Programme journey

My story
South Syria;
now residing outside Syria

“Five years ago, I started out enthusiastically but almost naively in journalism. Now I enjoy it even more, because the training and coaching have made me a professional who knows how to serve the audience’s agenda first by focusing on their real needs.”

My audience is my inspiration for content

“My talent? I am good at listening to people and telling a story that captivates my audience. I notice how engaged my readers are by the reactions to my articles. I like to interact with them to feel what’s on their minds. I use my creativity to realise my ambitions: Rawan as an ethical and independent journalist! My smartphone is my window to the world, I film and photograph everything with it, and my digital editing tools turn my recordings into human stories. My passion for photography also extends to managing an outlet’s social media platforms. My posts elicit reactions as do my comments on social issues.”

“Not everyone in my family is excited that I am out and so often covering events. Of course, it is sometimes dangerous out there: Syria is not a safe country for journalists. I had to move multiple times due to issues with internet where joining trainings was challenging and so was my overall development – financially, socially, geographically. I had to leave my family to find a safer place to work, and also to be able to capture what was happening in other areas. The security experts of EJSM taught me to recognize the risks and how to anticipate them both physically and digitally, which has helped me continue my work and learning.”

My personal media network

“Through my video reports and digital stories, I also meet new colleagues. I have built quite a network in which I can share experiences and discuss challenges. I participate in the co-production fund of the EJSM-program and work together with other civil society organisations and journalists from different parts of Syria. Together, we determine the issues that live in our community and the angle from which we will report on them. The productions come from our local voice and co-producing brings me new experiences and insights. My partners and colleagues are an inspiration.”

“Since the EJSM-program, my view of journalism and the world has become much broader.”

My story

“I became a journalist purely out of passion, I wanted to be a voice for my community and make that voice heard. But to be honest, I lacked the skills to create content that would touch people. My publications needed to be more engaging and must have impact. I started taking training courses to develop my journalistic skills, and I also wanted to talk to colleagues in the profession to learn from them and move forward together. I started participating in group forums, debates and round tables. My editorial line has since been professionalised and my publications are better read.”

“I believe in ethical principles: news must be reliable, my audience must be confident that my stories reflect reality. The EJSM program supports these principles entirely and that is why I am participating so actively. They have a pool of expert trainers who know how to contribute to the capacity building of us as journalists. They know how to make it concrete for us: with the formulation of your editorial policy, style books and how you are accountable to yourself, organisation and audience. Since then, I have become increasingly aware of quality and what it takes to achieve it. You see it in other outlets’ reporting, which has become more independent and ethical. New media formats are being developed that are sustainable and make a lasting impression on their audiences. The impact of this is noticeable. We are gaining credibility and thus the trust of our audience. By being professional, we become a voice that reflects inclusiveness and diversity.”

“Being taken seriously by the people you do it for is my biggest reward for all my efforts and has been facilitated by the support of the EJSM-program.”

My activities

“If I list all my activities, you might get tired of it, but the opposite is true: I get an enormous boost of energy from it. I attend master classes and webinars, take part in debates and forums, get customised coaching and training, participate in the Facebook support group and do self-paced training. All these activities in the program have fuelled my passion for journalism and they formulated the ground of my continuous ambition.”

Download materials ›
We invite you to study the materials on the subject of learning. The program makes these materials available to the media industry in Syria and other countries where press freedom is under pressure.

Thanks to the support of the EJSM programme

5 year Learning program journey here.

Self-study training packages for journalism techniques have been developed and can be found here:

My lessons learned

“From the knowledge and new insights I gained, I started innovating and experimenting. It feels so good that I am developing myself and getting involved at all levels. It makes me a complete journalist who gets her stories out to the public. There are still a lot of things we need to learn as journalists and we should keep this learning spirit the way forward.”

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This project was supported by SIDA 2016 -2021