Media and art as catalysts for free speech and access to information in Jordan
The aim of the project was to engage talented young artists and journalists, and encourage them to use new forms of art in promoting change and advocating for free speech and media freedom as a cornerstone of democracy. The project had three primary outcomes: an increase in media coverage on human rights, media freedom, free speech and the right of access to information by trained young journalists; an increase in the engagement of young people in human rights, media freedom, free speech and the right of access to information through artistic activities/products by young artists; and raised awareness of young people of human rights, media freedom, free speech and the right of access to information by end-2013. The project assumed that enhancing the understanding and skills of the young journalists and artists participating in training, writing/performing and networking will have a multiplier effect. Participants joined an already established network called ‘Freedom Messengers’. The project also included public events and an advocacy campaign that were intended to build public support for the Freedom Messengers and thus create pressure for change. Additionally, the project included the further development of an existing on-line observatory and the creation of a web presence for the Freedom Messengers. The evaluation found that in the implementation of the project the specific press/information-related focus was lost. Consequently there a mismatch between the activities undertaken and the specific objectives set.