Urban Stories

Producing news for urban youth

Christa de Graaf en Dr. Joke Hermes
Soort object
This paper will query whether a dedicated news platform can attune to young people’s civic needs? That is to ask: can this be a space that follows a social media logic of conversation and ‘give and take’ – with producers and consumers changing roles or even losing the distinction? How could and would such a news source be of interest to urban young, arguably the group that feels most removed from citizen status and social acceptance for who they happen to be? ‘Urban youth’ for us refers to a very specific group of young people. They are Marokko.nl’s community members. As the name suggests a fair number of them will consider themselves to be Moroccan-Dutch. From our perspective it is important to understand this group as identifying with ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands, although most of them will have been born in the Netherlands and hold Dutch citizenship. More than other young people they will recognize Islam as the religion they feel closest to. They also share a sense, as will become clear below, that they are caught ‘between two worlds’ (Elias and Lemish, 2008; Singla, 2004; Gezduci and D’Haenens, 2010). Mainstream Dutch media cast preciously few actors, anchors, audience members and experts from ethnic minority groups. Not surprisingly, this is often given as a reason to distrust hegemonic media and as underlining a sense of distance and alienation from Dutch society (see also Awad and Roth, 2011: 401).