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access to information Climate change Future of Media Investigative journalism Students Workshop

Digital Media Workshops concluded in Palestine

By Farid Abudheir

The Department of Communication & Digital Media at
An-Najah National University organized a closing ceremony for the workshops carried out at the university campus on Wednesday 30th November 2022.  

At the ceremony, certificates were given to the 69 students participating in the workshops, and prizes were also given to the students who made remarkable journalism works.  

Participants in the workshops holding their certificates (Photo: Roea Zebin)

The workshops dealt with three topics: the first was entitled “The Flow of Global News Stream on Social Media concerning Environmental and Climate Issues“. The second workshop was regarding “The Investigative Reporting on Corruption“, while the third workshop dealt with the issue of “Access to Information“. 

Students from An-Najah National, Arab American, Hebron, and Palestine Technical (Kadoorie) universities have participated in the third workshop, where the competing students prepared media materials in the field of access to information including press reports, videos, and posters.  

Regarding the “investigative reporting on corruption” competition, the students produced a set of journalistic investigations that dealt with corruption issues, used research tools to collect data, analyzed and discussed them, and put forward possible solutions to those issues.  

A set of works produced by students, short films and posters in particular, were presented. 

Dr. Farid Abudheir declaring the results of the competition of the media production (Photo: Sameh Abu Alrub)

The ceremony was attended by Dr. Farid Abudheir, Coordinator of Joint Projects with JMIC at Oslo Metropolitan University, Dr. Hussam Abu Diya, Dr. Abdeljawad Abdeljawad, Mr. Ayman Al-Masri, Dr. Islam Halayka,  Dr. Said Shahin, Head of the Department of Media at Hebron University, and Ms. Ramz Bsharat from the Arab American University. 

Trainers and judges honoring one of the students who participated in the workshops (Photo: Sameh Abu Alrub)

Dr. Farid Abudheir has praised the participation of the Palestinian universities in the “Access to Information” workshop. He also stressed the importance of the three topics addressed by the workshops, especially in raising awareness of the issues of access to information, corruption issues, and environmental and climate issues. Besides, he considered that these workshops were aimed at spreading awareness of these issues and enhancing the student’s abilities to address them using media tools. 

Not to mention, Dr. Abudheir thanked An-Najah National University including its administration and departments that helped in making these workshops a success. He also thanked JMIC at OsloMet, which supported the projects implemented by the Department of Communication and Digital Media at An-Najah National University. The meeting was concluded by taking group photos of the participants.  

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access to information Conference Students

The Legal Protection of Citizens’ Right of Knowledge  

By: Farid Abu Dheir

The Department of Communication & Digital Media at An-Najah National University in Nablus in Palestine organized Access to Information Conference at the University on Monday 7 November 2022 in  cooperation with JMIC.  

This is the Fourth time The Department Organizes a Conference on Access to Information at their University in commemoration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information declared by UNESCO in 2016. 

Many of the participants. (Photo: Aseel Kilani)

The conference was attended by Mr. Nasser Abu Bakr, president of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, Mr. Nasser Jawabreh, Director of Ministry of Information Office in Nablus and Mr. Ruben André Johansen, First Secretary of Political Affairs at the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority.  

Professors and students from Birzeit University, Palestine Technical University (Khadoori), Hebron University, Arab American University, as well as a number of Palestinian Journalists participated. 

The participants called for the adoption of Access to Information law in Palestine, as it is a legal guarantee to protect the citizens’ right to knowledge, and the right of a journalist to obtain the information needed to develop democratic participation and achieve sustainable development in society. 

The conferees also called for the development of effective mechanisms to spread the culture of access to, and use of, information, and the removal of all obstacles that prevent citizens from knowing what is happening and what decisions are being made regarding public affairs. 

Besides, conferees warned that the blocking of information opens the way for the spread of rumours and hate speech. It also destroys one of the important bases in building a democratic society that protects human rights and establishes the principles of transparency and integrity in society.  

Ms. Muna Hawash, Head of Communication & Digital Media & Radio and Television Departments, opened the conference by stressing the importance of Access to Information, considering that information is the basic element for a journalist. She considered that this principle is the cornerstone of journalism, and that the citizens’ right to know is a human, moral and legal right. 

Dr. Farid Abu Dheir, coordinator of joint projects with JMIC/OsloMet, highlighted the cooperation, which extends to 23 years. He praised the activities and events that were carried out during those years and the benefit that was reflected on the participating students.  

Farid Abu Dheir to the left. (Photo: Aseel Kilani)

Dr. Abu Dheir explained that the conference aims to integrate the concept of Access to Information in media materials and school curricula, and to seek the adoption of an exclusive law that protects the citizens’ right to knowledge. 

