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To challenge the existing discourse: supporting by USAID, Our Heritage opened an “Opinion Leaders” course for new journalists and bloggers

This is the fifth consecutive year that Our Heritage opened an “Opinion Leaders” course for new journalists and bloggers.  This year, thanks to the generous support of USAID and the American people, we were able to open a program for both Israeli and Palestinian participants. During the course, participants are introduced to the contentious issues that make up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to issues concerning human rights, co-existence and inter-communal relations.

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The aim of the course is twofold:

  • Providing young journalists and bloggers who wish to influence public and political discourse in their respective countries with professional skills.
  • Challenging the existing discourse with new messages that highlight democratic values such as solidarity, pluralism and social and human rights

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The course is divided into two types of activities:

  • Uni-national meetings (every two weeks) that focus on both the conflict and teaching practical skills in multimedia. Each group learns the same material on their respective sides.
  • Bi-national meetings where the Israeli and Palestinian groups learn about each other’s respective societies through dialogue, tours and lectures.

The participants of the 2016 course have already met several times. The first introductory binational meeting was held in Beit Jala where participants engaged in ice-breaker activities, opening discussions and toured cities in the West Bank. In another uni-national session, the Israeli group heard a lecture by Nadia Aizner, RelevantInfo’s Chief Editor, on the difference between journalistic writing styles and the principles of editing.

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We are delighted to see that the course outputs are already impacting the media sphere: the items written by course participants have already been featured in the Russian and Hebrew media: in printed popular newspaper in Russian language – Vesti, on popular internet websites such as RelevantInfo (Russian), Siha Mekomit and Makom Ahi Ham BeGeinim (Heberw), and in analytical magazine 972 (English).

We thank USAID and the generous support of the American people for making this possible!

 

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