Journalists globally faced yet another challenging year reporting on today’s pressing issues. With the world still navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, reporters have stepped to the plate to cover the virus’ variants and debunk misinformation around the vaccines.
So here's what advice Rawan Jayousi - an ICFJ Knight Fellow- has for fellow media professionals heading into 2022, for Middle East and North Africa:
Freedom and independence of media are facing increasing threats and unprecedented challenges worldwide. Multiple rapid changes that emerged in our societies — at least in the past two years — I can safely say that it is our role as journalists to keep with the path of changing and try our best to make sure that our work is a virtue, not a vice.
My advice for journalists in 2022 is to start to innovate as soon as possible. For me, choosing to start a new media incubator during the pandemic wasn’t an easy decision. My driving force was, though, to protect the profession in the region by establishing a media ecosystem that supports young female journalists to find new ways and solutions to establish their media start-ups. This year, I have learned a lot and realized the crucial need to conduct more research about journalism in the Arab region, if we are willing to save the existing media outlets and support new ones.
Having said that, I believe that in a world that has become virtual, with existing and emerging challenges facing journalism, gender inequality, and unemployment among young journalists, new solutions need to be created.
The future is no longer far off. This is why innovation and digitization are not a luxury anymore.