Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil told participants at an Arab Media Forum (AMF) 2012 workshop that academics must get up to speed and not deride the importance of social media.
Some panelists and members of the audience said online media users could not be described as journalists since they don’t have the requisite academic and professional qualifications.
But, Abu-Fadil argued, many Arab journalism schools lacked resources and because of their poor curricula were turning out functional illiterates by not providing students with the knowledge base and skills for today’s exploding media market.
Additionally, faculty members were often below par and incapable of keeping up with the times, hence their aversion to digital advances, social media, and inability to incorporate them in their programs.
The workshop — which preceded the two-day event’s official opening — focused on whether social and online media users had become journalists by instinct.
Talk show host Zeina Yazigi (Twitter @zyazigi) of Dubai TV interviewed Abu-Fadil on her show “Al Shari’ Al Arabi” (The Arab Street) to discuss the impact of online and social media on Arabs in the wake of revolutions gripping the region and whether citizen journalists posed serious competition to traditional media.