LESSON PLAN: Media Activist Constraints in the MENA Region

DURATION: Around 50 minutes

In this lesson, participants are introduced to the constraints experienced by media activists in the MENA region. After reading scenario prompts that state the problem, participants will work together in small groups to devise solutions.

Participants will then compare their solutions with the real world example provided by media activists to discuss the differences, similarities, and how they would revise their proposed solutions based on the real world example. Through a concluding discussion, participants will identify the common threads between the various scenarios.

Learning Outcomes
Participants will:

• Begin to develop an understanding of the constraints for media activists in the MENA region
• Identify potential solutions to common challenges experienced by MENA media activists

Step 1. Create six pads for participants to collaboratively edit text in small groups
Use pen and paper or any online pad such as: http://demo.firepad.io/

Step 2. On the six pads, include one scenario on each for participants to answer collaboratively:

• GROUP 1: Your website shares a news story that turns out to be untrue, what do you do?
• GROUP 2: You have a deadline for an audio report and the electricity goes out, what do you do?
• GROUP 3: You are doing training on digital media activism, but the Internet fails to load the websites you are using. What do you do?
• GROUP 4: The police forces violently raid your office and detain or take away most of your team, what do you do?
• GROUP 5: What would you do if your publication was accused of being illegal by a local member of the government who also called for your website to be blocked?
• GROUP 6: What would you do if the people you want to interview do not know your media platform and are distrustful of the media?

Step 3. Prepare to provide participants access to the Diraya website

Step 1. Divide participants into six small groups (ideally 3-4 people each)

Step 2. Assign each group a scenario and provide access to the prompt on a pad

Step 3. Participants work in small groups for 10 minutes to collaboratively develop their strategies to address 1) problem solving (immediate solutions) and 2) best practices (long term solutions)

Step 4. For 10 additional minutes, participants review the real world example on Diraya’s website to note the differences and similarities with their own proposed solutions, and how they would revise based on the real world example

GROUP 1 – Lebanon – Scenario
GROUP 2 – Palestine – Scenario
GROUP 3 – Iraq – Scenario
GROUP 4 – Egypt – Scenario
GROUP 5 – Jordan – Scenario
GROUP 6 – Tunisia – Scenario

Step 5. For around 20 minutes total, the six groups will each present their solutions and how they revised their proposed solutions based on the real world example

Step 6. Facilitate a 10 minute concluding discussion with participants that identifies the common threads between the various scenarios. Ask participants:

What constraints are imposed by the state?
• What constraints result from inadequate infrastructure?
What constraints were identified in engaging media users?
What are potential best practices for the common challenges identified?

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