Solution-driven Regional Water Journalism Workshop - Programme régional sur la sécurité énergétique et le changement climatique au Proche-Orient et en Afrique du Nord
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The online 2-day program comprised of an expert panel discussion broadcasted live for the public, two tailored sessions for the journalists and entrepreneurs, working group sessions, and coaching. The workshop brought together aspiring environmental journalists and media professionals together with green entrepreneurs. The participants were nationals from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and France.
The workshop was initiated by a one hour panel discussion bringing together four key water and journalism experts together with an aspiring young journalist. The panelists discussed the existing gaps in water reporting in the MENA region and the necessity for new pathways for shifting the media focus from the problem to the solution. The members of the panel were: Malak Altaeb, Analyst at Storyzy; Maha Al-Zubi, Researcher on Agriculture and Water Solutions at IWMI; Erica Gies, award-winning science and enviroment journalist; Aline Bussmann, co-director at cewas; and Jon Alterman, Senior Vice-President and director of the Middle East Programme at CSIS.
The journalists were paired with the entrepreneurs to work together towards covering the entrepreneurial solution and the problem it tackles. The groups of journalists and entrepreneurs had the chance to exchange on the innovation each entrepreneur brings and contextualize the problem and the solution on a regional basis. Journalists were then instructed on the criteria for writing their article and were given a one day deadline to submit their articles either in English or Arabic.
Four regional and international jurors, representing media, academia and think tanks working on water and the environment, were provided with the submitted articles to anonymously rate them following an already determined criteria. Three articles were shortlisted to benefit from a one-on-one coaching and polishing session with the renowend regional Environment Journalist, Moustapha Raad. The shortlisted teams were as follows: Lyse Mauvaise, French aspiring journalist based in Jordan, for covering the entrepreneurial solution "AR-ENA" by Nourhan Algharabli from Jordan; Meriem Ben Hamza, Moroccan aspiring journalist for covering the entrepreneurial solution "SmartDrop" by Yaffa Jaradat from Palestine; and Meriem Saoud, Algerian aspiring journalist for covering the entrepreneurial solution "Babil.bot" by Hamdi Hato from Palestine. The winning journalists met with Moustapha Raad together with the entrepreneurs they worked with to discuss further the potential for polishing their articles. They received tailored feedback and a toolkit they need to prepare their articles for final publishing.
The participatory regional workshop provided participants with an opportunity to tackle solution-driven water story coverage, build new relationships and learn from exchanges with other environmental journalists and entrepreneurs from the MENA region and Europe.