|Young people at UNICEF's third Arab Media Forum in Dubai discussed media perceptions and adolescent participation in the Arab world. A new annual award will honour accurate depictions of Arab youth.|
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, 30 June 2008 – A new annual award is being initiated this year to recognize media stories that accurately depict the situation of children and young people in the Arab nations of the Middle East.
Mahmoud Sabri, one of the youths who helped conceive the award, is a 17-year-old activist with several years’ experience in a Palestinian youth association. He has suffered from degenerative blindness since birth. As an adolescent, Mahmoud has become increasingly aware of the importance of fostering connections among young people and their communities.
Late last year, he and a dozen other teenage leaders from across the Arab world gathered in Dubai for the third Arab Media Forum on adolescents and media representation. The yearly event is supported by UNICEF and co-sponsored by the Dubai Press Club and the United Arab Emirates’ Al Bayan newspaper.
Prizes in four categories
Delegates to the forum discussed youth participation in media programmes and debated a range of topics, such as ethical reporting standards, conflict and instability, education, employment, religion and HIV/AIDS.
|From left: Mahmoud, Farah and Khaled – of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon and Jordan, respectively – presented their views and proposals at the Arab Media Forum.|
Participants from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and the Occupied Palestinian Territory contributed ideas about the new Arab Media Award on Child Rights. The sponsors of the prize are calling on media organizations and individuals, including adolescents, to submit outstanding journalistic pieces about Arab youth.
The yearly award for media achievement will honour winners in four categories: television, radio, print and the web. Media initiatives shaped for and by adolescents are of particular interest to the pre-selection committees, which will be established at each UNICEF country office in the Middle East and North Africa.
Award jury and deadline
The award jury will be composed of experts from the sponsoring groups – UNICEF, Al Bayan and the Dubai Press Club – as well as seasoned media professionals, junior journalists and others.
The first edition of the prize will only consider entries in Arabic, and the award ceremony will take place at UNICEF’s fourth Arab Media Forum in November. The honours will be widened to other languages in the following years.
Click here to download the Arabic submission form. Deadline for entries is 15 October 2008.