Rural Aleppo: Journalistic Training targets Over 200 Activists and Media Field staffers

Photography training course in northern rural Aleppo – June 2019 (Enab Baladi)

Photography training course in northern rural Aleppo – June 2019 (Enab Baladi)


Rural Aleppo- The Union of Syrian Media (USM), consisting of a number of activists and media field staffers in rural Aleppo, which Turkey runs administratively, has launched a series of training courses targeting activists and media personalities operating in the area, who wish to acquire new knowledge of the domain and sharpen the skills they have attained in the past years.  

USM stated that the courses aim to “elevate media work and back the area with new media staffs, for beneficiaries would amount to more than 200 media staffers in the different fields of specialty.”

The courses are media specific, with various areas of focus, including the basics of photography, composing a television report, basics of montage, voiceover, basics of journalistic editorial compositions, images speak, an introduction to the science of journalism, basics of motion graph, basics of graphic design and cybersecurity.

Omar Hafez, the Director of the Training and Development Office of USM, said that the mentioned step aims to improve the members’ skills and enhance their capacities and informing the fresh participants of the media field and its diverse domains, as well as encouraging specializing “which means creativity”, as he described it.

The training courses seek to come up with job opportunities for the members of USM, for diplomas will be given to trainees and persons wishing to take steps in the field of media while having no previous experience, Hafez told Enab Baladi.

In October 2017, when northern and eastern rural Aleppo was bearing witness to a state of stabilization, media personalities and activities sought to tune up the media work. These efforts were, back then, crowned with a founding conference, during which the members of the General Assembly were elected, as to manage a new body called the “Union of Syrian Media”.

The founding conference was held in the city of al-Bab, north of Aleppo, and in a former interview with Enab Baladi, Sa’ad al-Sa’ad, the member of the General Assembly of the emerging union, said that the union started as an idea proposed by “pro-revolution” media personalities in northern Aleppo.

Sa’ad added that the union’s participants are divided into three categories: The first includes those who worked in the field of media since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution; the second includes the founding committee which attended the conference, in addition to media workers who have more than a year and a half of experience and wish to be members. The third, however, includes persons who have been practicing media for less than a year, and “these do not have the right to participate in the elections of the General Assembly.”

Moves to Bridge the Gap

The media activist Abdulghani Kabsso, a participant in the photography course, believes that the training initiated by USM are good to a “certain extent”, for there is not a university of media in the area, or specialized institutes.

The media activist, who works at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, added that the trainers are “specialized and have the needed expertise.”

For their part, the trainees belong to two categories, the media activist said, explaining to Enab Baladi that the first cover those whose experience is yet very minimum and are willing to sharpen and enhance their skills. The second category consists of persons with no media experience at all and wish to find their way into the field, even if it meant a modest presence.

Abdulqader Mohammad, a media activist in northern rural Aleppo, agrees with Abdulghani that the field of media has a major role in the Syrian revolution. In the past a few years, countless media activists have emerged, who made a profession of media to report the news and the happenings in their regions.

Several activists have reached advanced levels of experience and would like to expand their knowledge, he pointed out.

The current courses, Mohammad said to Enab Baladi, “are effective and have a great impact on the media work in rural Aleppo, particularly revolutionary media work.”

The USM announced the latest of its events in March this year, as it paid a visit to the headquarters of the Anadolu Agency in the capital Ankara, to discuss the possibility of enrolling the union’s staffs in academic training courses.

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