ERIS organises UK media study tour for senior Algerian journalists

April 2013

“I want to thank ERIS, it has been a pleasure to have attended this study tour. It has been better than other study tours I’ve attended. ERIS has put the British media on a plate and served it up to us. Thank you.”

                  

          Discussing Question Time with David Dimbleby © Sarah Fradgley  
         

Seven senior editors and journalists from Echorouk TV in Algeria took part in a political journalism study tour to the UK between 16-26 March.

The study tour to the UK was part of a two-year project, implemented by ERIS and financed by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Arab Partnership Fund, to assist in the development of the independent TV station, Echorouk.


                 

Echorouk journalist Hichem Meddad on set, BBC Question Time © Sarah Fradgley

The aims of the study tour were

  • To provide senior editors at Echorouk TV with a broad overview of the political and media landscape in the UK
  • To allow discussion with senior editors and media commentators on the challenges of reporting politics
  • To encourage the importance of neutrality and impartiality
  • To learn from editors at the very top of their profession on how to produce creative and relevant journalism that engages the general public.

Over the course of the study tour, journalists from Echorouk met with a wide range of editors and politicians in the UK, including:

the Editor of the BBC’s Daily and Sunday Politics, Robbie Gibb; BBC Panorama’s John Sweeney; the Controller of BBC Parliament, Peter Knowles; Partner at Portland Communications and former Political Editor of The Sun, George Pascoe-Watson; the Director of the Political Journalism MA at City University, Professor Ivor Gaber; the Deputy Director of Politics at Ipsos MORI, Tom Mludzinski; the Chairman of the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale OBE MP;  the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, The Rt Hon. Simon Hughes MP; the former leader of Plaid Cymru, Lord Wigley of Caernarfon; former BBC Political Correspondent, Nicholas Jones; and the Editor of The Andrew Marr Show, Barney Jones.


 

Talking politics, the media and Leveson with the Right Hon Simon Hughes MP © Djamel Oumeddour 


Echorouk journalists also travelled to York to watch the rehearsals and recording of BBC Question Time, and watched the production and transmission of The Andrew Marr Show. There was also a tour around the Palace of Westminster, an insight into local government with the former Mayor of Islington, Mouna Hamitouche MBE (from Algeria), and interviews on BBC World Service Radio’s ‘Music Box’ programme.
 
Echorouk TV is now one-year old, having been launched by the Echorouk Media Group in March 2012. The visit to the UK in March 2013 builds on two training sessions with Echorouk conducted by ERIS in Algeria in October and November 2012.
 

Echorouk journalists meet Barney Jones, Editor of the Andrew Marr show © Djamel Oumeddour


Feedback from the journalists was positive, and ERIS looks forward to continuing its work with Echorouk TV over the year ahead.
 
“A big thanks to ERIS. This is a ‘golden opportunity’ for all of us. We have a background in the printed media, we are new to broadcasting, so this has been a real privilege.”
 
“Who said coming back to the study table was boring? With ERIS it is a pleasure to learn.”
 
“The discussions with all the significant and diverse people we met will help me go forward. We are new in this area of independent and impartial broadcasting, so we can really experience from all our time with the British broadcast media.”

 

Preparing for interview on BBC World Service Radio © Sarah Fradgley