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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Youth and Independent Media in Palestine: Focus Group Findings

Friday , 04 March 2022
Design: Mahmoud Younis
This report presents the findings of a series of focus group discussions that the Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) held in Palestine in August-September 2021. The focus groups aimed to assess how young Palestinian men and women, aged 18-25, perceive the independent, nascent media scene in their country. The report is part of SKF's contribution to the CFI-led and EU-funded D-Jil project to support youth-oriented independent media in the MENA region.

Qualitative research around the same topic had previously been published about youth and independent media in LebanonTunisiaMorocco, and Jordan.

These findings can serve as advice to Palestinian independent outlets who wish to produce more engaging content, and increase their reach and credibility:

  1. Social media is a key resource for news. A primary factor is its friendly user interface. It also acts as a “one-stop-shop” where users can shape the types of media they consume. This forms a stark contrast with offline media, which made little notable presence for attendees across all groups.
  2. Social media is considered a news source by itself, and several attendees took information there at face value. Given the effort required to verify information, most participants only took this extra step for topics they were genuinely interested in. Otherwise, some relied for confirmation on key journalistic figures or outlets who have proven themselves to follow higher professional and ethical standards.
  3. Most attendees were extremely wary of sharing political content as they do not feel safe doing so or do not wish to be branded as supporters of certain political factions.
  4. The visual aspect is an important parameter for the participants, as they consistently and clearly expressed a preference towards video content. However, nothing excessively sophisticated is required, as they found simple yet fluid user interfaces appealing.
  5. Despite the clear importance of visual appeal in engagement, participants continuously highlighted the importance of integrity and accuracy of information, in the media the wish to consume.
  6. Participants expressed enthusiasm about a wide range of topics ranging from politics and military to art and technology.

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