Three forces dominate media development in the Arab world: political power, economic interests and the digital revolution. Politicians and businesses continue to reflect the monopolies of opinion and revenue. The digital transformation, on the other hand, offers diversity, creativity and room for freedom. This inspires young Arabs, and young people are vital, especially in a region where half of the population is younger than 25.
In the Arab world, as in other regions, information available online can be exciting but at times deceptive, manipulated by people and computer programs. Those who use the Internet leave a trail – and intelligence services know that. In response, DW Akademie has developed projects for Palestinian education institutes, Jordanian schools and Tunisian youth clubs that teach others how to use the media critically.
At the same time, DW Akademie is strengthening programs that produce content for young, confident media consumers. From Morocco to the Gulf Region, capacity building is important for independently thinking journalists. And so is keeping the audience in mind – as in the EU project "Shabab Live" which in six countries is bridging the gap between media providers and audiences.
Economic prospects emerge if the connection between journalists and audiences succeeds. Although media makers worldwide agonize over developing business models, there is no one solution. We therefore see a task in promoting regional management know-how and liningk it with international expertise, especially in South-South networks.
DW Akademie's response to the Arab media crisis is good media management, relevant journalism and critical media consumption. We develop concepts together with local partners in the region – there, where young people continually look towards the future.