Feb 25 2013

Al Jazeera media training centre plans expansion

By Azmat Haroon Doha: Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Centre aims to reach out to a larger audience this year, particularly in Asia, where there is high demand for the centre's programmes.

"This year, we launched 17 courses in English. Most of our courses are in Arabic but it doesn't mean that we don't provide courses in English," said Mounir Daymi, Director of the centre.

Daymi was speaking at a press conference during the ninth anniversary celebrations of the centre yesterday.

"We want to reach out to the English speaking audience. There is a huge Asian market, and they follow Al Jazeera and look at it as a school of thought," he said, adding that the centre can provide courses on demand to journalists anywhere in the world.

Among other countries, the centre has had demands from India, Philippines and Singapore.

"We are trying to build our relationships (with Asian countries) but it's going to take time. For now, our main audiences are in Doha and Al Jazeera channel," Daymi said.

The director also announced a series of programmes launched by the centre recently.

The ' Al Jazeera Ambassadors' is a voluntary training programme which will see members of the Al Jazeera network provide media training in different countries. The first chapter of the programme has already been launched in Palestine.

"We had to be very careful about who we are training. We cannot choose politically controversial entity or group,' Daymi explained.

The centre is training some 40 Yemeni journalists under a different programme sponsored by Unesco.

Every year the centre hosts a forum to discuss geo-political issues. This year the forum would look at emerging issues for media and journalists.

Around 50 dignitaries, including ministers and senior media officials from different countries are set to come to Qatar on March 16 for the 'Media Training in a Changing World' forum.

The centre also began training of some 400 people from Qatar Foundation yesterday who will be working in the Career Fair.

"Profit is not our priority. We want to make media training available to more people at affordable rates," Daymi said.

He said the centre currently offers a 20 percent discount to all media students as well as young journalists.

"We try our best to give discounts, although they vary from one case to the other. As it is, all Qataris receive free training, which is just another way of encouraging young people to join media."

© The Peninsula 2013

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