Arabic Newspapers Collaborate on “Visual Journalism”

The World Association of Newspapers and the United Nations agency UNESCO have organised a seminar on visual journalism in Morocco to encourage collaboration among newspapers in the region and to increase professionalism in the Arabic language press.

During the five-day seminar, held with Morocco’s ISIC journalism school last week, Moroccan media professionals and journalism students were introduced to the concept of visual journalism by colleagues from the United Arab Emirates. The workshop dealt with the relationship between newspapers designers and the editorial team, the role of photography in the Arab press and how to create a style book for a newspaper.

“One of the aims of WAN in the Arab world is to increase collaboration between newspapers from different countries, to exchange ideas and experiences,” said Kajsa Törnroth, Director of Press Development Programmes at the Paris-based WAN. “The Arabic-language press in Morocco is in need of support to develop professionally, and WAN is proud to be part of this first initiative, which will hopefully lead to other similar projects in the future.”

“There is a great need for training in this area,” said one of the participants, underlining that Arabic language newspapers in Morocco lack design skills. “This workshop allowed us to discover what one can do in the field of newspaper design, and how this influences the overall quality of a newspaper.”

The two trainers, Ramzi Rajab, Art Director at the Emarat Al Youm daily, and Bassel Al Rafayah, Managing Editor at Emarat Al Youm, focused on the design process and the role design should play in the overall editorial process of a newspaper.

“Even if the Moroccan media environment is very different to that of the UAE, the trainers showed what can be done with limited resources. The introduction to the artistic process was very interesting, and inspired me to learn more,” said a participant.

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