Journalism Education and Training
Building journalistic capacities through training opportunities, and supporting academic institutions offering courses focused on developing media professionals ‘ skills are central elements underpinning freedom of expression, media pluralism and diversity – as recognized within the framework of UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators. Accordingly, UNESCO Ramallah works to advance ethical and professional standards in journalism both by facilitating media training and projects reinforcing the capacity of journalism education institutions.
UNESCO has cooperated with four Palestinian universities -- Al-Quds, An-Najah, Birzeit and Hebron-- toward the strengthening of their journalism and media studies departments’ curricula, taking stock of UNESCO’s Model Curricula on Journalism Education (also available in Arabic). This collaboration has included the organization of roundtable meetings, a study tour by three Palestinian journalism professors to the Turku University of Applied Sciences in Finland, and a mission by a Finnish expert to Ramallah that resulted in recommendations to improve the media and journalism studies curricula of the four participating Palestinian universities.
UNESCO Ramallah also provided training on ethical guidelines and conflict-sensitive reporting to media professionals in West Bank and in Gaza. Moreover, it supported WATTAN TV in the delivery of specialized workshops and trainings on climate change reporting, and in the production of six-episode magazine raising environmental awareness.
Funds mobilized through the International Programme for the Development of Communication IPDC enabled the implementation of several media capacity-building actions throughout the years. For instance, reporters from the Palestine News & Info Agency, WAFA, were trained on audio and video coverage of humanitarian news, in a project that also facilitated the provision of equipment to run WAFA’s humanitarian news desk. Also through IPDC financing, a video documentary course for young filmmakers in Gaza was conducted by famous Swedish filmmaker Pea Holmqvist (in a project implemented by Birzeit’s University Media Development Center). Six short documentaries were produced by the trainees, on issues like Parkour sport, little kids and art in Gaza. In 2011, IPDC projects in West Bank and Gaza focused on the empowerment of women journalists and on citizen media.