Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) hosted a hands-on workshop allowing high school students from various schools around the region get a glimpse of how it’s like to work in a media production.
NU-Q Dean and CEO Everette E Dennis said that the school hosts summer programs for high school students in the region to help them understand the role of media in a global society, and how stories are framed and pursued with accuracy and professionalism.
During the two-week programme, students took introductory classes in topics that reflect NU-Q’s expertise in communication and journalism. Omani student from Azzan Bin Qais International School in Muscat Nada Abbass said that she has always been curious about NU-Q.
When I stumbled upon this workshop, I knew it would be a good chance to experience something new.’
As part of the programme, students learned the art of storytelling through lectures and group discussions, as well as hands-on activities such as reporting on live events, creating news packages, and using state-of-the-art equipment available in NU-Q’s new building. This introduction to an education in media allowed them to discover the process of story structure and news creation, as well as to deconstruct larger concepts such as media bias and differentiate facts and opinions.
NU-Q Professor Miriam Berg, who taught the summer course, noted that students enrolled in the programme ‘gain the ability to access, analyse, evaluate and create media, and understand how to be critical thinkers.’
The students worked in teams to write short features and shoot videos, which they presented at the end of the programme. MES Indian School senior student Ashraf Haque said the programme has encouraged her to be more curious and to talk to people. She said that the most challenging and interesting – has been finding stories that are newsworthy and compelling. Another student, Fatma Al-Mohannadi from Al Khor Secondary School, said she attended the programme to understand what it takes to be a Northwestern student and what it takes to be a journalist.
Two NU-Q alumni, Aamer Hassan and Ruba Shaath, assisted Berg with the programme. Hassan participated in the programme while still in high school. He said that he first came to NU-Q as a student in one of the university’s summer programmes and that it really helped him decide about his career path and what he wanted to pursue in college. This year’s students may end up following in Hassan’s footsteps.
For more information about the school’s summer programmes, visit their website at qatar.northwestern.edu.