The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Sunday visited the sprawling Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Centre in Doha, Qatar, in furtherance of his efforts to forge a training and development collaboration with the international news network.
The Minister, who was conducted round the facility by its Director, Mr. Mounir Daymi, as well as other officials of the centre, said the training and re-training of journalists are very important because the media industry is very dynamic.
In addition to the planned collaboration between the Ministry of information and Culture as well as the Qatari television station, he said journalists from the government-owned broadcasting stations could also be attached to Al Jazeera for a few weeks under an exchange programme that will be mutually-beneficial to both.
Alhaji Mohammed said the performance of the public-funded media establishments has been affected by the lack of adequate attention to training, programming and infrastructure over the years.
He said he is not satisfied with the performance of the government-owned media establishments, hence he has decided to reposition them for better efficiency and in order for them to be more competitive.
”We want a brand new television station that will be among the best in the world and it is possible,” the Minister said
Alhaji Mohammed said he would soon invite the officials of the Media Training and Development Centre to Nigeria for a need-assessment visit to the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) as well as the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), since the centre trains both radio and television journalists, as well as photographers.
The Director of the Centre said it had trained about 30,000 journalists, mostly from the Middle East but also from China and some countries in Africa, among others, in its 12 years of existence.
He said whereas the Centre was set up primarily to train Al Jazeera journalists, it has also extended training to journalists from outside the station ”as part of efforts to transfer the knowledge acquired by Al Jazeera over the past 20 years”.
The Centre, which is situated in a different location from the Al Jazeera Headquarters complex, boasts of state-of-the-art studios, complete with video walls, classrooms and control rooms, among others.