After two successful democratic votes (constituent assembly elections in 2011 and presidential elections in 2014), Tunisia adopted a new constitution in January 2014. Municipal elections, scheduled for March 2018, will mark a turning point in the nation's political, economic and institutional decentralisation policy. Legislative elections, when citizens will have to address challenges from a local angle, are set to take place in December 2019.
For the past six years, CFI has been mentoring the Tunisian media through a number of projects, particularly the Tunisian public TV station ETT, the Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) agency, and also structures involved in the development of citizen journalism, such as Nawaat, Al Khatt and Tunisie Bondy Blog.
The Hiwar Tounsi project, devised and implemented jointly with the Tunisian Barr Al Aman Association, is helping to expand coverage of the 2018 and 2019 elections in Tunisia, and to enhance the volume and quality of information on local political life in the media. Indeed, despite the fact that the media offering generally has improved in the region since the Revolution, the local population has less access to information concerning them directly.
The actions that have been implemented will provide journalists with a guide to understanding the challenges thrown up by the elections and will promote citizens' engagement through dialogue and exchanges with elected representatives.
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- Sixty locally based journalists, regular media collaborators or independents
- Fifteen media outlets based in the governorates of Gabès, Jendouba, Kairouan, Kasserine, Sidi Bouzid and Siliana
- Thirty observers from various municipalities in the governorates of Jendouba and Sidi Bouzid
- One hundred local political figures in the target governorates
Stepping up coverage of the 2019 legislative elections by a group of 15 or so media outlets in the 6 target governorates
- strengthening the capabilities of elected representatives in the municipalities, enabling them to explain their role and action, especially through the media
- production of an Arabic-language teaching e-kit for journalists during the period of the elections
- coaching in organisation for the editorial teams of 15 media outlets prior to the elections with a view to improving coverage of the campaign and the legislative elections in 2019
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Providing journalists, the media and citizens with the data and tools they need to understand local political life
- creation of a collaborative platform providing products and tools aimed at making the way in which institutions function more intelligible (infographics, special reports, radio productions, etc.)
- creation of a citizen space for observing local political life, focusing on contributions from citizens and observers in the various municipalities
- production of publications based on data provided by observers in the 35 municipalities of the governorates of Jendouba and Sidi Bouzid
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Increasing journalists’ knowledge of the challenges thrown up by the 2018 municipal and 2019 legislative elections
- awareness-raising seminars for journalists and media based locally, regarding the challenges involved in the May 2018 municipal elections
- monitoring the way in which the municipal elections are handled in the local media in the six target governorates
- awareness-raising seminars for journalists and media based locally, regarding the challenges involved in the December 2019 legislative elections