‘Blogging is Not Journalism’

Dates: 15 – 20 December 2014

Country: Morocco

RabatLast autumn in Southern Morocco, floods destroyed large parts of the road infrastructures, houses and schools. Despite the difficulties and thanks to the hasty repairs on major routes, Lahcen, Mohammed, Khalifa, M’bairouk and Hafid travelled twelve hours on the bus to reach Rabat and to attend the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) workshop on multimedia reporting. The training was organised as part of the preparations for the MDI online platform for Sahara, www.dunevoices.info.

The participants coming from remote areas of Southern Morocco were joined by their colleagues from other regions and cities. They were led through the basics of multimedia reporting by Laurent Prieur, a French News Agency reporter, photographer and video journalist, and his team.


Twelve young trainees reflected not only diversity of the regions they were coming from, but also different levels of experience and interests. During the MDI training in Rabat, the well established journalists and video operators sat next to the beginners. They produced a mix of pictures, audio recordings and videos, as well as twelve duly researched stories. Evaluation was positive in nine cases where the quality of stories was closed to the one sought for the www.dunevoices.info platform.


The training session was located next to the Rabat train station in the posh Agdal. There were road works everywhere which, while ensuring early wake up call to the sound of pick hammers, also provided an endless opportunity for short stories, photos and videos. Journalists just had to step out to get the images.

‘The atmosphere during the workshop was similar to the one in a newsroom,’ said Mohamed Lahmiche from Tinghir where Sahara hits the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Local radio journalist Fatimatou Maarouf, found that ‘theory and practice were mixed, and equally insisted on’.

Blogger Hafidh Rguibi, who came from Sidi Ifni, where Morocco’s longest river Draa meets the Atlantic, claimed he understood the difference between the blog and journalistic writing.

‘I did write a story as soon as I finished the first day of training. I did exactly what I was always doing for my blog. But as the workshop unfolded, I never stopped correcting what I initially wrote. So I understood that blogging is not journalism!’

The workshop in Morocco was held as part of MDI project “Inclusive Voices for Conflict Prevention and Democracy Building in North Africa: bringing the voices of the Sahara into the public sphere”. The challenge of the MDI programme led by Dominique Thierry is to gather and train multinational, multi-ethnic and multilingual national teams in Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, Morocco and Libya and give a voice to the populations of the Sahara.

Mauritania and Morocco are amongst five countries where up to 60 journalists and citizen reporters will be trained on multimedia reporting and inclusion of diverse voices in society.