IJNet Arabic Training Network Powered by Google News Initiative

Closing the Gap: The program will reach 4,000 journalists in six countries throughout the MENA region.

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is partnering with the Google News Initiative on a large-scale effort to strengthen the digital know-how of thousands of journalists across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Participants in the program will learn the most effective ways to gather and source information, enhance trust and verification, use data for stories and apps, and embrace immersive storytelling.

About the Program

The program is being offered through IJNet Arabic, an ICFJ platform that brings the latest training opportunities, tips and resources to journalists. IJNet Arabic's strong following in the MENA region, along with its network of instructors, has made it a valuable resource for journalists who are looking to reinvent their skills. Combining IJNet Arabic's reach and loyal audience with Google's digital leadership, the program will: 

  • Identify and nurture a core group of nine digital media trainers who will offer training on Google tools and others. 

  • Equip 4,000 journalists across countries in the Arab world with the latest digital tools and resources.   

The need for digital training is acute. A recent ICFJ study, The State of Technology in Global Newsrooms, found that only 29 percent of newsrooms in MENA regularly use multiple platforms to distribute stories - trailing those in the rest of the world; 56 percent are struggling to build trust with audiences and 77 percent are concerned about their ability to create quality content. 

Program Activities

Phase 1 - Virtual Training: The IJNet Arabic webinars were led by expert ICFJ mentors and a Google trainer and were open to all journalists in the MENA region. Participants learned key concepts and tools in information gathering and sourcing, trust and verification, data journalism, and immersive storytelling. The webinars took place on Wednesday, May 2 and Thursday, May 3.

Phase 2 - Training of Trainers: The most promising journalists from Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia who took part in the webinars will be invited to participate in a two-day workshop hosted by Google in Dubai, where they will gain the skills needed to become digital media trainers. 

Phase 3 - In-Country Training: The digital media trainers will lead workshops and newsroom trainings in their home countries with continued coaching from expert mentors. The top trainers will also conduct trainings at up to three regional media events to benefit a wider array of MENA professionals.


The program is designed to reach a wide scope of journalists, digital media professionals, entrepreneurs, activists and university students from all countries across MENA region. After participants complete the webinar, they will be invited to apply for the 'training of trainers' session in Dubai to become a digital media trainer.

Interested candidates must complete a brief program application to apply to take part in the digital journalism webinar. 

Those who successfully complete the webinar will then be invited to apply to become a digital media trainer and will be sent application instructions via email.

In Partnership with:





Program Dates:
3/26/2018 - 2/28/2019
Program Type
Online Course