Three forces shape media development in the Arab world: political power, economic interests and the digital revolution. Politicians and businesses reflect the monopolies of opinion and revenue. Digital evolution, on the other hand, creates diversity, creativity and room for freedom. Digital change motivates young Arabs. And young people are the ones who matter in a region in which half of the population is younger than 25.
In this part of the world too, information from the internet is an exciting product - appealing and sometimes deceptive, as its manipulated by living and computer controlled agents. Anyone who uses it leaves their mark - and intelligence services know that. So one of DW Akademie's key topics is teaching people how to be critical when using online media, whether at Tunisia's youth centers, Lebanon's schools or Jordanian community centers.
On the other hand, we are also strengthening services that deliver just that: content for media-critical, self-confident young people. From Morocco to the Gulf Region, capacity building is important as a basis for independent thinking journalists. Of course, the audience must always be kept in mind - as seen in the EU project "Empowering Youth in the Middle East," which bridges the gap between media providers and audiences in six countries.
If the link between journalists and audiences proves to be successful, then economic prospects will also open up. Media makers worldwide are racking their brains over financing models. Our answer is to develop specifically tailored solutions. As DW Akademie, we feel our task is to build up regional management expertise and to create networks with international expertise, especially in South-South networks.
Good media management, relevant journalism and critical media use are DW Akademie's response to the crisis in Arab media. We develop the concepts together with our partners in the region - locally, in places where young people look to the future every day.