Editors and managers at the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) have developed a new television format for adolescents. They'll be producing a pilot program in May. The goal: to get closer to the target audience.
The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have a young population. The average age in the West Bank is 21 and is even younger in the Gaza Strip. Many issues preoccupy this generation and one of the most pressing is unemployment. There are slim prospects for a regular wage and career opportunities - partly due to the current political situation.
"There are hardly any television formats that make adolescents the focus and provide them with comprehensive information," says DW Akademie project manager, Thomas Rehermann. In response, PBC and DW Akademie have together developed a youth program concept. Palestinian adolescents will be involved in production aspects and professional reports will address them directly. "The program will show new job profiles, alternatives and positive examples," says Rehmann. Topics including marriage, family, technology and fashion will also be part of the program.
The program also has a political angle. "The conflict with Israel is, in effect, almost always present in the topics," explains DW Akademie country coordinator Jens-Uwe Rewe. "We're hoping that the young editors will also look at Palestinian political and social aspects. Many of the young editors are more critical and less supportive of the state than their senior colleagues."
Planning for the program began in early 2012 when seven PBC staff members took part in a one-week workshop held in Berlin. They looked closely at management and production skills and agreed on standards. The new program is to include more clips, more on-site interviews and fewer studio ones and more feature formats and service-oriented reports. The pilot program will be produced in May, says Jens-Uwe Rahe, "and we're planning to produce a follow-up program in the Fall." In the long run PBC would like to replace its old youth program with the new format. PBC is currently undergoing reforms and is looking at public broadcasting as a model. The joint DW Akademie-PBC project aims to support reports responding to public interest and to strengthen civil structures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. DW Akademie is also working with the University of Nablus to help develop of an educational channel.