From 20 to 25 November, as part of the project “Restart from young people: promoters of local development and conscious migration” co-financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, it was held in the multifunctional center of Gabu (Guinea-Bissau) a web journalism course in collaboration with the local partner PONGAB (Plataforma das NGOs and associações de base da Região de Gabú).
To many, it might seem bizarre to implement a web journalism course in a country like Guinea-Bissau and, in particular, in a rural city like Gabu. In fact, journalistic information via the web is seen by many people as a peculiarity of developed countries that can enjoy a much faster and more effective connection to the network.
However, it must be borne in mind that the web and social media are nowadays widely used by young people from the African continent, given that the prices of smartphones and internet packages are now so competitive that they can also be purchased by members of the African popular classes. And this also applies to the young people of Guinea-Bissau, who are very active on social media like Facebook and Instagram.
From this it can be deduced that training young people interested in journalism on web communication can be very useful both to provide them with new knowledge and skills, and to inform about various challenges that affect Guinea-Bissau such as, for example, migration.
Furthermore, the usefulness of having well-trained young people on web journalism is also to prevent Guinean youth from falling into the deception of the now famous “fake news” which also in Guinea-Bissau distort reality, for example as regards the “El Dorado” Europe and the opportunities it grants, a representation that pushes many young people to attempt a very risky journey for a dream that, very often, is far from reality.
Returning to the course, the duration was 6 days and 12 students participated, from different youth associations in Gabu and the province, with previous experience in the field of communication. The course was held by a national television journalist who guaranteed a high quality of teaching.
The course had a strong theoretical part in which the participants were able to learn the role of the journalist as a whole and the importance of web journalism in addressing complex issues such as poverty and migration. In addition, much of the course was focused on the importance of social media in youth communication and how to make it attractive but at the same time useful for this target. However, the practical part of the course was also important with exercises on how to make videos and articles that will then be posted on social media.
In conclusion, it can be said that the web journalism course has been very useful for giving a basic training to aspiring young journalists in a rapidly expanding sector with both work and information opportunities for social change that are still unexplored. The putting into practice of these teachings, however, does not end here, in fact it will continue with a fund of 500 euros intended for the implementation of a dissemination campaign through social networks of topics such as gender inequality, migration and poverty of which some will be protagonists of our students.
Here are some photos of the course: