UNESCO and SMEX to launch an online training course for Arab digital journalists

UNESCO and SMEX are launching an Arabic-language online course and open curriculum for independent media, designed by working Arab digital journalists for aspiring Arab digital journalists.

Nowadays, citizen journalists and community media producers are going beyond blogs and Twitter, some of them leading fully-fledged independent media outlets, managing complex content production processes and strategic outreach plans. Often, they are reporting live from the scene with nothing more than a mobile phone reaching out to millions. With this in mind, and in a region going through many changes, comes a real need for independent voices skilled at telling stories of the day over the different media channels people are following.

Hence, UNESCO and SMEX joined efforts for an initiative aligned with both organization’s mandate to create an enabling environment for freedom of expression, with a special focus on youth and women.

Planned course modules include:

  • The Digital Journalist’s Mindset
  • Writing in a Digital World
  • Verification & Attribution of User Generated Content
  • Mobile Reporting
  • InvestigativeJournalism
  • Data Journalism
  • Entrepreneurial Journalism
  • Planning, Promoting & Measuring the Impact of Your Work

Accompanying each of the abovementioned thematic components will be parallel weekly modules focused on digital safety, which will equip trainees to better protect themselves and their sources as they pursue their work.

Hangouts with guest speakers, online discussions and “editorial meetings” will enable participants to share ideas and experiences, as well as receive additional advice.

The 8-week online course will be administered through, SMEX’s training platform. Participants who successfully complete it will receive a certificate, and will also benefit from 6-weeks of coaching, in support of the development of a digital journalism project.

Selected on the basis of their level of engagement during the course and the quality of the content produced, a number of participants will be invited to attend a face-to-face workshop to be held in Beirut in 2016, where they will be joined by top-level digital journalists.

Applications are invited from the following countries: Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria (including displaced Syrians), Tunisia, and Yemen. Applicants are not required to be professional journalists, but participants will be selected to some degree on the basis of journalistic work they have already produced. Applicants are encouraged to apply before July 20, as space is limited to 100 participants.

Click here to read more about this online course´s contents, modalities and target audience.

Apply to the course here (Arabic only).

This course is being supported under a project funded by the Finnish Government, which promotes freedom of expression in the Arab region by building capacities among journalists and enhancing their safety, strengthening legal and regulatory frameworks, advancing gender equality in media, and fostering self-expression and access to information among displaced Syrian youth.

It also benefits from the support of the Networks of Mediterranean Youth project, funded by the European Union, which, among other goals, promotes young people´s freedom of expression, their enhanced representation in media, skills-building and exchangesamong young journalists, bloggers and youth organizations.