The project, titled “Youth Pioneers for Access to Information” and funded by NED, aimed to cultivate a group of young journalists capable of becoming independent investigative journalists in a media landscape dominated by politics and lacking in-depth analysis of societal issues. It targeted 24 journalism students from Lebanese University, al-Arabia University, and Lebanese International University. The participants received training on the significance of Access to Information laws for investigative journalism and advocacy to promote legislative reform.
While PCDD provided initial guidance, the participants took charge of subsequent activities, utilizing their acquired skills and initiative. These activities included briefings on Access to Information issues and draft legislation, practical exercises to raise public awareness through investigative journalism on community-related issues, social media training for advocacy purposes, engagement with key stakeholders in the media and parliament, roundtable discussions where students presented their findings and gathered signatures for a law reform petition, and the screening of a film produced by the participants.
The project achieved substantial media coverage, including the active participation of youth in a national TV program and an online campaign co-designed by the participants and PCDD. Additionally, a core group of eight dedicated young women emerged from the project, continuing their involvement in Phase Two and maintaining ongoing commitment and support for the initiative.