ARIJ at the International Journalism Festival 2023

April 30, 2023

ARIJ Network, represented by its Director General Rawan Damen, Editor-in-Chief Munir Al-Khatib, and AFCN manager Saja Mortada, participated in the International Journalism Festival (IJF23) in Perugia, Italy, from 19 to 22 April 2023.

The event provided a significant chance to connect with journalists, fact-checking organisations, media outlets, and organisations that support independent media globally. The festival covered a wide range of subjects in dozens of sessions, including ways to protect journalists as well as artificial intelligence in journalism, investigative journalism, data journalism, reporting on climate change, and disinformation.

During the festival, ARIJ General Director Rawan Damen spoke in a session entitled “Gender, leadership and surviving authoritarian regimes and cultures: women leading independent Arab media speak up”,  highlighting the fact that despite all the challenges, Arab women have led independent, prosperous media organisations that have a real impact on their communities.

Saja Mortada, the AFCN manager, spoke during a session titled “Supporting small newsrooms learn and experiment with AI” about her participation in the Google News initiative‘s “AI journalism Academy” and how ARIJ is currently developing its own AI strategy. 

The sessions that dealt with artificial intelligence focused on the need for artificial intelligence to lead us to question what journalism is, as the speakers stressed that AI will not replace journalists, but rather will support them and make their work better and more efficient.

As for the sessions that dealt with various forms of journalism, speakers stressed that serious and distinguished journalism began to appear today on “Instagram”, “YouTube” and “TikTok” by professional journalists, indicating the importance of using these social media to reach a wider audience.

Regarding the challenges, digital and legal challenges dominated the sessions, as the speakers praised the need for international cooperation to confront these challenges that try to obstruct the work of journalists and prevent them from providing journalism that achieves accountability.

Several sessions during the festival also dealt with the environmental issues and climate change, stressing that journalists and scientists desperately need each other to cover climate change.

You can watch all the IJF23 festival sessions online here.

It is noteworthy that the next edition of the festival will be held in Perugia, Italy from 17 to 21 April 2024.