Helping young people make their voices heard – An interview with Dominik Abbas

Have you ever thought that communication - and especially mass media - should be more democratically run and citizen driven? Dominic Abbas, 17, definitely does. He is the editor-in-chief of the online platform Nantenne Jeunes that gives young people the opportunity to have their say.

1. What do you think is the main reason why some people don’t care about your topic?

The platform I run, Nantenne Jeunes, aims to give  young people the opportunity to express themselves with the help of digital tools. Our users grew up in a social background where they could not develop their capacity to voice their opinions and to take part in the conversations about the main issues of our societies. They didn’t define themselves as citizens, but only as consumers of public policies. What we’re trying to do is to change this, to make youth key stakeholders in our societies.

2. If you were the president/prime minister of your country for one day, what would you change about this topic?

In France, today, the mainstream media belongs to a group of billionaires. If I would become president, I would ´free´ mass-media networks, by making them properties of the people. An open, accessible and trustworthy information source is the basis of any democracy. Thus, progress in all its forms can only occur if people take charge of the public discourse.

3. Do you have a personal motto?

Never stop pursuing your dreams!

4. Can you share some links to talks or texts, or name literature that you can recommend to any starting activist?

The Newsroom, by Aaron Sorkin, to understand how mass media works in the 21st century.

”Les nouveaux chiens de garde”, adaptation of a book by Serge Halimi about the strong ties between politics and media.

Victor Hugo´s “The Last Day of a Condemned Man” and “Les Misérables”, are two fascinating books about the way our societies function.

One should also read Platon, Schopenhauer and Marx, since I believe philosophy can provide us with many answers to our current struggles.

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