Al-Masry Al-Youm is running a free, four-day-long training on citizen journalism in Alexandria, giving citizens a lesson in video shooting, montage, interviewing, script writing, and directing. The workshop aims to encourage non-professional journalists to contribute writing, photography, and video reports to the newspaper’s website, which allows the public to post videos as part of its “citizen journalism” program.
So far, the results seem good.
Raouf Saad, an author, saw an ad for the workshop in the newspaper and decided to give it a try. He was surprised to find himself accepted to the class, despite his age–73.
“I had no self-confidence,” Saad said, “but the workshop enabled me to leave my computer–which I spend most of my time in front of.” He said that the workshop has freed him from his apprehension about working with video.
Thirteen Alexandrians participated in the first stage of the workshop and obtained certificates of participation from Al-Masry Al-Youm. They worked on video projects showing aspects of life in Alexandria.
For example, Gaber Ramadan, an accountant, who had never been exposed to journalism training or video production, made a video report about how playing sports affects elderly people.
Another participant, Mohamed Abdel Fattah Ibrahim made a video about the parking area for micro-bus drivers. “I felt a big difference after the workshop and learned a lot from it,” Ibrahim said.
Shaimaa Sami Zaki, a student in the Faculty of Commerce at Alexandria University, said that the workshop taught her how communicate news to people, including how to choose the best shooting location and the best lighting, as well has how to provide information to the people with the simplest means possible.
Al-Masry Al-Youm is running the workshop because the newspaper believes in the importance of citizen journalists covering events when professional journalists are not there.
Al-Masry Al-Youm intends to organize more free training workshops. Participants will be selected based on their ideas and eagerness.
Al-Masry Al-Youm’s website provides readers with an opportunity to give an account of stories from their perspective. Create an account, click the “log in” button, move to “my personal account,” then click the link http://www.almasryalyoum.com/user. From here, the reader can find links for publishing videos, images, and caricatures. A user can publish his video by clicking on the “publish with us” link, which leads him to the publishing form. Filling the form, the user has to give a title and provide a story for his video, then save the data.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.