Breaking Barriers: Amman's First Dialogue Journalism Fellowship Training Concludes with Great Success
In the capital city of Jordan, Amman, approximately 34 journalists from 15 Arab countries gathered from 20 to 23 June 2023, to participate in the inaugural training workshop of the Dialogue Journalism Fellowship, the second cohort.
The workshop saw the active participation of numerous representatives from media institutions and civil society in the Arab region. It featured a series of lectures and training sessions that focused on the media's role in promoting dialogue and combating hate speech. Key topics discussed included shaping public opinion, fostering coexistence and tolerance, and utilizing media for positive change amidst the prevailing challenges faced by Arab societies.
Waseem Haddad, Programme Manager in the Arab region, elucidated that dialogue journalism is a dynamic and participatory approach. It aims to engage in meaningful dialogue paths that enhance constructive cooperation among journalists and other influential forces from the community, religious, and policy-making institutions, to promote diversity and build more cohesive and stable societies.
The centre's work in the Arab region commenced in 2014 through training sessions and workshops aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence and dialogue among followers of diverse religions and cultures. The Dialogue Journalism Fellowship, which fosters dialogue among all stakeholders, provides an opportunity for effective participation in decision-making and community building.
This form of journalism facilitates interaction between journalists and local communities, enhancing their understanding of different challenges, needs, and shared aspirations.
One of the programme's primary objectives is to foster integration between influential forces in society and the media, to combat hate speech. Dalal Hamoud bin Nader, a writer, and editor-in-chief of the Saudi Today website, underscored the significance of communication as a fundamental element in facilitating effective dialogue and promoting peace among people. She highlighted her positive experience in the workshop, emphasizing its impact on developing journalistic skills and fostering collaborative efforts to reject hate speech.
On the other hand, Farid Edward, an Egyptian journalist, stressed that dialogue is not merely a word but a continuous journey and process that demands universal participation. He asserted that dialogue possesses the potential to prevent wars, reduce conflicts, and provide direct solutions to societal problems.
He further added, 'It is crucial for journalists to consistently align their behaviour with the culture of dialogue they advocate. They should steadfastly uphold their ideas, express them, and be responsive to the issues of their society. The media is not just a task; it is a message.'
Moreover, the journalist and correspondent Isamar Abdul Latif emphasized the importance of the workshop's diverse group of participants from different nationalities. This experience fostered greater camaraderie among the participants and broadened horizons for cultural exchange, enabling a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by diverse Arab communities due to conflicts and disputes.
Dalal Hamoud bin Nader concluded her statement by affirming the importance of adopting journalistic behaviour that aligns with the programme's culture of dialogue. She highlighted the vital role organizations like the International Dialogue Centre - KAICIID play in consolidating the principles of dialogue and providing networking opportunities for journalists and media professionals from various Arab countries.
The participants' statements underscore the significance of promoting a culture of dialogue and understanding within our societies, as well as achieving integration between the media and influential forces to combat hate speech and cultivate more tolerant and cooperative communities.
As a conclusion to their first training in Amman, the Dialogue journalism fellows visited the Middle East University in Jordan as the initial field programme destination. The visit included a tour of the Media College, during which the fellows engaged in discussions about a range of key Arab issues. They also had an interactive experience in the college's radio and television studios.
Dr. Salam Al-Mahadin, the university president, warmly welcomed the fellows, affirming the university's belief in the importance of journalism, its status, and its potential to drive desired change. She emphasized the university's commitment to promoting a culture of dialogue and tolerance within Arab societies."
Learn more about our Dialogue Journalism Fellowship at www.kaiciid.org/what-we-do/we-work-regionally/arab-region