The Doha Centre for Media Freedom has concluded a three-day workshop on how to overcome certain weaknesses in terms of journalism ethics and conduct.
The event, which was attended by 14 media professionals in Qatar, took place at the Wyndham Grand Regency Hotel in Doha
The goals of the training, led by media expert Yasser Abdel Aziz, were to describe international standards for journalism and to reassess the quality of journalism in Qatar.
Jan Keulen, Director of the Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF), chaired the opening assembly. After welcoming the participants, Keulen recalled that the workshop was launched at a time when Arab media, and particularly those of Qatar, are facing new challenges, and stressed that journalists should be committed to professional work ethics.
During this three-day workshop, participants studied practical cases and were instructed how to improve their writing skills.
Yasser Abdulaziz began the session with a list of stories that had recently made the headlines. He then presented different types of articles and journalistic genres – from news stories to political commentaries and features – and how to tackle print coverage of controversial subjects.
"The media enable people to access information and help countries develop. Journalists must deliver complete, balanced and impartial information to their readers, listeners and viewers'', he said.
To him, the principles of quality journalism are:
- Title - Abdulaziz said titles engage the audience and give a hint on the tone and nature of the article. Titles must be short, clear and catchy.
- Articles should be written in full knowledge and in the context of their own and with the same objectivity and impartiality as for other material.
- Journalists must strive to be balanced in their newsrooms.
- Protecting your sources: confidentiality is one major privilege of journalism. Journalists are expected to protect the anonymity of their sources.
- Avoid deliberate disinformation, defamation and unfounded accusations.
- Journalists must act responsibly. They must ensure the veracity of the facts before issuing opinions or making negative comments.
- Finally Abdulaziz insisted that journalists should only report on facts which they know of and must not disclose a hate speech or stir up violence.
In his closing speech, Jan Keulen thanked the participants and praised the success of the session. He re-iterated the Doha Centre for Media Freedom’s full support for the Qatari media.
This article was translated from French.