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A digital new era | Civic Europe
Community development, Youth participation and empowerment

A digital new era

Fostering a culture for digital competences and new media tools


Who is behind this?

Gabriela Popescu

Fundatia Te Aud Romania



Idea pitch

A digital new era tackles two major components that have arisen as a result of the Covid 19 crisis. Firstly, we have learned that a lot of young people are poorly equipped from a digital perspective. The online communication and activity of young people has multiplied, as such we intend to help participants become familiar with the responsibility and technique o the media and principles such as factuality, science, progress, democracy and active citizenship.

Where will your project idea take place?

Gura Humorului, Suceava county, North-East Romania

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The digital gap between urban and rural has become more prominent as a result of the Covid 19 crisis, with rural areas posing the biggest digital challenge. First of all, we are interested in increasing the digital competencies for young people. A lot of youngsters and high school students commute and maintain contact between the city and their respective rural areas of residence. Due to the online educational constrains, they have increased their online communication and activities. At the same time, they have become new media consumers or even content providers in social media. However, they do not have the digital competencies or equipment and at the same time they lack basic rules of journalism ethics.

Who are you doing it for?

The target group for the project is comprised of young people that lack digital competencies and at the same time are large consumers of social media; mainly residing in rural areas. We intend to work with youngsters aged 12 -18 years old, residing in NE Romania; Suceava county.
Youngsters from rural areas struggle with their online activities, using just a phone for all of their educational and social media activities. Most often, this happens in an uninformed and unengaged environment. We believe that this new paradigm and shift in the media should require a new approach at local level, at the same time empowering children and youngsters from disadvantaged background and equipping them with the necessary tools.

How do you plan to get there?

1. Recruitment and selection process: The first step in implementing the project is to recruit and select a number of 40 youngsters aged 12-18, that are intensely interested in using social media. The recruitment will take place in Gura Humorului (high school and schools) and in the disadvantaged communities surrounding the town. We will take into account during the selection process gender equality, non discrimination, equal chances.
2. Digital competencies: All of them will be trained on digital skills and competencies for 3 months.
3. New media: All 40 will be given the opportunity to become familiar with and strengthen the basic rules of journalism ethics and new media; through organised workshops.
4. Studio creation: We aim to create a community studio for them, equipped with the necessary tools to become active content owners.
5. Editorial: Out of the 40 youngsters, we will give the opportunity to 10 of them to become part of an editorial team of citizen journalism, having the tools, interface and training to express their opinions. The community studio will also give them to chance to invite local personalities, create podcasts, ask questions etc.

What are the expected results?

1. 40 children and youngsters trained and equipped with digital competences
2. 40 children and youngsters equipped with information on citizen journalism, new media technologies
3. Community studio created and in use for the long term - we aim to continue to operate the studio even after the project ends
4. 10 out of the 40 will have the chance to become content creators, promoting active citizenship and setting a good example in their respective communities
5. A good practices book - summarising the experience
6. a fully functional website for the project

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

First of all, the project will equip and strengthen at the same time digital competencies for youngsters.
At the same time, it will help them gain a voice with their respective communities.
In short, we will offer these children and youngsters the necessary tools, equipment and information to become active citizens, practice citizenship journalism and play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analysing and disseminating the information. Aside from being content creators on various social media platforms, the community space will offer them the chance to have podcasts - inviting local personalities. The project will set the steps towards democratic society, and act as an important pillar of local participatory democracy.

Why is this idea important to you?

The paradigm shift in this new media strongly requires a new aproach from a local development perspective. The increased use of social media amongst youngsters, their lack of ability to filter through false news and un-factual information makes them prone to follow at times, ill-mannered examples.
We believe universal values must be protected: respect for each other, respect for collaboration. Local development should be placed in an area of cooperation, enlightenment and democracy.

€ 37886,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Human resources: 9208
Marketing & PR: 1335
Digital competences: 13114
Community studio: 14228



Idea created on April 26, 2021

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