Bahrain set to host the Gulf’s first journalism centre

The Gulf’s first dedicated journalism training centre is to be established in Bahrain as part of a plan to foster Middle East talent.

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By  Steve Wrelton Published  April 16, 2006

The Gulf’s first dedicated journalism training centre is to be established in Bahrain as part of a plan to foster Middle East talent. The Institute of Journalism, as it will be known, is expected to open its doors in the Seef area of Manama to 15 students in January next year. The institute, which will be run in partnership with London’s City University, will offer post-graduate diplomas in newspaper, magazine, television and radio, and digital journalism. Short courses for working journalists and those employed in public relations will also be available. Abdullah Jonathan Wallace, director of the institute and former editor-in-chief of the Middle East Economic Digest, said it would provide a much-needed centre of excellence for the Middle East. “One of the fastest growing industries in the region is the media and one of the greatest needs of the industry is for home-grown journalists,” he said. “At the moment the only way that publishers and television stations can operate is by bringing in people from the outside. Our task is not only to increase standards of journalism among local people in the Gulf, but also to raise standards of journalism in general.” He added: “At the moment there’s no real reporting by nationals on their own communities and that has got to change.” Wallace said that the institute would be owned and managed by a collection of 10 publishers and television companies, including the Saudi Research and Marketing Group. Lecturers from London will make visits to teach students and to oversee the institute’s progress. Wallace said that, while there are educational institutions that offer media courses in the region, there are no stand alone centres which are dedicated to the training of those seeking to be journalists.

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