Reporting in a fledgling democracy: our first project begins in Tunisia

This week The Journalism Foundation’s first project gets off the ground in Tunis where we are running two two-day courses for Tunisian journalists with the broad title of “Reporting in a Democracy.”

We have 20 journalists coming this morning from all manner of media – radio, newspapers, the national news agency, web television, online news sites and blogs – to a conference room here in Tunis.

To get here we have had weeks of discussions with Tunisian journalists about what help they need as their media undergoes a dramatic change of shape in the wake of the fall of the Ben Ali dictatorship just over a year ago.

They have been the drivers of the course. Their overwhelming requirement was for practical help as they learn to embrace real news reporting in a world where you print what the public wants to know rather than what the rulers want to say. It is on this that our course, run by journalism professors from London’s City University, will concentrate.

Ivor Gaber, City’s director of political journalism, will start things off with a description of reporting in a democracy – how to breakdown and prioritise material and how to avoid being deceived. The group will discuss “spin” and how to find the truth in the labyrinth of PR and propaganda.

Charlotte Kan, a business journalist, will then deal with financial reporting and the role of financial journalism in a democracy. In other words, why you must follow the money.

Tomorrow the course will look at citizen journalism and social networking and then at regional journalism.

To find out more click here

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