Interview with: Malek Khadraoui, Journalist, Directorial Editor of Inkyfada web magazine and trainer in online journalism
Interviewd by: IPSI, Tunisia
1. For Malek Khadraoui, managing editor of the Tunisian site Inkyfada information, education in electronic journalism faces two challenges:
- Teaching journalism and teaching the techniques that the Internet provides, that is to say, teaching two areas; one is old, and the other is new.
- He emphasised that the foundations of journalism have not changed, set against the fact that technological tools are changing at an incredible rate. According to him, for the teacher, it is a challenge: how to teach these new tools and make them useful. The answer is to adapt the curriculum to these new services. “A reporter may have to cover an event using [his/her] own mobile phone, and if you do not follow these developments, it will never happen to provide the information.” These techniques must be integrated into the university curriculum for future journalists.
- This requires flexible management of the curriculum and adaptation from one semester to another. “This is what makes teaching journalism more difficult, but at the same time, it provides teachers with endless possibilities,” he notes. He added that young students themselves must quickly adapt to new technologies.
2. For electronic media
- Education must be introduced thorough laboratories, with students working on concrete projects.
- “The primary goal of a journalist is to produce information. So you have to put the student in practice right away.” Malek offers the idea that theoretical lessons can be combined with practice, from concrete cases to reminders of the theoretical concepts.
- Malek Khadraoui believes that one day, the lectures could be provided online or in other formats, based on interference between the theoretical and practical.
2. Status of the journalist
- With new technology, the journalist has lost his/her status and the distance that separates him/her from the reader. The status of the journalist is shocked by the immediacy of the reaction on the social networks. “Interactivity is instantaneous, and it requires the journalist to get right into the after sales service,” he said.
- “The relationship between the journalist and the reader is definitely broken, and it is essential today to find ways to manage the interaction more seriously.” This, the managing editor of Inkyfada sees as the use of social networks.
- In his view, the online journalism curriculum must integrate comment moderation methods, with respect for freedom of expression and ethical rules. The best practices for managing relationships with readers must be integrated into training, he has said.