More than 10,000 journalists across the Middle East and North Africa will learn to identify social media solutions that will strengthen the quality of reporting and help them make stronger connections with their audiences, through an initiative of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Facebook Journalism Project.
The Social Media Solutions program, now in its second year, will equip journalists with the latest tools to sort fact from fiction on social media platforms. The curriculum will cover four key areas: verification, security, engagement and storytelling.
Experts will train participants how to identify fake accounts, secure their digital footprint, and involve audiences in the news gathering process, among other critical skills.
Trainers will lead in-person workshops in countries where we saw the highest demand, including Lebanon, Morocco, and Jordan. This year, the number of online trainings will increase from four to six to reach journalists throughout the region.
Since last year, ICFJ and Facebook Journalism Project have trained 6,797 journalists from 37 countries in the region. About 800 of these journalists attended in-person workshops.
“MENA journalists tell us that they want more training on how to effectively and safely combat rampant misinformation on social media” said Sharon Moshavi, ICFJ’s Senior Vice President for New Initiatives. “We are excited to partner with the Facebook Journalism Project to help fill this gap so that journalists in the region can better serve their audiences.”
Indeed, the need for digital and social media training is acute in the MENA region. A new ICFJ study, the State of Technology in Global Newsrooms, found that more than half of the newsrooms surveyed are struggling to build trust and establish a loyal audience. More than 60% are also concerned about digital security. Globally, nearly two-thirds of journalists said they want more training on social media to fact-check information and engage audiences.
The program is part of the Facebook Journalism Project, which supports journalists by developing products and providing tools and trainings for journalists and newsrooms around the world.
“We are deeply committed to work with publishers and journalists across the region to find new digital business opportunities, train journalists and ensure the media feel best equipped to use our platforms and tools,” said Fares Akkad, Director of Media Partnerships Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Facebook. “We are proud of our partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) that is helping fight misinformation and low-quality content.”
Journalists in the MENA region can participate in a training workshop by signing up here.
News organizations, universities, and journalism associations can partner with us in this program by signing up here.
ICFJ empowers a global network of journalists to produce news reports that lead to better governments, stronger economies, more vibrant societies and healthier lives.
About the Facebook Journalism Project:
The Facebook Journalism Project was created in January 2017 to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry. FJP is dedicated to ensuring high quality journalism thrives by delivering value through new products, partnerships with the news industry and programs. FJP works in three ways: collaborative development of new products; providing tools and trainings for journalists; and providing tools and trainings for people.