Issues like press freedom and nationalism were among the topics covered during a five-day-long seminar on journalism for South Sudanese journalists in Qatar this week.
Nearly 20 journalists participated in the training course, which was conducted by the Doha Centre for Media Freedom at the Coral Hotel in Doha.
Earlier this year, an overwhelming majority of the residents of southern Sudan voted to secede from the country. This summer, the region is expected to create an independent state called South Sudan.
Judit Neurink, one of the trainers leading the seminar, said the goal of the course was to prepare the journalists for the new country and government they would be covering.
"Will it have free media, and if it doesn't, how will you cope with that?" she asked the journalists, who hail from TV and print backgrounds.
The training sessions covered civil journalism and citizen journalism as well as the ethics of the profession during the practice. Journalists were trained in various editorial and technical aspects related to television news packaging as well as the basics of print journalism, interviews techniques and news stories editing, based on international editorial standards.
"I learned a lot, like (about) pictures, what type of pictures (to take), the duration of the report, (and) to not make the report longer," said Gordon Morris, a 30-year-old cameraman from Juba, who participated in the seminars.
He said the training was basic, but necessary to improve his skills and the quality of his work.
Neurink, a Dutch journalist with more than 25 years experience, took the lead in print training. Hassan Rachidi, a senior producer and former Morocco bureau chief for Al Jazeera, served as the broadcast trainer for the course, which began April 26, and wrapped up yesterday.
Jan Keulen, director of the Doha Centre for Media Freedom, lauded the team spirit of the group. He said the centre hopes to organise more training sessions in the future for the benefit of Qatari journalists and others.
The South Sudanese journalists will be given diplomas in a short ceremony on May 2 at the centre's forum discussing media's role in the Arab revolutions.