“Citizens Media for Intercultural and Political Dialogue” project will contribute to the future prospect of the EU membership of Turkey and support the democratic development and establishment of sustainable civil society structures, which embed the freedom of expression, access to digital media tools, intercultural communication, civil rights in a representative democracy and equitable participation of ethnic minorities, woman and men, the young and old in the civil society.

In the EU candidate country Turkey, there is an increasing growth of civil society organizations which are based on individual freedom and human rights. There are big social changes and a positive development for economics, education and youth participation towards the potential EU membership of Turkey. Young people are active in these new organizations, but their role in the political system is limited. The economical growth and advanced formal education in Turkey is accompanied with high expectations and special motivation of the youth to take actively part in the civil society to gain education and employment.

With the so-called “Social Media”, new channels of communication came up on the Internet. There is a big interest of young citizens in social and community media in Turkey. But the level of communication in social media like facebook or twitter is mainly limited to short comments, announcements or photos.

Also, recent complaints have been published by the media that Turkey has previously blocked large sites used by many civil society groups such as YouTube and Google Sites, which is not in consonance with the right of freedom of expression. The Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication emphasised the potential of social networking services to facilitate democracy and social cohesion and recommended to ensure accessibility:“The right to freedom of expression and assembly is equally essential for people´s participation in the public debate and their exercise of democratic citizenship, and it must be guaranteed in full respect of Article 11 of the Convention”, stated on the 1st  Council of Europe Conference of Ministers for media and communication, MCM (2009)011.

The project aims to support civic non-profit organisations (NGOs) by offering training courses to their employees (full-time professionals or voluntarily involved multipliers) to improve non-formal education and especially the medial and political education of the youth and citizens with migration backgrounds. Multipliers will gain media trainer skills and afterwards they will spread the knowledge into their organizations. The learning and training initiatives of the project will encourage the freedom of expression in the context of democratic participation to civil society engagement and policy-making.

The target groups of the project activities are employees, multipliers, youth workers and volunteers of NGOs,youth (18-28), students, citizens (with migration backgrounds), intercultural organisations, community media initiatives. The target groups have a strong need for training courses to improve their skills and knowledge in ICT / media formation, to empower intercultural communication and political education in a modern democratic society which ensure the freedom of expression.

Multipliers and youth workers will use creative multimedia tools to enable young people to voice their opinions on a variety of social and cultural issues such as fostering understanding and promoting youth cooperation, civil society engagement and inter-cultural understanding in Turkey. They will use the digital community media (video, radio, internet) for public debates, to present topics and issues concerning the civil society engagement, intercultural dialogue, youth education, environmental protection, employability and aspects of candidate membership of the EU. Their debates will be disseminated by newly installed WEB-TV / online-platforms and by that reach a wider public raising awareness on new media in the context of freedom of expression and democratic participation in Europe.

The implementation of action-oriented media education by training courses and local workshops will enhance the employability of the youth and citizens with migration backgrounds intensively. Participants will acquire digital media competences, journalism and trainer skills which are key qualifications to foster active participation, intercultural communication and employability. It will equally gain communicative personality, teamwork, analytical/critical skills, language skills, creative thinking, flexibility and leadership skills. Practical media education is a key qualification that fosters communicative and social competences and increases the chances of success on the labour market.

Young citizens get actively involved in public discussions, building up initiatives and be active in community media and civil society. Community media will create cohesion, give identity, promote common interests and preserve cultural and linguistic diversity. Citizen media help to strengthen the identities of specific communities while enabling members of those communities to interact with other groups in society. They therefore can play a key role in fostering tolerance and pluralism in a democratic society. Community media may enable disadvantaged members of a community to become active participants in society and to engage in debates concerning issues that are important for them.

Conferences and project meetings

In November 2014, the first “International Conference Citizens Media for Inclusion” will take place in Istanbul. About 100 stakeholders, youth workers and delegates from NGOs, youth work, culture and migrant organizations from Turkey and European Countries will be involved and informed about the aims and results of the project.

