In this interesting dialogue, we are pleased to host the rising student and journalist Fatima Zahraa Zaidi from Algeria (Sidi Bel Abbes), winner of a scholarship for journalism college students to attend the Journalism Colleges Forum in Doha-Qatar, sponsored by the Al Jazeera Media Institute, Qatar University and UNESCO.
It is certainly an exceptional opportunity that you received by winning the scholarship for students in colleges of journalism
Firstly, I thank God, Lord of the Worlds, for facilitating and granting me success. Then, I thank Al Jazeera Channel, Al Jazeera Media Institute, Qatar University, and UNESCO for providing this exceptional opportunity that allowed me to branch out and delve deeper into one of the most important professional and academic fields of our current time… Journalism.
How did this journey start?
This rich scientific journey to the forum began after I participated in an article on one of the topics proposed within the framework of the competition, which is “The reality of teaching journalism in the Arab world.” I chose Algeria as a model because I am a graduate of a bachelor’s degree in media from the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oran – 1 – Ahmed Ben Bella, She is currently a Master 1 student specializing in “Media, Culture and Society” at the Higher School of Journalism and Media Sciences in Algiers. After qualifying for the second stage of the competition out of 300 participating students from various countries of the Arab world, an interview was conducted with 3 professors: a professor of media from Qatar University. Professor at Al Jazeera Media Institute, and the interviewer was led by Mr. Ahmed Ahdad. The interview lasted 20 minutes and included several questions, including questions about the subject of the sent article, a discussion of the proposals and recommendations that I referred to, my experience as a student in the field, as well as what journalism is for me and what are my motivations for practicing the profession. After more than a week, I was contacted by the media person in charge, Mr. Ahmed Ahdad, and was informed that I had won the competition. After that, the four winners of the scholarship for students of journalism colleges to attend the Forum of Journalism Colleges in the Arab World were announced, covering all costs, starting with the flight via Qatar Airways to accommodation. At the Marriott Marquis City Center Hotel in Doha, with all facilities and transportation costs to Al Jazeera Media Network and its institutions, the winners were announced on the official electronic pages of Al Jazeera, and they are “Fatima Al-Zahraa Zaidi” from Algeria, “Rehab Al-Dhaheri” from Tunisia, “ Afnan Owainat from Jordan and Anas Al-Shaara from Morocco, so that October 13th would be the first day of my arrival in the sisterly State of Qatar.
Tell us about this forum and the most important discussions that took place in it?
The forum, which began on the 14th of October 2023 and concluded on the 16th of the same month, included several discussions, dialogues, sessions, and workshops that varied between several issues and topics, including: modern trends in journalism, Arab experiences in future media, best practices in teaching journalism. International experiences), teaching journalism and openness to social sciences, telling journalistic stories from a pile of data, producing videos for digital platforms (AJ+ as an example), as well as developing journalism curricula, methods and teaching techniques in the context of current developments. The forum also provided the opportunity to A tour of the Al Jazeera Media Network and its institutions, with the opportunity to view the Al Jazeera Media Institute, its departments, studios, and all its facilities. This tour also included an opportunity to purchase the latest Al Jazeera Institute publications, including books, magazines, pamphlets, and other intellectual productions. We were also able, on the other hand, to From reviewing the training offers available outside the State of Qatar within the framework of the “Al Jazeera Media Institute Initiative for Journalism Curricula,” such as the “Al Jazeera Ambassadors” initiative, which is free training for both journalists and journalism students around the Arab world, and the “E-Learning” initiative to make knowledge available with modernization. I rotate at the rate of a new session every month, the “Visiting Journalist Fellowship” initiative, which is a practical training program for journalism students within the sectors of the Al Jazeera Network. We also had the opportunity to get to know the scenes of journalistic production and to chat with employees of the organization’s teams, including producers, designers, engineers, writers, Editors, directors and others behind what we see on our screens.
It was definitely a unique experience. What did you benefit from it?
This trip also allowed me to meet and interact with figures in the field of Arab journalism, including doctors and academics from various institutes and colleges in the Arab world, as well as prominent journalists and media figures in the field, whether electronic, audio-visual or written, among whom I mention the Director of the Al Jazeera Media Institute, Professor Iman Al-Amiri. Professor Montaser Marei, Director of Media Initiatives at Al Jazeera Media Institute, journalist and presenter on Al Jazeera Channel, Professor Muhammad Krishan, Professor Iman Issa, Assistant Professor in the Department of Media at Qatar University, Professor Jumana Saadeh, journalist and documentary film director, as well as Professor Mustafa Souag, Director of the Al Jazeera Media Network.
The Forum of Journalism Colleges in the Arab World was a valuable opportunity that brought me together with field journalists practicing the profession, theoretical academics researching media and communication sciences, humanities and social sciences, as well as journalism students from various countries of the Arab world in order to sit around one table to discuss the reality of teaching journalism from all over the world. Its angles, and overcoming the consequences, challenges and barriers that stand in the way of improving journalism curricula and methods in a way that suits the requirements of the present and the future, as well as bridging the gap between the field and the academy that teachers of this important and sensitive field have known, especially since it is considered the fourth estate and the primary guide to the fate of nations and states.
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