Practical, journalistic work investigating the conditions of press freedom in eight countries. This was the content of the Rig on press freedom at An-Najah National University in Nablus, The West Bank, Palestine. The Rig is a learning tool by which students are trained in working practically with journalistic methods learning about the conditions on press freedom. During five intensive days, 64 students worked with journalistic articles about the conditions for press freedom in Marocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Norway.
The hands-on guidance from Elsebeth Frey and Mathias Falch and local teachers lead by Farid Abu Dheir, was welcomed by the Palestinian students, who confirmed that they learned a lot about press freedom, searching for sources and free access photos, doing interviews and making news stories.
“We also learned about working together in a group and the role of journalists,” one student said.
Since many of them had not done such practical work before, they felt the hard pressure of working towards a deadline. Still, students and teachers were content with their oral group presentations and all the articles that will be printed. One of them said at the evaluation of the project: “We learned a lot about journalism. We learned about the Arab world as well, for instance that some journalists are afraid to speak with us”.
This is the first time Associate Professor Elsebeth Frey has taken the Rig on Press Freedom out of Europe. During nine years, she has done the Rig with her Norwegian students. In 2015, she introduced it to colleagues and students in Cannes, France. The same year, the Rig was appointed one of the best pedagogical learning model courses for Transmedia Journalism by Integrated Journalism in Europe (IJIE). The Rig at An-Najah National University in Nablus took place 3–7 December 2017.
Video from Al Najah News: