CNN Academy Abu Dhabi welcomes its first students


11 Jan 2021

Becky Anderson, CNN Academy Abu Dhabi

The inaugural CNN Academy Abu Dhabi, which will foster the growth of future journalists, is now underway. The first classes took place yesterday including a two hour welcome and introductory session with Becky Anderson, Managing Editor of CNN Abu Dhabi and Anchor of Connect the World, who said: “I’m thrilled to welcome this talented group to the first CNN Academy Abu Dhabi. My colleagues and I at CNN are proud to support emerging talent, both from the region and abroad, and provide an immersive course in multiplatform storytelling to equip upcoming journalists with the skills they need to thrive in the industry.”

The session was also joined by Michael Garin, CEO of twofour54 Abu Dhabi, who said: “We are very excited to see this project finally coming to life and welcoming the future voices of the media industry. Our team at twofour54 have always invested in future generations and developing the local media community by providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed and accomplish the future careers they aspire to have.”

Throughout the course, the twofour54 training hub, which houses its Creative Lab and Image Nation’s Arab Film Studio, will be providing essential facilities and infrastructure including equipment, learning resources, student liaison and outreach along with the graduation ceremony.

The first group of sixteen students was selected from 100 applicants who each submitted a one-minute video demonstrating suitability for the course and a written pitch outlining a story idea for the CNN audience. The international group of students, all currently based in the UAE, comes from eight different countries and includes six Emiratis.

Throughout the five week course the participants will receive tuition from CNN journalists, content creators and production specialists from the Abu Dhabi and Dubai bureaux, as well as from other CNN hubs around the world to learn important skills in newsgathering, content verification and multiplatform news report production. Alongside CNN, twofour54 will also provide equipment, student liaison and offer resources and facilities at its Creative Lab and Image Nation’s Arab Film Studio.

Dana Abdulrahman, participant at CNN Academy Abu Dhabi, said her expectations for the course are, “To work alongside likeminded individuals and collaborate on multiplatform content which contains the potential to reach millions of individuals throughout the world. I believe that this esteemed establishment that has been providing their audience with the latest news for the past 41 years, will prepare us as the next generation of journalists to do just the same.”

Virtual lessons will take place using The CNN Academy Hub, a brand-new e-learning platform featuring all the resources that participants will need during their learning journey with CNN Academy Abu Dhabi. In addition to live seminars, workshops and recordings of the sessions, participants will also have access to hours of self-learning modules on a wide range of topics including covering breaking news, crafting strong narratives and storytelling during a pandemic.

In-person workshops are also planned for later in the course, subject to local guidelines and in accordance with Covid-19 safety protocols, at CNN’s Abu Dhabi bureau and the training hub at twofour54, the home of Abu Dhabi’s media and entertainment industry.

For more information about CNN Academy Abu Dhabi please visit CNN.Academy/AbuDhabi

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