- A new media training network has been launched in Algeria. Journalists representing 10 Algerian dailies have created this network of media trainers to promote quality journalism in the troubled country, where press freedom still is fragile.
The Paris-based African Press Network for the 21st Century (RAP 21) has spoken to Judy Yablonky, an international media trainer and consultant, about the newly established Algerian Network of Journalism Trainers (Le Reseau des Formateurs de la Presse Algérienne). "The network was set up to support continuing professional journalism training for Algerian newspaper journalists," says Ms Yablonky.
According to the RAP 21 report, the network was created at the end of a three-part training programme in Algiers in September and October, which focused on investigative reporting, human rights, and training media trainers.
These sessions, conducted by the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) under Freedom House auspices with USAID funds, effectively formed a "training pyramid" to diffuse information, documentation and techniques throughout the media. Two leading Algerian daily newspapers, 'El Khabar' and 'El Watan', were local partners.
The training pyramid was effective, according to information gathered by RAP 21: "One consultant trained 10 local journalists in investigative journalism and training techniques; nine new trainers ran programmes for 70 local journalists at nine newspapers. Yablonky facilitated the in-house sessions as co-trainer, and critiqued the new trainers' first session. Each new trainer planned five to ten additional sessions."
In a final meeting held to review the initial in-house training sessions, the participants decided to create the new training network.
- The network is an informal association of journalists and newspapers, Ms Yablonky told RAP 21. "It is not a local NGO, and has no plans to register as one; it is not yet a formal professional association, only a loose collection of professionals with similar objectives," she added.
Speaking to RAP 21, Ms Yablonky highlighted the significant need for such a network in Algeria: "Members of the network are willing to work as local coordinators and recruiters for future journalism training programmes in Algeria. There currently exists no other local structure to provide training to members of the media."
- There are no publishers, editors, nor journalists professional associations, she emphasises. The network further is open to additional newspaper and representative journalist members.
According to RAP 21, the new Algerian network already has requested additional training programmes for national newspapers and journalists. Members were reported to be particularly interested in elections coverage training in preparation for Algeria's presidential elections, which are scheduled for 2004.
Additional training on economic reporting, sports reporting, local news coverage, and research on the Internet, as well as the organisation of the editorial desk, also has been requested, the RAP 21 report says.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.