Nasser Abu Bakr, president of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, emphasized that the syndicate exerts all efforts to ease the work of journalists and guarantee their right of Access to Information. He pointed to the challenges imposed by the Israeli Occupation on journalists, especially preventing them from covering events and violating journalists’ rights to cover events, in order to block Palestinians Access to Information

Nasser Jawabreh, Director of Ministry of Information office in Nablus, explained that the Israeli Occupation is the biggest challenge for Palestinian journalists, making Access to Information an arduous issue. 

For his part, Mr. Johansen at Norwegian Representative Office, expressed his gratitude for participating in the conference at An-Najah University in Nablus which witnessed harmful Israeli restrictions on the movement of the population, as today’s talk is about human rights, including freedom of movement.  

Mr. Johansen stressed that the Norwegian government is proud to support the cooperation between An-Najah National University and Oslo Metropolitan University. He also mentioned that Access to Information is the key to the improvement of human rights globally.  

Ruben André Johansen, First Secretary of Political Affairs at the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority. (Photo: Aseel Kilani)  

He pointed out that although all countries of the world pledge the citizens’ right to access information, many countries impose laws restricting this right. In addition, he stressed the importance of Access to Information in avoiding false information to which journalists are vulnerable. He also mentioned the protests taking place in Iran to activate this right. 

Mr. Ruben concluded his speech with stressing on the importance of human rights in light of the Israeli occupation attacks, and praised 7amleh Foundation, which tirelessly works to preserve human rights. “I am sure that this conference will succeed,” he said. 

 Many of the participants. (Photo: Aseel Kilani) 

In the second session of the conference, Dr. Saeed Shaheen, Head of Media Department at Hebron University, Dr. Islam Halayqa, Lecturer at the Department of Radio and TV at An-Najah National University, Mr. Emad Al-Asfar, Director of Media Development Center at Birzeit University, Ms. Kholoud Assaf, News Editor-in-chief of the Palestinian Wafa News Agency and Mr. Mohammed Daraghmeh, Correspondent of Elsharq TV, made presentation on experiences regarding Access to Information in Palestine.  

The speakers stressed the importance of Access to Information as the main pillar of media work, and an urgent need for citizens in their private and public life. The participants called for not succumbing to the information-blocking policies imposed by governments and public and private institutions, and the need to seek information. Mr. Emad Al-Asfar pointed out that the existence of investigative journalism in developed countries proves that withholding information is a practice that is carried out in all countries of the world, including the Western world. 

The students had their own session. (Photo: Aseel Kilani)

The third session was dedicated to young media students at An-Najah, Birzeit, Palestine Technical University (Khadoori) and Hebron universities. The session was moderated by Laith Hasson and Dana Al-Saifi from the Department of Communication & Digital Media at An-Najah National University. As the above mentioned universities were represented by Roaa Khuffash, Loard Hadeed, Dareen Hamd, and Raed Al-Sharif respectively. 

The participants stressed the importance of Access to Information for young journalists and the need to remove all obstacles to the journalist’s work that prevent them from doing their job professionally and effectively.  

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access to information Conference Journalist security

JMIC holds discussions with a team from Uganda

By: Gerald Walulya  

The Chief Executive of Journalism & Media International Centre, Oona Solberg last week held a productive engagement with representatives of the Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University in Uganda.  

The two representatives included, Dr. Aisha Nakiwala Sembatya, the Head of the Department of Journalism and Communication and Dr. Gerald Walulya, the coordinator of JMIC activities in Uganda and a Lecturer at the same institution.  

The two were in Oslo to participate in the 8th International Conference on Safety and Security of Journalists that is celebrated every at Oslomet in commemoration of the International Day to end impunity for crimes committed against journalists. 

Dr. Gerald Walulya to the left, Dr. Aisha Nakiwala Sembatya in the center and to the right Ellen Hofsvang, who is taking over as Project leader of JMIC in 2023 (Photo by: Oona Solberg).

The discussions focused on the evaluation of the five activities JMIC and the Department of Journalism and Communication have implemented in Uganda this year and plans for the next year. 

These activities included two trainings; one focusing on the safety and security of journalists and the other focusing on Access to Information. The other activities included organising a Rig on Press freedom and the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day on May 5 and the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) on September 28. 

Dr. Nakiwala commended the support that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given to her Department through JMIC. She said that her university remains committed to working with JMIC and Oslomet to further improve the skills and knowledge of journalists and journalism students in Uganda. 

