Tunisia: New handbook for journalists and instructors | Africa | DW | 09.07.2013
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Tunisia: New handbook for journalists and instructors

A new handbook on basic and advanced training for Tunisian journalists has just been published and is the result of a two-year endeavor. DW Akademie is the co-publisher.

"Manuel de couverture des événements politiques" has just been launched in French and Arabic. The handbook focuses on covering political events and is aimed at journalism instructors and students at Tunisia's "Institut de Presse et des Sciences de l’Information" (IPSI) at the Université de Manouba. The university is located on the outskirts of Tunis and the IPSI is considered to be Tunisia's leading training institute for up-and-coming journalists.

Within days after Tunisia's former president Ben Ali fled the country in January 2011, DW Akademie coordinators flew to Tunis to attend a meeting hosted by Germany's Friedrich Ebert Foundation. There they established initial contacts with media representatives, including the IPSI.

Project with two goals

After receiving a grant from the EU's "European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights" DW Akademie and the IPSI started on a joint project. The focus was two-fold: to improve political and election coverage in Tunisia, and to strengthen IPSI's capacities over the long term. Under Ben Ali, there had been almost no training on political coverage; this has changed and the institute's new hands-on approach is quickly showing results.

Präsentation des Journalisten-Handbuchs in Tunis. Ein Projekt des IPSI und der DW Akademie in Tunesien.(Juni 2013, Foto: Bernd Rößle).

Johann Müller (DW Akademie), Janine Stolpe-Krüger (DW Akademie), Taoufik Yacoub (Director of IPSI), and IPSI-project coordinators Hamida El Bour and Moez Ben Messaoud at the press conference

This approach is clearly reflected in the new, 250-page handbook. It is aimed primarily at those working in the field. There are tips on developing curricula and lesson plans as well as an overview of various journalistic skills. The book's introduction briefly looks at Tunisia's former and now changing media environment, and is followed by chapters on skills needed for print, television, online and photo journalism.

Clear layout, greater confidence

The handbook is well structured and easy to follow. Icons point to tips and details, and there are numerous exercises and suggestions for those wanting to teach journalism or work as journalists themselves.

The IPSI is also planning to publish an English edition in order to attract a wider audience and have a greater effect. This not only shows that the IPSI is pleased with the DW Akademie joint project, but that it increasingly sees itself as a training institute that could also make an impact beyond Tunisia's borders.

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