Calls for more media training in Arab region

October 20, 2010
By The media in the Arab region lack professional workers, an Arab former information minister has said.

“Many of these employees may have 20 years of experience, but in reality it is the same as one-year of experience, repeated 20 times,” Nasouh Majali who headed Jordan’s radio and television and the Petra news agency before he was appointed minister and then ambassador.

He made the comments at a seminar in Amman after Ali Agwa, a professor at Cairo University, said that lack of proper specialised training was affecting the growth of media staff in the Arab world.

“Media personnel should become professionals instead of simply being employees,” Ali said. “Arab media outlets should choose the right personnel with the proper training. Currently, most media personnel in Arab outlets focus on maintaining their position and ignore the pressing issues that need coverage. They end up trying to appeal to officials, abandoning their personal convictions in the process,” he said at a seminar on social issues and the media held in Amman this week as part of the Jordan Festival for Arab Media.

Ali said he based his conclusions on a study of the image of women in the Egyptian media, conducted in Egypt in 2009. “In light of the study’s findings, the Arab media need to review the way they present Arab women in their programmes,” he was quoted by the Jordanian Times as saying.

According to the study, print media highlights women’s issues more often than television and radio, devoting 47.7 per cent of their coverage to women, compared with 37 per cent on television and 15.3 per cent on the radio.

Print media was also the first to highlight controversial issues relating to women, with coverage of 64.5 per cent, compared with 30 per cent for television and 5.5 per cent for radio.

The panelist Zahia Annab, a former employee of Jordan Television (JTV), also stressed the need to provide media personnel with proper specialised training.
“There came a time when new young employees only came to Jordan Television with the goal of attracting the attention of other satellite channels; they didn’t put their hearts into the profession,” she said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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