Journalism teachers from Europe and the MENA region met at the Dead Sea in Jordan last week to discuss a sustainability strategy for the regional network of media schools which has been established by the EU-funded MedMedia programme.
Held on May 24-25, the networking event brought together 35 delegates from Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco as well as experts from Spain, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Building on previous meetings held in Casablanca, Helsinki and Cairo over 2015 and 2016, the meeting looked at ways of accessing further funding and establishing exchange programmes for students and teachers.
Participants also discussed the state of journalism education in the Southern Mediterranean Region, drawing on the findings of a report by the Jordan Media Institute (JMI) which will form the basis of an upcoming white paper on this issue.
In his opening remarks, JMI’s Dean, Dr Basim Al Tweissi, said, “There is an urgent need to build sustainable partnerships across this region for better media education. The market is always one step ahead of academia which forces us to constantly update our approach to journalism education.”
The meeting provided an opportunity to highlight various initiatives aimed at promoting best practice in curriculum development. Zahera Harb, from City University in London, introduced her study model which is designed to “mind the gap” and put students in touch with the industry.
MedMedia experts Benoit Califano and Michael Foley, from the ESJ PRO in Montpellier and the Dublin Institute of Technology respectively, highlighted the positive outcomes of new training models and exchange platforms.
Jaume Suau, project manager for MedMedia, presented proposals to maintain the network’s legacy beyond the MedMedia project, including making an application to the Erasmus programme, which was finalised during the meeting.