Tripoli, 10 October:
A group of 15 Libyan journalists who fought in the Revolution have just returned from a ten-day media training course in Italy.
The training, which was organised by the Italian news agency AGI and financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was designed to help strengthen the Libyan media sector. The Italian Ambassador in Libya, Giuseppe Buccino said: “Libyan journalists today face a challenging task: contributing to the construction of a free, democratic, open Libya. They can count on Italy on this hard but rewarding task.”
During the course Libyan journalists met their Italian counterparts from Italy’s major news outlets, including La Repubblica, RadioRai and SkyTG24.
This was also a rewarding learning experience for the Italian journalists. RadioRai’s deputy managing director, Vittorio Argento, said: “These Libyan journalists who also fought for the liberation of their country, at the risk of their lives, and who carried Kalashnikovs on one shoulder and a video camera on the other, have an extraordinary experience that no western journalist ever had in the last 60 years, and I believe we all can learn from their courage.”
The group met press officers and officials from Italian ministries and institutions, as well as representatives from Italian companies active in Libya, such as ENI, and organisations such as the Association of Italians Repatriated from Libya.
One of the Libyan journalists, Hafid Ahmed Moamaar said: “This is an extraordinary experience for all of us, both in professional and personal terms. We are learning about journalism, about Italy, about the historical ties that unite our two countries and people, but at the same time we are learning to better know each other.”
He added: “We come from 15 different places in Libya and we are discovering that a lot unites us besides the war we all fought for freedom.” The course also united the Italian and Libyan journalists, leading another Libyan journalis, Ahmad Nooh Saleh, to say: “I discovered that Italians are brothers which I wasn’t aware of.”
News agency AGI has a special focus on North Africa and the Middle East and is planning to open a news desk in Libya. As part of this initiative 15 more Libyan journalists will attend a similar course before the end of the year. Thereafter, three journalists from the 30 participants will be chosen to take up a six-month internship at AGI’s headquarters in Rome.