Seven journalism aficionados rounded up 2012 events with a Google Hangout session to review the Arab Journalism Award’s (AJA) development and impact.
AJA judges and recipients discussed the Arabic language as a standard for evaluating published materials, the importance of keeping up with technological advances, and the evolution of social and digital media as inseparable parts of journalism ahead of the award’s 12th run in May 2013.
The virtual meeting dubbed “Journey to Honor Creativity” was chaired December 30 by the AJA’s manager Muna Busamra to feature the award’s growing importance in the Arab world and its effect on the region’s journalists.
Participants included Saudi media researcher Fahed Al Harithi, Saudi journalist Nahed Bashatah (one of the first women to be honored), Egyptian journalist/recipient Ali Zalat, Egyptian journalist/recipient Walaa Nabil, Emirati journalist/recipient Mohammad Aljoker, and Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil.
Abu-Fadil, a former board member and panel judge of the AJA, was instrumental in introducing investigative and online journalism categories to the award.
She also stressed the importance of regular training for journalists to ensure their skills remain up to par in a fast-changing media landscape.
The Arab Journalism Award is administered by the Dubai Press Club under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashed Al Maktoum. Prizes are traditionally awarded at the end of the annual Arab Media Forum in Dubai.