skills and knowledge to implement civic and social participation, discussing topics such as poverty and security following the revolution.
A group of media experts and professionals helped students translate theory into practice with demonstrations and use of new technologies in areas of voice work, recording, documentary-making and social media. For more than half of the students, this was the first time they interacted with technology, such as using a laptop.
Trainings focused on developing students’ attitudes and approach towards teamwork, with a specific focus on gender sensitivity, with boys and girls being encouraged to work together.
“I've been actually really very pleased to see how much awareness was raised around social issues, and how deeply it affects everyone,” said Ahmed.
By the end of the camps, students had completed four media products, including a film about slums in Egypt and a radio broadcast about student population density.