Professor signs book on geopolitics in the media

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‘A Tour of the World’s Political Map’ mixes geopolitical information and helpful advice on news writing

Aref Hijjawi, a professor of media at Birzeit University, held a book signing for his new book, “A Tour of the World’s Political Map,” on Thursday, May 10, 2018. 

The book explains, in easy-to-understand terms, each country’s political history and the major events that still affect its present situation to this day. The book, despite delving into sensitive political situations, uses a neutral, impartial language that is necessary for the book’s guiding nature. 

Hijjawi, who spent a lifetime in such esteemed media organizations as Al Jazeera and the BBC, presents journalists with advice on approaching geopolitical news coverage. 

“The purpose of this book,” writes Hijjawi in the introduction of the book, “is to be a source of useful information and to draw attention to issues in politics and geography. It is mainly aimed at journalists.” 

Hijjawi notes, in the book, that good news writing is one that is honest, accurate, and provides in-depth information in an easy-to-understand template. 

On the journey to becoming an editor, Hijjawi remarked that it’s a path that is both arduous and rewarding. In the book, he writes that, at 19 years old, he went to Jerusalem and knocked on the door of “Jaredat Al-Sha’b” (The People’s Newspaper), and demanded to speak to the editor.

“The editor asked me: ‘What do you want?’”, mentions Hijjawi in his book.  “I replied, ‘To be an editor.’ He gave me a stack of papers that had some news pieces sourced from agencies and radio shows. I read it quickly and hastily pieced together a news article that I headlined ‘Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad heads to Moscow tomorrow.’ He edited the article, crossed out the headline, and wrote ‘Al-Assad in Moscow tomorrow,’” says Hijjawi of his first experience as an editor. 

MDC Director Nibal Thawabteh said that this extended edition, printed by the Center with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), is published as part of an agreement with Hijjawi, who originally published the book in cooperation with Al-Jazeera Media Institute.