|Elections Coverage workshop participants|
The remaining workshops will be featured as they occur.
AUB Journalism Training Program Kicks Off with Workshop
An investigative journalism workshop aimed at promoting a culture of accountability and the role of news media as watchdogs grouped young reporters from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Jordan in a series of training courses at AUB.
"One of the things I learned when I attended a workshop years ago was a question that stayed with me: who cares?" said An Nahar senior writer Rajeh El Khoury, of the need to keep readers' and viewers' interests in mind. El Khoury, who led several of his paper's investigations, said journalists should write for the public, not for themselves, and should not be discouraged by constraints, particularly in restrictive Arab media environments. "Our aim is to create awareness for the public," he said.
The July 23-27 workshop, which was organized by AUB's newly-established Journalism Training Program (JTP) and funded by the Dutch Embassy in Lebanon, introduced junior reporters to definitions of the genre, such as responsibilities of investigative journalism, obstacles and legal limits to this type of reporting, ethics, ideas for reports, and how to dig for information.
Participants watched the 1970s classic, "All the President's Men," about the Watergate scandal, got tips from Assafir editor Zuheir Hawari on sourcing, and received guidance from Professor Nabil Dajani and JTP director and former veteran correspondent Magda Abu-Fadil. In addition to sessions on notetaking, interviewing, examination of complex documents, and computer-assisted research, participants were tested on their general knowledge and assigned investigative projects of their choice.
Arab Journalists and Elections Coverage
Eager reporters from Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Lebanon participated in discussions on how to cover elections during a four-day workshop organized in August by AUB's Journalism Training Program (JTP).
According to Anwar Al Hamadani of Iraq's Al Soumariya TV, the training for coverage of presidential, parliamentary, municipal, and trade association elections is important for Arab journalists.
Lebanese pollster Jawad Adra tackled surveys and their interpretation, while Haigazian University's dean of Arts and Sciences, Arda Ekmekji, who served as a member of a national commission to draft a new Lebanese election law, spoke of its legal ramifications. Veteran journalists Sana El Jack of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper and United Press International Middle East bureau chief Dalal Saoud shared their experiences on covering elections in different countries. Yara Nassar of the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections demonstrated how her organization monitors elections.
From AUB, Information and Public Relations Director Ibrahim Khoury, himself a former newspaper editor, spoke of safety issues and how journalists can know their stories are complete. Professor Nabil Dajani contributed to discussions on balance and fairness and JTP director Magda Abu-Fadil spoke of democracy, campaigns, and media ethics.
Yemeni reporter Hanaa Al Khamri, who writes for the Saudi daily Al Madina in Jeddah, said the workshop was "a good base" on which to build her budding journalistic career, since she plans to write about politics.
The workshop also addressed issues of parties and candidates, the voting process, accuracy, campaign strategies, speeches, and interviewing techniques. The elections coverage event was the second of six training courses funded by the Dutch Embassy in Lebanon.