عربي

Empowering female journalists in the Gaza Strip and West Bank


2011-03-17

Year: 2010/2011

Partner: UNESCO

Project’s Summary:

 

In cooperation with UNESCO, Media Development Center at Birzeit University (MDC) carried out a capacity-building project during 2011 targeting female Palestinian media professionals, particularly new graduates and mid-career journalists.

The project, entitled QADERAT (Arabic=achievers), aims at strengthening cross-platform reporting and writing skills for 40 female journalists in West Bank and Gaza Strip through a series of training workshops. In addition, The project offered career opportunities to the target group through an internship programme. 28 media institutions and media-related NGOs hosted 40 interns, whose salaries were paid through QADERAT for three months. Practicing “everyday field-journalism” for three months provided the interns with outstanding opportunities to start their careers. In fact, 11 interns secured permanent jobs through Qaderat despite the fact that hiring has been virtually frozen in most of the local media outlets during the last year.

Anecdotal evidence shows that QADERAT improved the representation of women in newsrooms- quantitatively and qualitatively. Hence, the project alumni succeeded in being messengers of their female communities to the media.

 

Short description of the Project:

Phase 1: Planning, Marketing and Selection

 

1.1 Setting the criteria

The first step toward the implementation of the project was establishing an internal committee within MDC to set the criteria for interns and hosting institutions and to supervise the selection process.

 

1.2 Promotion & announcement

MDC initiated a promotion campaign to ensure we got the best possible applicants. The campaign utilized online, print and audio tools in a coherent/systemic way that provided prospective applicants with clear and motivational messages. Applicants could also apply through various ways: in-hand, through a desktop-filled or online applications.

A (12inch×3columns) advertisement targeting prospective applicants was published in two major daily newspapers (Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam).

In addition, MDC produced a radio spot encouraging prospective participants to apply for the project. The spot was broadcasted by Birzeit FM (a radio station managed by MDC) in addition to several other stations across West Bank and Gaza Strip. The 45-second spot was aired on prime time of the second-week days of March. Moreover, several media outlets run stories about the project (such as PNN and Sawt Al-Salam).

 

1.3 Selection process

MDC received tens of emails and phone calls from applicants asking for details about the application, selection, and participation processes. In total, we received 175 applications (89 from Gaza and 86 from the West Bank). Applicants came from most districts of the Palestinian territories. Applicants varied in age, academic background, and professional experience. Nevertheless, we received tens of outstanding applications- much over the project’s capacity.

After classifying all applications in categories depending on academic background, professional experience, quality of work samples, and place of living, the project’s internal committee had two day-long meetings, where two short lists of 40 applicants were selected- for interviewing in both West Bank and Gaza.

Phase 2: Training

Seven training workshops were held in West Bank and Gaza for the selected interns “Editing Skills, Political Reporting, TV Reporting and Economic Reporting courses”. The training phase began in April and lasted until July 2011.

1-Political reporting COURSE (wb):

The training covered topics such as covering politics and political debates, election, and elected bodies. A considerable importance were giving to journalism ethics and the tools to balanced and neutral reporting that serves the public and encourages civic dialogue. The trainer covered the basic skills needed for doing so, especially interview skills. The former minister of information Mr. Nabeel Amr was a guest speaker to the workshop, where he talked about his experience as both a journalist and an elected official.

The trainees were fully and actively engaged at the training, and sometimes debates about the proper way of doing the jobs aroused at the class room- all well-managed by the trainer.

 

2- TV reporting COURSE (wb):

During the course, the trainees were trained on writing for TV, collecting information, TV package production and streaming live on TV. In addition, they were divided into groups, and each group had to produce a TV package from A-Z. We also hosted Huda Al-Qaddoomy (the famous Palestinian TV personality) as a guest speaker, where she talked about her experience working for local and national TV stations and the difficulties female TV reporters face in the field.

 

3- Advanced editing skills Course (Gaza):

The topics of training included:

•    The journalistic styles

•    Editing skills and re-writing press releases

•    In-depth report writing.

•    How to work in a team and under pressure

The training combined both the theoretical and practical approaches to news editing introducing the diverse models of journalistic style.

 

4- Political reporting course (Gaza):

The political reporting course covered topics such as election coverage focusing on the ethics of writing on politics especially in such a divided political scene as it is in Gaza Strip.

    

 

5- Economic Reporting (Gaza):

The training covered how to understand the concepts and terminology of economics, Mastery of crystallizing ideas and planning to prepare a press material, Enhance the ability to read the numbers and its’ connotations, and how to deal with it and The ability to write an economical press material.

 

Phase 3: Internship

During the second quarter of the project’s cycle, an action plan was put for the internships, which took place during the third and fourth quarters. The internship were put and decided-upon after a long process of communication and negotiations with the hosting institutions and the interns themselves.

The table below shows the names of the hosting institutions for all and each one of the interns:

 

The intern

The hosting institution

Type of Organization

Aseel Joundee

Maan

News Agency

Asma’ Mansour

Birzeit Alumni Network

Community Press

Faten Salah Al-Deen

Radio Birzeit+Palestinian Journalists Syndicate PJS

Radio

Hala Al-Zuhairy

Al-Mostaqbal Radio

Radio

Hasna Housheh

Hayat Wa Sooq

Newspaper

Hiba Hamdan

Maan

News Agency

Itizaz Qadah

Radio Birzeit

Radio

Lamia” Yousef

Shasha News

News Website

Lara Kan”an

Al-Najah Media Center

Community Press

Nida” Ayyad

Voice of Palestine

Radio

Ohood Abou Da’moos

Voice of Palestine

Radio

Raghda Adawi

Palestine TV

Television

Rahma Hijjeh

Bada’el Think Tank

Community Press

Rana Thawabteh

Maan

News Agency

Rasha Hirz Allah

Wafa

News Agency

Roula Halaiqa

Masader

Community Press

Shireen Sandooqa

Al-Maqdesi

Magazine

Shorooq Al-Jaghoub

Wafa

News Agency

Sukoon Sha”ban

Omneia Youth Center

Community Press

Yasmeen Kalboneh

Nablus TV

Television

Abeer Abou Shamaleh

MDC

Community Press

Amina Al-Dahdooh

Sama

News Agency

Asma” Al-Az”ar

Maan

News Agency

Einas Abou Nseer

Voice of Will

Radio

Einas Mansour

Women Voice

Community Press

Eisha Joudeh

Al Shorooq Center

Community Press

Haneen Othman

Doha Media Center

Community Press

Hiba Al-Efrangy

Russia Today

Television

Hiba Al-Haj

Doha Media Center

Community Press

Iman Jum’a

Al-Waha Media Production

Television

Islam Al-Astal

Women Voice

Community Press

Mona Zaqqout

Alwan

Radio

Naeima Al-Habbash

Maan

News Agency

Nehal Seiam

Young Journalist Club

Community Press

Nesma AL-Sheikh ALi

Russia Today

Television

Nisreen Al-Razany

Sudan TV

Television

Omaima Abdel-Eilah

PJS

Community Press

Rania Enshasy

Xinhua

News Agency

Samah Al-Mozaiien

Pro Eavnet

Television

Tasneem Al-Zaiian

Doha Media Center

Community Press

Total of 11 participants secured permanent at the end of the project


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