Dubai Press Club holds joint workshop with Arab News on newsroom management

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Dubai Press Club (DPC), in collaboration with Arab News, concluded a workshop on Newsroom Management with a note that journalists should always ensure responsibility of professional standards. (Twitter: @DubaiPressClub)
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The session was led by Faisal Abbas, editor-in-chief of the English language daily Arab News. (Twitter: @DubaiPressClub)
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The session was led by Faisal Abbas, editor-in-chief of the English language daily Arab News. (Twitter: @DubaiPressClub)
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The session was led by Faisal Abbas, editor-in-chief of the English language daily Arab News. (Twitter: @DubaiPressClub)
Updated 02 July 2019

Dubai Press Club holds joint workshop with Arab News on newsroom management

  • More than 60 media students and young professionals working in the media participated in the session
  • Session was led by Faisal Abbas, editor-in-chief of the English language daily Arab News

DUBAI: Dubai Press Club (DPC), in collaboration with Arab News, concluded a workshop on Newsroom Management with a note that journalists should always ensure professional standards.
More than 60 media students and young professionals working in the media participated in the session, which was organised under the Media National Youth Programme (MNYP). The four-month long training programme is being held in partnership between DPC, Watani Al Emarat Foundation and a number of leading media organisations. It seeks to provide media students and young professionals with the knowledge and skills required to excel in the media industry.
Led by Faisal Abbas, Editor-in-chief of the English language daily Arab News, the workshop was aimed at giving participants an introduction to newsroom management and the future of newsrooms in a changing media environment. The session offered participants a thorough introduction into what journalism is about, how editorial decision occur and what the related functions, processes and outcomes are.
Commenting on the occasion, Faisal Abbas said: “We at Arab News, the region’s leading English language daily, are very happy to have been a part of the Media National Youth Programme organised by the Dubai Press Club. I hope the workshop we have given has helped participants better understand what it takes to manage a newsroom, what decisions we have to take as journalists, including why and how we take them. It was also a real pleasure meeting all the Emirati participants, and we thank them for their feedback and questions, which have also helped us to learn more ourselves.”
Director of Dubai Press Club Maitha Buhumaid said: “The workshop on Newsroom Management was among a series of specialised sessions organised by DPC as part of the Media National Youth Programme. This particular session was aimed at introducing participants to the latest skills and technologies being applied in newsrooms. Participants were able to learn about the best practices in newsroom management and take a closer look at the way Arab News runs its own newsroom.”
Buhumaid said that DPC organises workshops that focus on a wide range of topics that could benefit media students and professionals working in the media field, and continues to collaborate with various media institutions in the Arab region to develop the skills of media professionals and drive innovation across the news industry.
She noted that Dubai Press Club serves as a comprehensive platform, benefiting the media community in the UAE and driving innovation in the region through its high-profile media events and activities.
Commenting on how the MNYP has positively contributed to the media sector in the region, His Excellency Dherar Belhoul, Director General of Watani Al Emarat Foundation, said: “The Media National Youth Programme has helped expose emerging local media talent to the latest technologies, tools, strategies and knowledge in the media industry. We are proud to organise this programme in partnership with DPC as it comes as part of our effort to foster the development of a highly skilled next-generation national workforce.”
During the session, Abbas discussed the importance of being aware of how technology is shaping the newsroom and shared tips on how to write for web. He gave participants an overview of the evolution of media, the main purpose of journalism and how it can build understanding. He also discussed the spread of fake news in the digital age and the role of journalists in providing high quality journalism.
As young people are most likely to get their news through online sources, Abbas shared examples of news sites that were created to mislead readers. He highlighted the importance of learning how to judge news sites and protect oneself from inaccurate information, which has become a high priority in the digital age.
The MNYP aims to create a comprehensive platform for young Emirati media professionals to enhance their knowledge, expertise and skills in media. The programme features a series of workshops in collaboration with leading academic and media institutions in the country.