A midterm Conference will take place in May 2015 in Münster, Germany. The partners will present the output results like the multimedia online platform and a practical guide for media training, which is the base of the ongoing training courses and production workshops.

On the Final Event, in November 2015, the third international conference will take place in Istanbul and the “Community Media Centre” will be officially opened. On the conferences there will be an intensive exchange of information between stakeholders and civil society organizations to affect an awareness campaign on the new media in the context of freedom of expression and community media in Turkey and Europe. Sustainable networks between the Turkish CSOs and their European counterparts will be established on educational and political criteria encouraging further dialogue and contributing to better exchange of information and know-how. It will promote mutual understanding and reduce misperceptions and concerns both in Turkey and in the EU Member States concerning political criteria issues.

Youth A.R.T. and the European Youth4Media network will establish local media cooperation on ethical journalism and independence of media. They will initiate thematic networking with NGOs, immigrant initiatives, educational institutions and community media organisations to encourage networking for freedom of expression, cultural diversity and community media.

Close cooperation with local partners, stakeholders in the youth sector, civic organisations will build up a national transfer network and a multiplier pool for sustainable usage of the media education. It will enhance the institutional capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to contribute to the development and implementation of political reforms and to facilitate freedom of expression. These efforts will be enhanced by the 47 member NGOs of the Y4M network in 29 European countries.

Training Courses

The project will generate a multiplier-pool/network with 20 qualified trainers and about 120 qualified citizens journalists in the Istanbul region. All participants will complete social and community media practise workshops learning crossmedia and video journalism regarding the European ethical and journalistic standards of independent media. They will act as media reporters and multipliers to inspire a democratic culture, creating reports and implementing fundamental rights such as access to independent media, intercultural understanding, cultural diversity, equality and non-discrimination.

1- “Train the Trainer” media training course: 10 Participants from Turkey and 4 from DE will attend the 8-days. “Train the Trainer” course in the forefront of the Kick-off Stakeholders Conference in November in Istanbul. 14 new trainers will achieve a basic qualification in crossmedia journalism in this course.

2- “Train the Trainer” media training course: In February 2015, the follow up 8-days “Train the Trainer” course will be carried out in Münster, Germany, in which the first 5 trainers from Turkey will achieve their Trainer certificate.

3- “Train the Trainer” media training course: In May 2015, another 5 trainer candidates from Turkey will join the 8-days “Train the Trainer” course in Münster to achieve a basic trainer qualification in crossmedia journalism.

4- “Train the Trainer” media training course: In November 2015, the follow up 8-days “Train the Trainer” course will be carried out in Istanbul, in which 5 Media Trainers from Turkey will pass an additional certified trainer competences qualification.

The training courses will gain an extensive and sustainable improvement of media competences, learning competence as well as social competence and social sharing. The advanced concept will help to qualify new trainers for the mediation of management & ICT key competences for inclusion and employability. The didactic structure of the train the trainer course connects theory, practice and (self)-reflection and offers a mix of different learning methods. The trainers try to create an ideal concept of learning arrangements in the context of authentic real-life references; Individual work on problem resolutions is required and supported; Different contexts and multiple perspectives will be used; Didactics rely on the resources of the learners; Hands on media pedagogies; Self-controlled learning is a basic step for the youth to take active part in intercultural communication; Reflection of the e-learning units, worked out in the preparation phase started before the face to face training; The training course will make use of various methods of non-formal education. Young people will be engaged in interactive presentations, group work, debates, field work and practical exercises. All participants will have a chance of both learning and teaching others. Presentations about partner projects and approaches, exchange of opinions, joint cultural activities, a market of ideas will insure mutual benefit for all parties involved in the training course.

