On August 18th, a new radio program, Jossor ma'Gaza (Bridges with Gaza) was launched, dedicated to providing the people of Gaza verified usable information on accessing assistance, aid, and communicating their needs and concerns to the responding organizations and institutions. In an attempt to address the difficulties in communications, the program designed a multi-media approach to reach the affected population in Gaza.
Just two months after going on the air, a new survey shows that the Jossor ma'Gaza Humanitarian Information Service has become a trusted source of information on the situation in Gaza and is building its own audience.
"The number of people who are listening, watching, and interacting with Jossor ma'Gaza is impressive," said Internews media advisor Walter Dean. "Capturing the attention of 13% of the audience in just two months anywhere in the world is a major accomplishment, but in Gaza is especially significant considering the widespread destruction, the displacement of tens of thousands of people, and the disruption of electricity."
"In a factional media environment, Jossor ma'Gaza's emphasis on useful, verified information stands out," said Dean, "and this survey shows the public notices and likes the difference."
With a goal of providing "news that you can use," 97% of those who have heard the Jossor ma'Gaza program described the news and information presented as "useful."
Almost half of Jossor ma'Gaza's audience (44%) hears the program on radio while about a third (30%) watches the studio broadcast on Palestine TV Live. The remainder listens to the broadcast via the Internet on the Jossor ma'Gaza Facebook/YouTube page (22%) and a mobile phone app (4%).
About a quarter of Jossor ma'Gaza listeners (23%) say they have "interacted with the program" using Facebook (47%), the telephone (27%), or by sending an SMS message (27%).
When asked the reasons for not listening to the program, people said that they had no access to electricity (40%), did not having time (32%), were not interested (17%), or did not have a radio (8%).
Among those who did not or could not access the program, 35% said they received information on aid and recovery issues from family and friends, 31% from television, and 29% from the Internet.
As the program plans are shifting to cover the recovery process, residents of Gaza were asked what type of information is of greatest concern to them. They said housing repair and construction, jobs and economy, social issues, and infrastructure. They were also concerned with continued aid to the most needy in Gaza and the government's plans for the reconstruction and recovery.
Asked who they believe is responsible for the reconstruction of Gaza, six in ten people surveyed (61%) said the Unity government, while the remainder named the PLO (10%), the United Nations (9%), Arab countries (7%), Hamas (4%), and Fatah (3%).
In the first ever joint effort between the public and private media, more than half of the radio audience in Gaza (58%) listened to the program on the Voice of Palestine's national radio network together with Radio Alwan in Gaza City (20%), Minbar Al Hurriya in Hebron (7%), Raya FM in Ramallah (7%), and Bethlehem 2000 (7%); members of the Jossor Radio & Television Network. This survey did not include the West Bank audience of the other participating Jossor radios.
Going forward the challenges will be great. But, the journalists and crews of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and the Jossor Radio & Television Network are dedicated to continuing to provide accurate, reliable, and usable information to the people of Gaza.
The Jossor ma'Gaza program is the result of cooperation between Internews, the Ministry of Information, Palestinian Broadcast Corporation, and Jossor Radio & Television Network, funded by UKAid, DFID Rapid Response Fund.
1 Central Elections Committee eligible voters figure, 20 March 2014.
2 The survey was conducted by NEC, between 16-19 October 2014, using telephone interviewing, employing random digit dialing to select a random sample of households from each district. The sample was 666 of respondents that were representative for all districts in Gaza Strip and Males and females with the age of 18 and over. The selection of the respondent emphasis was put so that the timing of the interviews will ensure the presence of all the eligible household members during the survey. Accordingly, the interviews took place between 9 am and 9 pm. The respondents represented the first person, over the age of 18, who picked up the phone. Margin of error is +/-