Part of InternewsNext, a series highlighting 30 youth-led media initiatives.
“It’s a program developed by the youth for the youth dealing with their issues growing up in Palestine, using social media as a way to engage with them,” says Alaa Badarneh, Program Director for Radio Tariq Al Mahaba in Nablus, about the newly re-launched show, Haki Shabab (Youth Talk).
The program covers issues relating to politics, society, culture, music and entertainment. The idea for the show was developed with Internews years ago.
In February 2008, Internews sponsored a radio program called Shabab.com that focused on youth in Nablus. It included a variety of segments including top ten Arabic songs, funny letters from listeners, celebrity news, horoscopes, quiz shows, and birthday dedications. The show also looked at issues affecting the population of Nablus, such as traffic and litter, in a humorous fashion using characters created by the station staff. Online, Shabab.com had a“Fans and Members” club and encouraged their young audience to provide ideas for stories. Those that gave the best story ideas were invited to host the show on which the story aired.
Following Shabab.com the station created a club for the youth who had become engaged in the show, and they have now become part of the team that produces and works on Haki Shabab as citizen journalists.
Alaa Badarneh says Shabab.com was a great success and they decided to keep the program going but they changed its name to Haki Shabab. “We introduced social media to the program with the help of Internews and this increased the number of listeners and popularity of the show.” He added that with social media integration, “our citizen journalists became an integral part of the program – they are still working with the new program, sending us videos, hosting the program, and engaging the listeners via Facebook.”
Badarneh says that Haki Shabab has opened the way for youth to express themselves and showcase their talents. “The youth in Nablus feel that this is their program and they take ownership of it because they take part in the production of the show and they decide the topics and issues that are most important for them.”
Internews’ work in the West Bank and Gaza is supported by USAID.