“Le bon buzz”: An initiative for depolarising stories promoted by Voice4Thought in Chad

Les participants à l’atelier Le bon buzz. © Gérard Mendès
Previously published at Lendjampost.com

“Le bon buzz”, a workshop to support the identification and training of young online media came to an end on 9 November 2023. It was an initiative of the Dutch NGO Voice4Thought, in partnership with Crash (Centre de Recherche en Anthropologie et Science Humaines).

In the Chadian context, where stereotypes are changing as a result of the painful events the country has experienced, the trend towards polarisation is growing dangerously. A total of 23 participants, including journalists and anthropologists from N’Djaména and a number of provinces, took part in the “Le bon buzz” training course. The aim is to destroy prejudices through depolarising stories.

Le bon buzz is an initiative that aims to create a solid base of publicists and storytellers capable of creating a real alternative through their publications to the polarising, sensational and often false stories that cause ‘bad buzz’.

On social networks, we are witnessing a form of polarisation where one side opposes the other on the basis of ideas. This state of affairs could slide into feelings of hatred and cannot build a solid society, let alone a nation. These elements of polarisation unfortunately affect all social strata and statuses,” said Mirjam De Bruijn, director of Voice4Thought. That’s why this training course is being organised to deconstruct these ideas.

For Floris Van Eijk, chargé d’affaires of the Dutch Embassy in Chad, this training is very important at a time when Chad is polarised between different tendencies.

This training course is an opportunity for participants to study and interpret the phenomenon of polarisation in Chad. At the end of the week’s work, the participants say they are able to pass on their knowledge and skills to the young people around them. They will conduct research with these young people and create local stories that will provide an alternative to polarising reports.

Good to know, the ‘Le bon buzz’ project is funded by the European Union and the Dutch Embassy. This workshop will lay the foundations for another to take place at the end of January 2024.

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