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January 31, 2024

Dubai Press Club and Google News Initiative join hands to equip region’s journalists with advanced digital skills

The Dubai Press Club (DPC) today hosted a unique training session, conducted in cooperation with the Google News Initiative focused on equipping journalists and media professionals in the region with the knowledge and skills needed to take advantage of advanced digital tools.

The session, titled ‘Digital Reporting Skills & Digital Security’ conducted by Pamela Kesrouani, Teaching Fellow, Google News Initiative, MENA, featured a deep dive into innovative Google tools, such as Pinpoint and Google Earth, which are transforming the way journalists gather and report news. Pinpoint, a tool designed to assist reporters in sifting through large documents, and Google Earth's capabilities in enhancing storytelling with geographical information, are helping journalists create data-driven stories that provide compelling visual context and maintain high standards of factual accuracy.

Another key focus of the session was digital security, a critical concern in today's digital age. Google officials provided insights and practical tips on how to secure online accounts and protect sensitive information. The session reinforced the importance of cybersecurity for journalists dealing with confidential sources and data.

The session, also delved into how journalists can use Google Trends to explore what audiences are interested in and identify unique story ideas. Kesrouani illustrated how journalists can leverage this tool to understand reader interests and current news trends, enabling them to create more relevant and engaging content.

Mahfoudha Abdullah bin Selem, Manager of Media Programme Development and Media Training, Dubai Press Club, said: “The session forms part of the Dubai Press Club’s commitment to supporting the media community with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in the digital world. In partnership with the world’s leading media players, the DPC has created a learning platform designed to raise professional excellence in the region’s media industry. Our collaboration with the Google News Initiative reflects our commitment to fostering a community of well-informed and technologically skilled journalists and media professionals. Empowering journalists with digital tools and security knowledge is vital for the future of media, and we are dedicated to advancing this."

Joyce Baz, Google’s Head of Communications and Spokesperson, said: “Google has a long history of supporting journalists in the Middle East and North Africa through trainings and funding to drive innovation in reader engagement and new business models. Google has trained more than 15000 journalists, students and media professionals in digital tools for news gathering and fact checking, and we're committed to keep doing more to elevate the news industry in the region.”

Participants found the knowledge and insights shared at the session beneficial in enhancing their skills to effectively navigate and excel in the digital journalism sphere.

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