Media Center Wraps-up “The Radio Story” Course

The Media Center at Birzeit University, in cooperation with Al-Jazeera Media Institute, commemorated the end of “The Radio Story” course. The course, part of the “Al-Jazeera Ambassadors” initiative, was led by the Manager of Editorial Standards at Al-Jazeera Network, Aref Hijjawi.

The four-day, 30-hour training course aimed to introduce students to the lost art of radio storytelling by defining the elements of a radio story and explaining the methods and mechanisms by which a successful radio story is produced.

Hijjawi noted that while radio storytelling has declined in recent years, it is still a viable way of evoking emotions in the audience. He added, “This course is an attempt to revive the age-old art of storytelling in Palestinian radio networks. We have tried to make the course as fun and engaging as we can without while providing both practical and theoretical skills to the students as we always do here in the Media Development Center.”

The course, partially funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), first trained 17 students on small-scale radio productions. The students then chose their own stories to cover, each from his or her own area, made editorial changes as needed, and produced the stories in final form as ready-to-broadcast features.

The Executive Director of the Media Development Center, Nibal Thawabteh, noted that this is the first in a series of courses held in partnership with Al-Jazeera Institute that will bring trainers with international experience to Palestine. She added, “Featuring internationally-acclaimed media experts will only serve to strengthen our students’ skills and knowledge, as well as expose them to a wide variety of experiences and viewpoints - things that are essential to a well-rounded, modern media education.”

The TV Unit Coordinator at the Media Center, Sai’d Abu M’ala, noted the shortage of well-trained radio broadcasters in Palestine and highlighted the course, and the future series as a whole, as an efficient, effective method of increasing the number of qualified broadcasters in the country.