NEWS DIGEST 23.01.2021: Today’s development in the world of journalism

Good morning everyone. Today our news is brought to you via the HEM Journalism Portal on Twitter, our self-curated list of journalism resources. International media freedom bodies have criticised authorities in Egypt for violating the concept of a free press after it had emerged that last year saw a number of arbitrary arrests, including those of several journalists covering the coronavirus pandemic in the North African country, whilst instigating an atmosphere of fear and censorship amongst the general public, according to IFEX. Egypt was ranked alongside Saudi Arabia and Iran as among the ‘top five worst jailers of journalists’ in the MENA region, according to a report by Reporters Without Borders. Many of the reporters jailed in Egypt were accused of spreading false narratives, a.k.a. ‘fake news’ – Fear and loathing in MENA: Arrests, prison sentences, and surveillance (IFEX)

In the UK, David Mascord, a editorial training consultant and freelance journalist with more than twenty-five years’ experience of teaching media law for journalists, is launching a five-week long online media law masterclass to help journalists stay compliant while covering their stories. The special course will cover journalists’ legal rights, responsibilities and restrictions whether they are reporting online, in print, or in audio and video. It will aim to be an interactive and involving experience, using real-life examples, quizzes and reporting scenario exercises – Media law masterclass (

Also being launched is an online course for teaching copywriting for freelancers in the media world who are interested in commercial copywriting. Taught by Jackie Barrie, a professional copywriter with three decades’ experience, the course will teach delegates gain a thorough understanding of copywriting for different formats, as well as how to find copywriting clients, and therefore maximise their income during what is currently a difficult time for journalists to operate, especially those going it alone on the money earning front. Attendees to the Zoom-based workshop will learn traditional marketing theory and strategies, copywriting tips, tricks and techniques, and how to search out clients for future copywriting gigs – Copywriting for freelance journalists (

A new opportunity for international reporters comes in the form of the renowned Arthur F. Burns Fellowship program being hosted by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). This program provides talented young U.S., German and Canadian journalists the opportunity to live and work in each other’s country. The intention of the ICFJ fellowship is to improve the quality of news coverage in each country and strengthen the transatlantic relationship between media professionals in Europe and North America. As fellows learn firsthand about their host country and media outlet, they write stories and produce broadcast programs for both host and home audiences. The program for 2021 begins on 26 July, with applications needing to arrive by the final date of 1 March – Arthur F. Burns Fellowship (International Center for Journalists)

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