Journalists Need Digital Skills and Traditional Grounding: Abu-Fadil

Today’s journalists are expected to have multimedia digital skills but must also abide by the principles of accuracy, fairness, balance, humanity and ethics, Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil told French magazine Défense.

“Today’s journalists are required to do more because of the available technology, because of budget cutbacks, and because of the 24/7 news cycle,” she said, adding that in the old days jobs were clearly defined – there was the reporter and there was the photographer or video cameraman/woman.

Interview with Abu-Fadil in Défense magazine.

Interview with Abu-Fadil in Défense magazine. 

There’s a crisis of confidence in both traditional and other media due to a lack of professionalism by many journalists as well as the political and economic pressures they face, Abu-Fadil noted in the March/April 2016 issue of the publication.

Citizen journalists – ordinary people with mobile devices like smartphones – are often the first on the scene of a disaster or event and transmit their content like photos, videos, texts – immediately through social media before traditional journalists can cover what is happening.

So it’s imperative for journalists to be able to interact with their audiences through social media and to produce high quality content using mobile devices to get the message out in a timely fashion across different platforms, she said.

The complete interview is available here [PDF].

Lebanese Students Taste Investigative Journalism

Twenty-one students got an introduction to investigative journalism and its role in enhancing citizenship at a workshop in Lebanon’s northern port city of Tripoli.

The one-day training involved definitions of investigative journalism, duties and responsibilities of investigative journalists, and how to become reporters covering that beat.

MU director with AUT, LCAC officials and students

Participants were also briefed on how to dig for information, ideas that could be developed into investigative reporting projects, computer-assisted research and reporting (a/k/a data-driven journalism), and skills to evaluate documents and figures.

A final session was dedicated to interviewing techniques and media ethics.

The workshop in November 2012 was conducted by Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil and organized by the Lebanese Center for Active Citizenship as part of the latter’s “Our Right to Know” campaign.

Abu-Fadil explains fine points of investigative journalism

The students hailed mainly from the American University of Technology’s  Tripoli and Halat campuses. A lawyer/student and a reporter from Beirut also joined the group.