The programme was set up in 1995, following the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly asking the Department to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development. Since then, between eight and 10 Palestinian media practitioners representing print as well as audio-visual media have participated each year in this annual programme. This year for the first time two journalists specializing in Internet publishing will be taking part in the programme.
The basic objective of the programme is to expose the media practitioners to the work of the United Nations, especially its various activities and programmes affecting the lives of the people in the region. They attend briefings by officials of the United Nations and interact with representatives of United Nations programmes and specialized agencies, including United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
During a week-long visit to Washington D.C., they will meet with senior officials at the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the League of Arab States, as well as several media organizations. They are also scheduled to spend a week at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, as guests of the cable network, where they will have an opportunity to meet with its senior correspondents and news analysts, and watch the production of live broadcasts.
In addition, there will be specially designed skills workshops on international reporting and internet publishing. The participants will design their own web pages and work on two newsletters which will be issued during the training programme.
For the entire duration of the programme, the broadcasters and journalists will also serve as temporary United Nations correspondents on behalf of their home media organizations, and cover United Nations meetings in progress. They are expected to cover the General Assembly’s general debate and Security Council meetings on the question of Palestine and other related issues, as well as the observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Taking part in this year's training programme are: Atef Abusaif, News Editor, Ramattan Daily, Gaza; Lina Albokhari, Producer, Al-Quds TV , Ramallah; Samir Aldarabee, Editor, Press Department, MIFTAH , Jerusalem; Rami Almeghari, Editor, State Information Service , Gaza; Ahmed Alsabaawi, Director, Press Office, Palestinian Preventive Security , Gaza; Lana Dghish, News Editor, Palestine TV, Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, Gaza; Hasan Douhan, Editor, Al Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper, Gaza; Majed Rimawi, Economic Correspondent, Al-Hayat Al Jadida newspaper, Ramallah; Shaden Khalil, Interviewer and Journalistic photographer, WAFA, Ramallah.