Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change
University of Tripoli students use the media lab work stations during the March 26 launch event for the media training facility. (Photo: Ibrahim El-Mayet)
British Ambassador to Libya Michael Aron, right, prepares to be interviewed by students in the University of Tripoli media lab training studio, at the March 26 launch of the facility. (Photo: Ibrahim El-Mayet)
Students tour the University of Tripoli media lab studio during the March 26 launch. (Photo: Ibrahim El-Mayet)
“In Libya we are in need of young well-trained journalists,” Culture Minister Habib al-Amin said. “We know journalism is not an easy job, but we want to use it as a weapon that brings hope to us.”
The minister was speaking last week at the launch of a new Media Lab which will provide hands-on training for hundreds of Libyan journalism students who are about to take up careers in the country’s fast-growing media industry.
The Media Lab, the first “skills incubator” of its kind, was set up by IWPR in partnership with the University of Tripoli. It provides a modern learning environment with up-to-date television and radio broadcasting equipment, training studios and individual workstations where students will be able to create content under the tutelage of dedicated teaching staff.
“I’m very impressed by how it turned out. A few months ago it was completely empty, but now it is full of life and the hope of building a new media in Libya that starts from universities,” said Dr. Al-Madani Dakheel, head of the University of Tripoli.
A lab curriculum providing 100 hours of instruction for each student per year will supplement the existing four-year course of media studies at the universities, and give graduates a solid foundation in basic TV, audio and print/online production. In addition, up to 50 students will be selected for internships with IWPR’s media partners around Libya, giving them real-time newsroom experience.
The trainees will go on to join the first post-Gaddafi generation of professional journalists, operating in a difficult environment.
“The media in Libya was part of the revolution,” British ambassador Michael Aron said at the launch event. “We see that there were many incidents where journalists were threatened, kidnapped or even assassinated, and TV stations being attacked. Despite this, I encourage students to learn journalism and practice it, because Libya needs it.”
The Media Lab is part of the 24-month pilot Al-Maidan project, supported by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. A second Media Lab at Zawiya University, west of Tripoli, will launch this summer.
The Media Lab can be found online on a purpose-built digital platform that will feature student-generated content.
Media student Hajer al-Zahri interviewed both Ambassador Aron and university head Dakheel at the launch event.
“I’ve never done an interview before, and the presence of the lab encouraged me to try,” she said.
For further information about the Al-Maidan project and IWPR’s other work in Libya, contact Duncan Furey, IWPR International Partnerships Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
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