Cablegate: Mepi Internews Journalism Training On Track

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Post arranged a series of meetings on April 19-22 for
visiting Internews Network Vice President Jeanne
Bourgault and Middle East Regional Director Karim Alrawi
to finalize plans for MEPI-funded journalism training in
Bahrain. The Minister of Information has approved the
training and he has requested that Internews partner with
the Bahrain Journalists Association. The first training
workshop, on basic skills for journalists, is scheduled
for May 22-26, and follow-on training on internet skills
and media management are planned for the fall/winter.
Poloff will nominate a Bahraini attorney to attend a
course on media law in July.

2. Internews staff and PAO engaged with senior Ministry
of Information staff, an editor in chief and two managing
editors, Mass Communications faculty at the University of
Bahrain (recipients of a MEPI university linkage), and
practicing journalists, all of whom stressed that
journalism training is desperately needed in Bahrain. In
addition to developing basic skills, journalists need
expertise in covering democratic institutions, such as
Bahrain's new parliament, as well as business and
economic issues, given the ongoing negotiations for a
Free Trade Agreement. Although this was their first
visit to Bahrain, the Internews staff worked quickly and
effectively with their Bahraini counterparts to lay the
groundwork for the upcoming training. Post was pleased
with their professionalism and responsiveness to program
suggestions and logistical requests.

3. During a meeting with the Communications Department
at the University of Bahrain, Internews VP Bourgault
provided needed expertise and advice on equipment
purchases and training for the University's new Media
Center (currently under construction). The Media Center
will train Bahrain's next generation of media
professionals and emphasize the importance of freedom of
speech in a democracy; support for the Center is in
post's MPP. We appreciate Bourgault's offer of help to
the University, especially her quick follow-on emails.
Post will be submitting a request shortly to NEA/PI for a
MEPI Small Grant to the University of Bahrain to support
the new campus radio station, which will be housed in the
Media Center.


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