Within the current environment of political instability in Egypt, a big challenge for journalists is navigating an objective role in a contentious society.
Internews in Egypt successfully brought together in November and December fifty media professionals with differing opinions to discuss the meaning of democracy and the role of the journalist within this climate.
The participants came from across the major print and television news agencies in Egypt for a Journalism Core Curriculum Practices series of workshops. The first workshop targeted mid-level management media professionals, while the second workshop targeted promising entry-level media professionals.
The project’s aim is to promote sound journalism skills and to enhance the understanding of the role and importance of the media in a transitioning democracy. This was achieved through an intensive training program by both Egyptian and international experts. The topics covered in the workshops included core principles of journalism skills, investigative journalism, media ethics, international standards in writing the news, new media tools, economic and business reporting, covering government news, and reporting in times of crises and emergencies.
The workshops helped address the biggest technical challenge the participants face as media professionals, namely the lack of regular skills training opportunities. “More workshops like these are strongly needed in our field – especially if we could somehow devote more time to go in depth into every topic,” said Marwa Abdel Aziz, Al Nahar TV Reporter.
As Egypt continues to experience a heavy crackdown on civil society organizations, human rights defenders, political activism, and freedoms of speech and association, this project has succeeded in increasing the technical caliber of media professionals working in the field and has helped increase their critical analysis skills.