Lebanon’s journalists suffer abuse, threats covering unrest

Updated 07 December 2019

Lebanon’s journalists suffer abuse, threats covering unrest

  • The deteriorating situation for journalists in Lebanon comes despite its decades-old reputation for being an island of free press in the Arab world

BEIRUT: Lebanese journalists are facing threats and wide-ranging harassment in their work — including verbal insults and physical attacks, even death threats — while reporting on nearly 50 days of anti-government protests, despite Lebanon’s reputation as a haven for free speech in a troubled region.
Nationwide demonstrations erupted on Oct. 17 over a plunging economy. They quickly grew into calls for sweeping aside Lebanon’s entire ruling elite. Local media outlets — some of which represent the sectarian interests protesters are looking to overthrow — are now largely seen as pro- or anti-protests, with some journalists feeling pressured to leave their workplaces over disagreements about media coverage.
The deteriorating situation for journalists in Lebanon comes despite its decades-old reputation for being an island of free press in the Arab world. Amid Lebanon’s divided politics, media staff have usually had wide range to freely express their opinions, unlike in other countries in the region where the state stifles the media.
The acts of harassment began early in the protests. MTV television reporter Nawal Berry was attacked in central Beirut in the first days of the demonstrations by supporters of the militant group Hezbollah and its allies. They smashed the camera, robbed the microphone she was holding, spat on her and kicked her in the leg.
“How is it possible that a journalist today goes to report and gets subjected to beating and humiliation? Where are we? Lebanon is the country of freedoms and democracy,” Berry said.
Outlets like MTV are widely seen as backing protesters’ demands that Lebanon’s sectarian political system be completely overturned to end decades of corruption and mismanagement.
Rival TV stations and newspapers portray the unrest — which led to the Cabinet’s resignation over a month ago — as playing into the hands of alleged plots to undermine Hezbollah and its allies. Many of those outlets are run by Hezbollah, President Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and the Amal Movement of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. These media regularly blast protesters for closing roads and using other civil disobedience tactics, describing them as “bandits.”
For Berry, the media environment worsened as the unrest continued. On the night of Nov. 24, while she was covering clashes between protesters and Hezbollah and Amal supporters on a central road in Beirut, supporters of the Shiite groups chased her into a building. She hid there until police came and escorted her out.
“I was doing my job and will continue to do so. I have passed through worse periods and was able to overcome them,” said Berry, who added she is taking a short break from working because of what she passed through recently.
Hezbollah supporters also targeted Dima Sadek, who resigned last month as an anchorwoman at LBC TV. She blamed Hezbollah supporters for robbing her smartphone while she was filming protests, and said the harassment was followed by insulting and threatening phone calls to her mother, who suffered a stroke as a result of the stress.
“I have taken a decision (to be part of the protests) and I am following it. I have been waiting for this moment all my life and I have always been against the political, sectarian and corrupt system in Lebanon,” said Sadek, a harsh critic of Hezbollah, adding that she has been subjected to cyberbullying for the past four years.
“I know very well that this will have repercussions on my personal and professional life. I will go to the end no matter what the price is,” Sadek said shortly after taking part in a demonstration in central Beirut.
Protesters have also targeted journalists reporting with what are seen as pro-government outlets. OTV station workers briefly removed their logos from equipment while covering on the demonstrations to avoid verbal and physical abuse. The station is run by supporters of Aoun’s FPM.
“The protest movement has turned our lives upside down,” said OTV journalist Rima Hamdan, who during one of her reports slapped a man on his hand after he pointed his middle finger at her. She said the station’s logo “is our identity even though sometimes we had to remove it for our own safety.”
Television reporters with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar and Amal’s NBN channels were also attacked in a town near Beirut, when they were covering the closure of the highway linking the capital city with southern Lebanon by protesters. In a video, an NBN correspondent is seen being attacked, while troops and policemen stand nearby without intervening.
“This happens a lot in Lebanon because some media organizations are politicized. No one sees media organizations as they are but sees them as representing the political group that owns them,” said Ayman Mhanna, director of the Beirut-based media watchdog group SKeyes.
“The biggest problem regarding these violations is that there is no punishment,” Mhanna said. Authorities usually fail to act even when they identify those behind attacks on journalists, he added.
Coverage of the protests also led to several journalists resigning from one of Lebanon’s most prominent newspapers, Al-Akhbar, which is seen as close to Hezbollah, and the pan-Arab TV station Al-Mayadeen, which aligns closely with the policies of Iran, Syria and Venezuela.
Joy Slim, who quit as culture writer at Al-Akhbar after more than five years, said she did so after being “disappointed” with the daily’s coverage of the demonstrations. She released a video widely circulated on social media that ridiculed those who accuse the protesters of being American agents.
Sami Kleib, a prominent Lebanese journalist with a wide following around the Middle East, resigned from Al-Mayadeen last month. He said the reason behind his move was that he was “closer to the people than the authorities.”
“The Lebanese media is similar to politics in Lebanon where there is division between two axes: One that supports the idea of conspiracy theory, and another that fully backs the protest movement with its advantages and disadvantages,” Kleib said.