Local Workshops

Ongoing local workshops from June 2015, the new qualified trainers will implement ongoing local workshops for the youth, in which young people will raise their skills to produce media reports about the issues of active citizenship, civic education, socio-cultural themes in Turkey. They will share their knowledge and skills in the framework of youth initiatives with their peer groups and cultivate more awareness about civic education, civil society engagement, community media and freedom of expression in Turkey. In the framework of action-oriented workshops youths will produce digital media reports in teamwork and will gain competences such as communication skills, team spirit, capabilities in analytics and critics as well as innovative creativity, flexibility and individual managing competences.

Participants of training courses and local workshops will gain manifold competences joining action-oriented, practical courses in the fields of video and online journalism, public relations, trainer competences and project management. They will gain trainer competences and will become multipliers in order to train others to use and to create multi-media contents. It guarantees sustainability, that these new trainers will later on train the young citizens within the contexts of workshops, initiatives and projects how to work creatively with modern digital media tools and how to promote diversity and freedom of expression for an inclusive European society.

Participants are free to choose the issues of their media reports, but it should be connected with civil society engagement, political education, diversity and freedom of expression in Turkey as an EU candidate country. They will self-sufficiently initiate public debates and media reports which will be disseminated via the new community media channel and internet campaigning by digital media to influence policy-shaping in a representative democracy.

Community Media Centre Istanbul

The project will establish a basic technical media infrastructure for the sustainable implementation of continuous media training courses and access to community media tools for youths, multipliers and employees of NGOs, cultural organisations and migrant initiatives in the Istanbul region.

There will be an ongoing media production in teamwork that can be shared with others on social media and community media internet channels uploaded in form of documentaries, short films and media reports. Youths will be enabled to use community media channels for disseminating and publishing their radio and video reports and documentaries about topics of civil society and youth participation. They will improve and develop skills to tell medial stories using digital audiovisual technologies.

Multimedia Online Platform

The project will implement a new online platform for the usage by participants in the community media centre Istanbul. Their digital products will be intensively disseminated by new internet-TV / multimedia online blog. It is independent from the state and gives access to youth and citizens to promote their issues and topics in an active and innovative way. Digital media content can be made available on demand and very fast at any time and in any place in the world. Vidcasts, podcasts and blogs are especially appealing to young people – but not only – who consume information in a very dynamic and interactive way.

About 20 film reports, manifold blogs and articles will be produced in the framework of the training courses and production workshops. The dissemination via community media channels will raise awareness on cultural diversity, civil society engagement and political participation.

There will be a quantifiable evaluation and statistics of uploads / downloads, posts and topics which are posted online. The websites including a multimedia blog and web-TV will approximately reach an amount up to 100.000 users, indicated by our server statics. The project promotion on facebook pages will reach about 10.000 users.

Participants, trainers and trainees will have free access to the digital media production and dissemination technics (WEB-TV, online-platform). It is intended that active citizens and stakeholders can equally use the production techniques and the digital materials on-demand on the web-TV portal.

The target groups will benefit from the new implemented concept and methods of non-formal education to foster media literacy, digital creativity, participation and civil society engagement. Open format of cooperation and the submitted materials will encourage the development and expansion of the multiplier-pool/network to implement workshops and continuous training courses for youths, immigrants and employees of NGOs / intercultural organisations in Turkey.

Roles of the partners

The partnership which is established for the project implementation consists of partners who have already collaborated in projects in the sector community media, ICT competences, journalism and youth participation. The proposed project presupposes active engagement of all co-organisers in all phases of preparation, implementation and valorisation. At the preparation phase partners will discuss and improve the content of training courses and activities, propose themes and materials for interactive presentations, inform communities about the project and work out the recruitment strategy for participants and stakeholders. At this stage the regular communicating will happen via mailing, forum discussions and internet communication tools (Skype, Google Talk). Each partner will assign a project manager that will be responsible for the organization of the project activities, recruiting and preparing participants, promoting the action and insuring visibility, evaluation and a follow up of the project. Coordinating organization will directly communicate with project mangers that will be responsible for spreading out information to participants and stakeholders.

