2015 UNESCO/SMEX Online Course for Arab Digital Journalists

Application Deadline: July 20th 2015

UNESCO and SMEX  are developing an Arabic-language online course and open curriculum for independent media, designed by working Arab digital journalists for aspiring Arab digital journalists.

The eight-week course, delivered via a refreshed version of NetHawwal.com, will cover a range of topics, including a review of some basics with a digital spin, and new paths in journalism, such as data visualization and mobile reporting.

Development of the course is supported by UNESCO in the framework of a project funded by the Finnish Government to promote freedom of expression in the Arab region, as well as the Networks of Mediterranean Youth project (NET-MED Youth)*. Course topics were shaped in collaboration with UNESCO and 13 Arab journalists who completed this open survey.

In addition, participants will complete a companion course in digital security for digital journalists, which will focus on their safety and the safety of their sources, and will be administered in parallel to the thematic module delivered every week.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applications are invited from any of the following countries: Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria (including displaced Syrians), Tunisia, and Yemen.
  • While applicants don’t have to be professional journalists, participants will be selected to some degree on the basis of journalistic work they have already produced. Likely candidates will have a desire to develop mastery of a specific medium and type of journalism.
  • Most important, they will embody the journalistic aspirations of being fair and accurate, while amplifying the voices of those who have been marginalized by their societies’ shortcomings.
  • Balance in terms of gender and geographic distribution across target countries will also be ensured among selected participants.

Planned course modules (and accompanying digital safety topics) include:

Week 1: The Digital Journalist’s Mindset

Week 2: Writing in a Digital World

Week 3: Verification & Attribution of User Generated Content

Week 4: Mobile Reporting

Week 5: Investigative Journalism

Week 6: Data Journalism

Week 7: Entrepreneurial Journalism

Week 8: Planning, Promoting & Measuring the Impact of Your Work


  • A pilot version of the eight-week course will begin August 31.
  • Participants who successfully complete the course will qualify for coaching as they pursue a capstone project.
  • Exceptional participation and production during the course will be rewarded with an invitation to an on-site workshop with top-level digital journalists in Beirut.

Apply Now for the 2015 UNESCO/SMEX Online Course for Arab Digital Journalists

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the UNESCO/SMEX Online Course for Arab Digital Journalists


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