HM issued an instruction earlier this week that all Omani new reporters and journalists are to be given extensive training to get them up to commonly accepted international standards. It’ll be interesting to see how that works, with the pervasive and restrictive self-censorship that occurs in the local rags apparently caused more at the editorial level than by the chaps in the engine room.
So, its HM mandated training for the boys and girls of Oman’s glorious 4th Estate. (I suspect the Pulitzer Prize is pretty safe in US hands for a while yet!) The program will be run by the Ministry of Information, an oxymoron if ever there was one for a Ministerial title.
I wonder if Essa will sign up too?
The only slightly ominous part is the little bit in the story that "The Ministry of Information began to enumerate and classify local press personnel towards the development of a database of their qualifications, current experience." [that's their sentence structure BTW, not mine. Perhaps some English grammar training as well...].
And they will all be interviewed by the MOI too. Hmmm. I bet that will be fun. No wonder (according to the Ministry of Information) "The journalists and media persons valued the Royal gesture." I'm surprised they didn't say "greeted with delight..."
Royal orders to conduct training for Omani journalists, media personnel
MUSCAT — His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has issued orders to conduct training courses and programmes for all Omani journalists and media personnel. Hamad bin Mohammed al Rashdi, Minister of Information, said that the Royal directives are aimed to upgrade the skills of Omani journalists and media personnel to a professional level that reflects the development witnessed by the world media and the progress achieved by the Sultanate in various spheres. During his visit to the Oman Establishment for Press, Publication and Advertising (OEPPA) yesterday, the minister stressed that the training programmes will be available to all Omani journalists and media personnel in government and private establishments.
The courses will be conducted in stages starting locally and culminating at leading Arab and international journalism and media organisations. Al Rashdi added that the programmes will also cover technical staff whose work is directly related to the press. The Ministry of Information began to enumerate and classify local press personnel towards the development of a database of their qualifications, current experience. Accordingly, training requirements will be decided in tandem with the duties and responsibilities of the journalists/media personnel, he said. The journalists and media persons valued the Royal gesture which, they said, comes within the context of His Majesty’s keenness on promoting the capabilities of Omanis in all nation-building fields.
They noted that the Royal gesture is a strong evidence of the important role the Omani media play in promoting the Omani society"s culture towards further higher grades of progress. In its preparatory stage, the ministry has started registering all Omani journalists from the media for further training in their respective fields of specialisation in the very near future. In its preparatory stage, entrants will attend interviews supervised by the ministry. The courses will be conducted by prominent journalists and academicians in this respective field from within the country and abroad. Qualifying entrants will further train at prestigious media institutions overseas.