Spurring community development, Media Development Center publishes solutions journalism handbook

Palestinian journalists, reporters, and media students can better engage with their audiences, create constructive content, and empower the public with the release of a solutions journalism handbook by Birzeit University’s Media Development Center, together with CFI, the French media development agency. 

The handbook is an attempt by the Media Development Center to adapt CFI’s experience in solutions journalism to a Palestinian context, working with various private and public media institutions to create a set of guidelines and recommendations on how local news media can play a more pivotal role in encouraging meaningful responses to societal issues. 

Nibal Thawabteh, director of the Media Development Center, emphasized the importance of solutions journalism in creating a society of active citizens, saying that such an approach extends beyond just promoting uplifting new stories to analyzing solutions to societal problems, with the aims of inspiring similar actions and fostering a culture of social initiative. 

Emad Alasfar, the monitoring and evaluation coordinator at the Media Development Center, noted that solutions journalism helps provide the Palestinian community with replicable models of initiatives aimed at solving issues facing the community or a subset thereof. Such models, he added, can help counter the stream of negativity often found on social media platforms and allow individuals to become active contributors in the development of their communities. 

Khaled Sulaiman, an environmental journalist who works with CFI on media development, explained that the Media Development Center’s solutions journalism handbook was an adaptation of CFI’s experience in the field and not a direct copy of their content. By focusing the handbook on the media scene in Palestine, Sulaiman added, the handbook can better equip journalists with the skills needed to create engaging, purposeful content that can encourage citizens to address and resolve issues facing their local communities and beyond. 

To view the handbook online (in Arabic), follow this link