Volunteer in a Journalism Project in Palestine: Volunteers interested in journalism in Palestine will have the opportunity to offer their services in this field and learn a great deal in the process. For up to five weeks volunteers enrolled in this new program will get the chance to organize lectures, classes, and workshops on journalism for Palestinians. In addition, volunteers will be able to visit and study newsrooms and TV and radio news stations based in Hebron and other West Bank cities in order to learn about how journalism is practiced in Palestine. Volunteers of varying levels are all welcome and everyone, whether recently graduated or hardened reporters, will leave with valuable lessons and experiences.
Incoming volunteers will be offered an initial ‘orientation week’ filled with lectures on Palestinian culture and history. Classes on colloquial Palestinian Arabic (“Ammiya”) taken throughout the volunteer’s time in Hebron will also help them communicate with students and journalists, as well as better understand the local culture. Most female volunteers will be connected with a homestay family in Hebron, giving them a chance to integrate into Palestinian daily life. Most male volunteers will stay at the Excellence Center’s men’s dormitory, situated in the building complex of an extended Palestinian family.
Volunteers to Palestine will quickly find it as the focal point for journalists around the world. In addition to daily traffic and weather reports, much of the media coverage of Palestine focuses on the seventy-year conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. The conflict and the resulting occupation of the West Bank has created an environment in which clashes, arrests, protests, and diatribes from politicians have become commonplace. This means there is a great interest on political and military developments in Palestine and a great need for journalists who can accurately report these events. Internationally this creates an issue as much of the news about the conflict is either sensationalized or subject to the biases of the reporters themselves. Too few reporters from British and American news agencies have prolonged experience in Palestine and a true understanding of the local culture and sentiment.
Likewise, Palestinian news agencies face numerous challenges. While there are Arab news agencies like Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, Palestinian news agencies with the best access to the scenes of the conflict often lack the resources of these larger Qatari and Saudi agencies. In addition, the amount of written news reports in Arabic is dwarfed by news in languages that many Palestinians do not understand, such as English and French.
By volunteer in a Journalism project in Palestine, you will not only be helping the Palestinians, by imparting to them needed lessons on how to ethically and effectively communicate news events to the public. You will also be helping yourself. Experience in conflict areas, the Middle East, and Palestine specifically is highly sought after in the news media sector. Learning about the conflict in Palestine and the Palestinian culture and perspective will allow you to more fully and accurate report the conflict in the future. Moreover, it will teach you how to remain impartial, report on contentious issues, and investigate stories in foreign cultures and environments.
We are excited to welcome a new program (volunteer in a Journalism project in Palestine) of international volunteers to the Excellence Center. Please feel free to contact if you have any questions or concerns.