The partners will be encouraged to contribute to the training – organizations with considerable media training experience. Bürgerhaus Bennohaus and Youth4media will recruit professional trainers and ensure the elaboration of training materials (methods, trainer, hand-outs, power point presentations) and will cooperate with the Y4M Network in the project steering group.

Bennohaus AKO from Germany is the leader of the consortium and will coordinate the project. Tasks of the coordinator will be to organize the teamwork and ongoing communication amongst the partners, development of the project structure plan and the evaluation strategy plus reporting the projects progress and monitoring. AKO will be the leading partner of the analysis of the current status of best practise and stakeholder analysis together with all partners, website development and realization of media workshops, organising transnational meetings, dissemination of the project outcomes and results in Germany and supporting the dissemination in Turkey, realization of the quality management and the involvement of the relevant stakeholders for a sustainable thematic networking in the sector community media and inclusion of immigrants.

AKO Bennohaus has many years of experience in the area of evaluation and quality management. The Bennohaus is a socio-cultural and media-pedagogical facility which is open for all citizens – especially for children, youngsters and seniors. Cultural meeting point, local citizen television and radio station, educational institution and a media competence centre – the Bennohaus has a broad sphere, in the local district as well as in the European framework. It is an accredited advanced training institution. Interested citizens, participants of occupational media qualifications as well as teachers and media pedagogues educate themselves occupationally through seminars or in the frame of qualification kits. The Bennohaus organizes and boosts cultural and media pedagogical workshops in cooperation with about 20 schools and NGOs in the region.

Youth Art Research and Training Association is a non-governmental social initiative organizing cultural activities and non-formal education for the youth (mainly the age group 18 – 25 years) and with the youth. Youth A.R.T aims to voluntarily promote the youth to take more active roles in the society through social and cultural activities with the tools of art, research and training at local and international levels. Youth A.R.T., as a youth initiative, has been enlisted among the most active organizations in Turkey since the 20th of April, 2008, and gained its legal status in 2011. As an active member of Youth4Media Network, National Youth Parliament and Youth Organizations Forum, they have taken about 300 Turkish youngsters to more than 95 projects in 27 different countries. The main activities are Erasmus+ youth exchanges, training courses, Eurodesk youth information, training courses, seminars, voluntary services, consultancy on project management, art workshops, courses on social and language skills, social and academic research studies.

Youthart will recruit multipliers and participants from youth and migrant NGOs / initiatives for the training courses and workshops in Istanbul. They will gain new trainer skills and they will spread the knowledge into their migrant NGOs, their peers and stakeholders. New media trainers from the Istanbul region will use creative multimedia tools, to gain digital and communication competences of youth and migrants to create media reports concerning a variety of social and cultural issues like: combating poverty, fostering freedom of expression and intercultural communication, establishing a dialogue with their representatives in parliament, in order to have their opinion voiced.

Youthart will have the task to generate a multiplier-pool/network with more than 10 qualified trainers and about 120 qualified citizens’ journalists in the Istanbul region.

Youth4Media, based in Germany, will also be responsible for the realization of the training courses and for the promotion of the project. The network association will establish the open access multimedia online-platform and will provide access to open educational resources (OER) in the education and training field, supporting ICT-based teaching and assessment practices.

European Youth4Media Network has over 10 years of experience in realizing international media training courses for youths and multipliers. Y4M is an effective validator and promoter with its 47 member organizations in 31 countries. The members are NGOs, youth institutions, community Radio/TV stations as well as culture- and media-centres. They promote political and intercultural dialogue by means of audiovisual media. Main spheres of activities: political and media education, civil society engagement, lifelong learning, media production and media training courses (video, audio,  cross-media journalism, trainer competences, project management), international youth cooperation, intercultural dialogue, inclusion, European citizenship.