JIMC Chief Executive, Oona Solberg commended the team from Makerere University for the effective utilisation of the support they receive from JMIC. 

Since 2017, JMIC has been working with the Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University in Uganda, to train journalists and journalism students in key emerging journalism challenges such as safety and security of Journalists and Access to Information.  

The cooperation between the two institutions has also focused on raising awareness on matters of press freedom and human rights through commemoration of important days such as the World Press Freedom Day and the International Day for Universal Access to Information. 

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access to information Globalization Students

Program for GRJH seminar 24 September 12 noon Oslo, Norway Time: 12.00

Producing podcast and journalism during a Global Pandemic 

Streamed YouTube: Link for audience is: https://youtu.be/EQH1_o5HuDc

  1. 12:00 Intro by students and podcasters Thomas, Åsta, Stine
  2. 12:05 Video greeting from Rector at OsloMet
  3. 12:10 Jordan Gass-Pooré from CNN and WADUP: 

WADUP a Mentorship Program  and  a Solution for a Global Journalist Model during Crises?

Jordan Gass-Pooré
Jordan Gass-Poore’ is a CNN soundproducer. She is an expert on podcast production and investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience in the industry in the US and UK. Jordan is the co-founder of the women-led local news podcast, Local Switchboard NYC. She is also a story coach with WADUP, an international storytelling collective run by young people and creative producers. An alumna of City, University of London’s investigative journalism program, Jordan co-founded the campus radio station, Carrot Radio.

4. 13:00 Craig Templeton from The Guardian Masterclass

Craig Templeton
Craig is an audio journalist, documentary maker, radio producer and the co-founder of Tempo & Talker.  For nearly 20 years he has  made audCio content for BBC Radio – and managed audio projects for The Guardian, The Economist and the Royal Society of Arts.  He has also produced podcast series for some of the biggest bands to come out of the UK, including Pink Floyd, Oasis, and Joy Division/New Order.  His documentary work for the BBC covers a broad range of subjects. Amongst others a programme made during the first UK lockdown on the consequences of our response to Covid-19. Craig once spent an afternoon in Woody Allen’s private screening room in Manhattan. He seemed very tired.

5. 14:00 Jo Healey from BBC

Interviewing During Trauma – The Need for Sensitivity During Crises

Jo Healey
Jo Healey has covered people’s highly sensitive stories for more than thirty years. She was a reporter for newspapers and radio before moving to BBC TV, becoming a senior news journalist. There she devised and introduced Trauma Reporting training for journalists. She is the author of Trauma Reporting, A Journalist’s Guide to Covering Sensitive Stories. The founder of Trauma Work, Jo now trains journalists and media teams all over the world in how best to work with victims, survivors and vulnerable interviewees. (website: www.traumareporting.com)

6. 15:00 Aryana Noroozi Pulitzer Prize Fellow

Covid-19 up-close – visual storytelling during times of crisis

Aryana Noroozi
Aryana Noroozi is a visual storyteller, photojournalist, and digital artist who earned her master’s degree at The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has been featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Aryana worked as a Migration and Refugee Fellow at The GroundTruth Project where she discovered her passion for solutions- journalism. Aryana utilized this reporting along with documentary photography to cover education within and the representation of San Diego’s refugee communities during COVID-19. Most recently, her photography and writing focus on overcoming the odds of addiction in the American Midwest.

7. 15:45 Conclusion  – a Global Goodbye by OsloMet students: Thomas, Åsta & Stine

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access to information

Access to information in the time of corona

portrait of woman inn hijab

Journalists from Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia logged in to attend a eight month course in access to information 8 April.

Under the headline Supporting the Right to Information and Investigative Journalism while Fighting COVID-19 in the Maghreb the training was organized by Article 19 MENA. 

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access to information

Collaboration with Kabul University

Youssof Ghafoorzai and Rector Curt Rice sign a letter of intent on
cooperation between Kabul University and OsloMet.
Ambassador Youssof Ghafoorzai and Rector Curt Rice sign a letter of intent on
cooperation between Kabul University and OsloMet.

OsloMet has signed a letter of intent with Kabul University in Afghanistan on cooperation in research and education.
On February 2, Rector Curt Rice and Afghan Ambassador Youssof Ghafoorzai signed a Memorandum of Understanding between OsloMet and Kabul University. The Rector of Kabul University was also present online.

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access to information

Foreign Minister to OsloMet

Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide greeted Rector Curt Rice
Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide greeted Rector Curt Rice (Photo: Thomas Johnstone

The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide came to OsloMet to open the seminar A right to know. How can we ensure reliable information in times of crisis? Thursday 2 October 2020.