Concerns and needs
The concerns and needs of the media professionals in the region form the guidelines for Investing in the Future program. They show that media professionals and lawyers in the MENA region have an urgent demand for expanding professional formation. These concerns are not limited to the professional field of acquiring advanced skills. They also expand into the field of intellectual development, including critical thinking based on the principles of freedom, democracy, of expression, legal training on media legislation, and legal protection. Another aspect of the program involves training local individuals to become trainers in areas such as journalistic and media skills, and media Law, even English language and internet savvy courses if required.
Media Community for Change
At the regional media experts’ conference in Amman in 2005 that discussed Investing in the Future, it was concluded that professional qualifications, legal awareness and training skills of Arab media professionals should be improved. Ultimate goal is to create a regional Media Community for Change, the nucleus of change in the quality of journalism in the region. The groups members are motivated radio, television, print and Internet journalists and media lawyers trained through a 5-year program of professional training, capacity building and other professional activities. The Media Community for Change members will train colleagues and give journalism and freedom of the press in the Arab world a boost.
Investing in the Future
Our program Investing in the Future entails several stages that will be implemented simultaneously and consecutively. Fundamental activities are a 2-year comprehensive mid-career training program that will graduate 900 to 1000 media professionals and 24 legal experts. This program is open to radio, television, print and Internet journalists and media lawyers. If there is a need, additional training for female media professionals will be provided. Another objective is to initiate a regional debate on excellence in journalism through professional workshops and publications. Also, the capacity of local organizations to defend freedom of the press will be raised.
Training (in six countries)
• Journalistic Skills for journalists (120)
• Journalistic Knowledge, including legal awareness for journalists (120)
• Basic Training of Trainers for lawyers (24) and journalists (120)
• Legal Knowledge Media Cases for lawyers (24)
• Advanced Training of Trainers for lawyers (6) and journalists (30)
• Foreign language
• Topics of Interest for journalists (1200)
• Workshops on issues concerning Media, Journalistic Profession and Media and Law
• Capacity building for local organisations and NGO’s with specialization in financial and administrative management to improve organizational skills and administrative proficiency and efficiency.
• A monthly e-mail newsletter informs media professionals on the latest developments in the program and on media issues in the Middle East and North Africa. • Educational material and techniques will be development to support the trainings and the local trainers in future.
• A website has been developed (www.menassat.com) to support our program Investing in the Future. It will also serve as a forum for exchange and discussion on professional themes on media, law and freedom of the press in the region
• Evaluation in the six countries of the programme and extra needs International and Arab academics and experts will be involved to guarantee the high standards of the program. The program staff will draw up the curriculum. Experts from the participating Arab and international NGO’s and independent academics will also be consulted.
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