Youth4Media Network employs qualified media trainers and youth workers who have extensive experience in conducting international media trainings and seminars. More than 10 EU-projects have been realised in the last three years by manager Benedikt Althoff (Y4M) and the chairman Dr. Joachim Musholt (Bennohaus AKO). In 2013 about 40 young volunteers / trainees have been engaged in youth projects and initiatives. Youth4Media conducted 5 international training courses in video journalism, cross medial creativity and project management.

Community Media, Participation, Transparency, Freedom of Expression

Community Media produce publicity. They are dealing with the every-day-life of citizens. Their contents and formats are authentic. Community Media are participative. They are produced by citizens for citizens. They contribute to local information structures and communication. The device: “Learning by doing!” Interested citizens can gain experiences with the production of programs, by using technics, language and pictures and by organising a whole production or a TV format. Thereby citizen media contribute practically to the support of media competences. Several multi-media libraries, facebook and YouTube channels in the world wide web prove that citizen media got the eye on technical developments like every other professional radio or TV station has.

The citizen media web channel open.web.tv (www.owtv.de) in the Community Center Bennohaus in Münster develops different media formats, for example the European magazine “diverCity”. This magazine takes up European topics and issues. The interest of citizens in European issues and questions and the possibilities to generally take part in public discussions seem to be low. The question is how people can be motivated to care for such topics and how they can be actively integrated in the development of a civil society in Europe. The answer: Citizens media play an important role and act as catalysts.

Since the foundation of the first open channel 30 years ago in Germany a huge scene of citizen TV and radio channels has grown. Nationwide more than 140 open channels, non-commercial local radios, campus radios, training, educational and web TV channels are “on air”. In Europe – in comparison – this diversity cannot be found to the same extent. Only a few European countries have similar institutions like Germany. How important citizen media can be is shown worldwide by courrent political events, for example the longing of people for democracy in Ukraine or Tunisia. Citizen Media produce publicity. From the perspective of the participation theory publicity is the “conditio sine qua non” of democracy.

The communicative networking of citizens and a bigger orientation towards public topics lead to more civic engagement. Citizen media with appropriate distribution channels lead to participation in public and local formation of opinion by a professional impartion of media competence. In a resolution dealing with citizen media and alternative media in 2008 the European Parliament pointed out that citizen media are an effective tool to support the cultural and verbal diversity as well as social integration and local identity. Furthermore it was pointed out that these media play an important role concerning educational programs by bringing together external organisations (including universities) and non-professional citizen groups. Thereby they serve as a valuable hub for the exchange of vocational experience. Gained knowledge in the field of computer technics, web and journalism can be usefully applied to other sections. The Parliament thinks that citizen media can be useful tools to bring Europeans closer to the European Union, because they aim at a certain public. Therefore the Parliament demanded member states to cooperate actively with citizen media to get into a direct dialogue with citizens. On the other hand the Parliament also found out that citizen media lack the necessary support in Europe. It recommended its member states to recognize citizen media as an independent group beside commercial and public media. Furthermore it asked the members to set up the necessary infrastructure. Financial support should be made available and also distribution platforms in the world wide web like a European web platform should be established.

In 2005 the European network association “European Youth4Media Network” was founded in the Community Center Bennohaus in Münster. Meanwhile it consists of 47 member organisations from 31 European countries. This association implements projects, measures and educational programs in which citizens gain knowledge by their individual initiative and appropriate framework conditions. With a European perception they create media products. With the support of volunteers, media trainers and multipliers, broadcasts are produced that are distributed via the European web platform www.youth4media.eu. Young people work on reports about European and international topics of the civil society and civic engagement. Thereby they change their perspectives. Democracy and European awareness of the state make a living from this change of perspective. Citizen media – together with the actors of the civil society – can move the European citizens towards a greater say and more participation. They act as mediators between political systems and their citizens.

Innovative European media systems have to be developed to move citizens around EU and Turkey towards a participatory acting and the implementation of freedom of expression and diversity.

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