Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reporting Across Borders

I recently had the great good fortune to take part in a conference in Alexandria, Egypt titled "Reporting Across Borders: Freedom of Information in the Digital Age." (Feb. 15-17)

The conference, organised by the International Center for Journalists and supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, drew 40 journalists from around the world. Topics of discussion included religion reporting, freedom of expression and how media can promote dialogue between different cultures. The conference also offered practical workshops on topics such as making good use of new media and opinion writing.

I was invited to speak on a Feb. 17 panel on Islam in Europe and North America. I presented the U.S. perspective alongside journalists from Al Jazeera and Radio France. Some of my notes from the panel discussion are here.

As a conference participant, I was asked to contribute to the FOEDA blog, and also to partner with a journalist from another country to write an article for publication in the mainstream press – making use of new media – that helps build bridges and foster intercultural understanding. I have teamed up with Aisha Algaiar, an Egyptian journalist who writes about women’s issues, family and society for Samra magazine (published by Dar Al-Watan in Kuwait), and we will be writing about autism.

I will post links to our story here after it has been published. (*)

I also have contributed a blog post to hijabskirt.info, the project of some colleagues from the conference.

The conference took place at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina -- a fabulous facility that builds on the legacy of Alexandria's ancient library. The opportunity to meet my professional colleagues from other countries and cultures was truly special, and I am looking forward to working with them to build bridges and foster intercultural understanding in the days, months and years to come.

* Our story was published in Al-Watan, an Arabic language daily newspaper.

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