Lebanese Youth & Media Focus of IPJ Director’s Berlin Talk

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IPJ director Magda Abu-Fadil speaking on Lebanese youth and media at German Foreign Ministry in Berlin.

Abu-Fadil with Hala Hashish, president of Egypt’s Nile TV, near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

Telephone FM (Radio Baghdad) studio in Berlin broadcasting to Iraq.

Participants at German–Arab Media Dialogue in Berlin.

Abu-Fadil in Deutsche Welle’s Arabic programs TV studio.

The Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, under the auspices of the German Foreign Ministry, invited Institute for Professional Journalists director Magda Abu-Fadil to speak on Lebanese youth and the media at a conference on the German-Arab Media Dialogue at the ministry in Berlin.

The November 29–30, 2004, event grouped media experts and young people from Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, Jordan, Mauritania Palestine, Kuwait, the UAE, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon, as well as academics and government officials from Germany, Switzerland and Norway.

Abu-Fadil’s paper addressed the issue of “Lebanese Youth & the Media: Social & Political Influences,” (PDF) by focusing on the impact of print and broadcast outlets and how they shape young people’s views of politics in their country. The paper also pinpointed nonchalance by a large segment of the youth population, triggered, in great measure, by exposure to political rhetoric packaged for political figures — not average citizens — and, to an overdose of entertainment and fantasy-modeled shows.

The presentation also made reference to Lebanon’s 15-year civil war and its social and political influences on young people’s viewing, listening and reading habits.

While in Berlin, Abu-Fadil also visited the offices and studios of Telephone FM (Radio Baghdad) which broadcasts programs to Iraqis. The three-day trip included a tour of the German government-financed Deutsche Welle TV’s Arabic programs department which is expanding its operations. Deutsche Welle is the German equivalent of the BBC and broadcasts radio and TV programs in 30 languages.

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