Paola Berbeglia, Delegate of the Steering Committee group of the Global Citizenship Education & People Engagement Hub of Concorde Europe, delivers an interview on the important contribution given by LADDER’s Citizen Journalists network to global education.

In 2016 the citizen journalist’s initiative was set up as one of the main initiatives within the project LADDER, dedicated to the participation of citizens, in particular youngsters interested in journalism and in topics related to SDGs and development education. So far, 53 citizen journalists participated and contributed with 114 articles, up to today. We asked Paola Berbeglia her opinion on the importance and impact this initiative may have on global education.

In your opinion what is the link between the Citizen Journalists initiative and global education?

“I think that probably global education could benefit from the Citizens Journalists initiative because I think that the project LADDER, and especially ALDA, made a lot of effort in reacting to the issue related to global education. I mean that the project LADDER is an instrument for the voice of many young people to be heard. Young people, as leaders of the objectives of ALDA’s project, could demonstrate and express themselves in a really interesting way for the meaning of global education. I think that the Citizens Journalists’ social purpose is a way to increase the awareness of leaders, stakeholders and policy makers, who can hear about issues, opinions and concerns from the direct voice of young people. In this sense the innovation in global education brought by this initiative and the involvement of the youngsters could effectively cover a lot of issues on development, because they cope with everything that has to be done in everyday life”.

How can the initiative have an impact on the participating citizen journalists, their local communities and the wider society?

“I believe that young people have the right to be listened to. In this sense, the project gives a voice to young people, also without a professional background. They are people wanting to tell something to others, simply because they have the will and need to do so. In this way, they may create a new form of cooperation: we could have some new inputs from the young citizen journalists, from their different perspective, from their glance and their glasses. It is such a freer way to look also at local aspects of life, because it is a way to look at the importance of networking and non-formal learning. Meanwhile, journalism is a way to learn and communicate at global level. It is a creative process. This initiative of LADDER has exactly this idea: to improve the possibility of people to express themselves using the exchange as a way of learning. Obviously the Citizen Journalists show their own reality and community – the everyday aspect of their life – but make also some difference in the way of understanding the global issues. It is a way to look from one place to another through the eyes of young people. They cover aspects of personal experience and show contacts with local authorities and CSOs”.

Do you think the initiative should go on beyond the conclusion of the project itself?

“I think it is possible to extend the initiative in the future. It is also possible to launch a stable platform of Citizen Journalists led by young people themselves. It could be increased both at local and global level and it could effectively provide a strong voice for information. The current Citizen Journalists can be future trainers, and other new Citizen Journalists could join the platform, enriched by storytelling, activities giving a glance on real life. It could also have a clear follow-up and a wide dissemination and visibility to reach all necessary results”.

Paola Berbeglia, Delegate of the Steering Committee group of the Global Citizenship Education & People Engagement Hub of Concorde Europe. Moreover, she is the Italian Delegate on Global Citizens Education for the Italian NGOs Association AOI and the Italian member and President of the Association CReA Onlus (Centro Ricerche e Attività).

Useful Resources:
Discover the network of Citizen Journalists
Read their articles
Watch the video interview of Irene Vivas Lalinde, Citizen Journalist of the LADDER project’s initiative
Watch the video interview of Martino Miraglia, young European citizen working at UNDP, about his opinion on the initiative.