First, second cohorts of journalists graduate with digital media diploma

Birzeit University’s Media Development Center (MDC) has graduated the first and second cohorts of students enrolled in the digital media diploma program.

The program, launched in 2019 in a special ceremony, is designed to equip students with the digital media skills required in modern news agencies, providing the opportunity for participants to work with new and emerging digital media technologies, tools and equipment.

Dr. Lourdes Habash, Birzeit University’s Vice President for Community Affairs, said in her welcoming speech that the university is making great efforts to prepare professional journalists for a career that is increasingly impacted by digital and online developments.

The diploma in digital media is one of several professional programs the university has launched in the past few years, added Habash, noting that Birzeit University has recently received accreditation to establish a community college for technical and professional education. The college, Habash explained, will provide an intermediate diploma in digital marketing and chemical technology.

Emad Alasfar, the MDC’s acting director, applauded the graduates, who excelled in the center’s top-notch training courses, especially in 360-, VR- and AR-based media production, mobile use, digital marketing, and multimedia and graphic design. Alasfarannounced that the center is preparing for the third cohort of students to enroll in the diploma program, with new courses in podcasting and visual design.

Shireen Abu Aqla, a reporter at Al Jazeera, gave the valedictory speech for the first cohort. She told the story behind her getting back to studying after years of working in the field, explaining that her decision was made because of the need for all journalists to re-understand media and journalism through engagement with digital media products, production processes and technologies.

Rasha Musleh, a journalist,  gave the valedictory speech for the second cohort, saying: “Through this program, we became professionals in photography, production and design. We’ve also learned how to create digital stories using our mobile phones, and we are now capable of using multimedia to enliven our feature stories.”

Alasfar, at the end of the graduation ceremony, thanked all the trainers and academics who took part in the program: Aref Hijjawi, Peter Brueckner, Bashar Shamout, Kevin King, Ala’ Badarneh, Nabil Mizzawi, Mohammad Alawan, Asim Nasir, Mohammad Al Qaq, Najib Zama’reh, Abdel Hafeeth Jaawan, Amjad Samhan, Abed Khouli and Ahmad Barakat.