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AUK Supports a National Journalistic Excellence Initiative for the 3rd Consecutive Year

The American University of Kuwait (AUK) sponsored the Sheikh Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah Award for Journalistic Excellence in 2015. This marked the third consecutive year for AUK to sponsor this initiative, which is organized annually by the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) with the aim of encouraging journalists in Kuwait to observe best practices in delivering news to the public. AUK supported the initiative by offering a venue for a media workshop held by the Thomson Foundation; the world's longest established international media development organization. AUK's contribution comes as part of the institution's commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that supports maintaining professional standards in journalism across the Arab world and encouraging young journalists to achieve their career objectives.

"AUK has consistently been supportive of this competition, which aims to promote best practices within the different fields in journalism and to develop the skills of young Kuwaiti journalists," explained Mr. Ayman Al-Ali, Chairman of KUNA Labor Syndicate and the Award Organizing Committee. "After a third successful year of AUK's sponsorship of our winners, we look forward to further collaboration opportunities with AUK this year and in the years to come," he added.

The Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Rawda Awwad, expressed that AUK always is eager to sponsor such initiatives that help in the development of professional integrity. "At AUK, we pride ourselves in the quality of education we offer our students and we are committed to initiatives that give us opportunities to share our knowledge and skills with our community," she said.

The 5-day workshop, themed "Investigative Journalism", was delivered by the renowned investigative journalist Yosri Fouda, and it covered a wide range of topics including the use of research methods in investigative reporting, verifying credibility of sources, tools and techniques in conducting interviews, and risk calculation among others. The workshop included interactive exercises where participants had the opportunity to practice some of the techniques they learned and received feedback on their performance.

The workshop, which was specifically designed for professional journalists, took a holistic approach to journalism by displaying how different components of a news item could come together to create a comprehensive story. According to Fouda, investigative journalists must possess not only a high level of inquisitiveness, but also a passion for the story they are investigating, and the vigilance to deliver it with integrity. Although it may involve time, effort, and risk, investigative reporting offers journalists a rewarding sense of accomplishment as it contributes to societal well-being, Fouda explained.

In addition to the workshop, Fouda conducted a lecture to AUK students entitled "Arab Media in a Changing Arab World". AUK students took the opportunity to attend and express their views about the political climate in the Arab world and how it influences current media practices. This talk was co-organized by the AUK Center for Research in Informatics, Sciences, and Engineering (RISE), along with the PR & Marketing Department and REACH Club.

Following the workshop, a ceremony was held for participants to receive their Certificates of Completion from the Thomson Foundation. The closing ceremony was attended by Yosri Fouda on behalf of Thomson Foundation, along with Ms. Amal Al Binali, AUK Vice President of Public Affairs, Dr. Ali Charara, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Mr. Ayman Al Ali, Chairman of the Journalistic Awards Committee.

"I've had a most pleasant experience on AUK campus. It's not every day that one feels that young and cheerful coming across students, faculty and staff who take education seriously but not forget to have fun in the process. With my best wishes to all, I'll be looking forward to visiting AUK once more, hopefully in the near future", Fouda said of his experience.

Yosri Fouda is an award winning pioneer of Arab TV investigative journalism and author of a number of books, including Top Secret and In Harm's Way. Previously, Fouda held the positions of Editor/Presenter at the Egyptian TV network, ONTV; Senior Investigative Correspondent and London Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera; Middle East Deputy Editor at APTV; and Senior Roving Reporter at BBC. He is also a visiting professor at The American University in Cairo(AUC).

The Sheikh Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah Award for Journalistic Excellence was founded in 2008 and was named after the late Sheikh Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, Prime Minister, who has spared no effort in developing this award. Last year, AUK offered a 3-day workshop to contest winners conducted by AUK professors of communications, Dr. Mohamed Satti and Dr. Mohammad Akbar. The workshop covered Broadcast Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communications.

Yosri Fouda, investigative journalist and professional trainer

Investigative Journalism Training Workshop conducted by Yosri Fouda, investigative journalist and professional trainer

Winners of Sheikh Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah Award for Journalistic Excellence with Yosri Fouda and Ayman Al Ali (Center)

From left Amal Al Binali, AUK Vice President; Yosri Fouda, investigative journalist and professional trainer; Dr. Ali Charara, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences; Ayman Al Ali, Head of the contest's Higher Committee

VP Amal Al Binali and Dr. Ali Charara receiving an award from Mr. Ayman Al Ali

Yosri Fouda Speaking to AUK Students

Yosri Fouda with RISE and REACH teams

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 4th May 2015

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2015

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