DCMF began a training programme geared towards social media usage on November 28, having launched the three-day workshop for Qatar's journalists working in the Arabic press.
Twelve reporters from news outlets such as Al Jazeera, Islam Web, Qatar News Agency and Al Sharq and Al Arab newspapers participated. The workshop was conducted by Egyptian journalist and trainer Khaled Al Barmawi, who is the editor of Masrawi, an online newspaper.
The DCMF is planning a similar workshop for journalists in Qatar working in the English language media in December.
"I think the workshop couldn't come at a better time," Barmawi said. "I was very glad with the participants' highly positive engagement. They displayed a great interest in the role of social media tools and proved that a training culture is growing in Arab media," he added.
The journalists participation and interaction, he said, was impressive from the start.
Titled: "Journalists and Social Media', the workshop enlightened journalists about how they can use social media, focussing strongly on networking sites including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Barmawi also showed participants how to search for breaking news on social media websites, a skill which he said would result in better reporting.
"We do our best to provide assistance to journalists and give them the support they need in terms of capacity building through training courses and roundtable discussions," said DCMF director Jan Keulen.
The workshop explored ways of accessing news sources and ensuring authenticity of information widely available on social media networks.
There were also discussions, Barmawi said, on the credibility of news content posted on social media, online privacy, intellectual propery rights and the difference between social networks and social media.
Al Jazeera webiste programme editor, Othman Kabbashi, said "I think the workshop has alot to contribute to our understanding of and ability to use the new media tools which have been around only recently and which pose a serious challenge to their users, especially Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. We have to know how to deal with these tools while ensuring accuracy, credibility and all criteria related to ethics of journalism."
Fatma Triki, from Qatar News Agency, said "I benefited alot from the workshop and learned a great deal about Twitter, Facebook and how to quickly find news on social media websites. I didn't have a Twitter or Facebook account before, that's why I wanted to participated in this training course to know more about this new media.
The DCMF held its first training course in July on online searching for a small group of Qatar-based journalists.