MEDIA AND SCIENCE IN THE MENA REGION
At our first conference in 2019, we could not have imagined the circumstances under which we would organise this year's edition of Science Meets Journalism - Media and Science in Turbulent Times. While facing the Covid-19-pandemic science journalism finally got the attention it always deserved but at the same time science journalists also had to cope with fake news and other challenges like never before.
This year's conference took place in a hybrid format on September 18 and 19. For two days, experts from Germany and the Arab world discussed not only issues related to the pandemic, such as the role of journalists in the pandemic, but also topics like new communication models and technologies, water issues in the MENA region, and Arab science fiction.
Participants included, among others, Yemeni filmmaker, producer and science communicator Hashem Al-Ghaili, Tunisian co-founder of the Arab Network for Science Journalism, Dr Nouha Belaid, editor-in-chief of the Sudanese newspaper ELAFF, Dr Khalid Eltigani, Director General of the Nile Water Department of the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr. Tahani Sileet, Professor Dr Ingrid Volkmer from the Department of Digital Communication at the University of Melbourne, Dr Carola Richter, Professor at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the Free University of Berlin, and Dr Hanan Al-Kiswany, Assistant Professor of Media and Journalism at the University of Petra, Jordan.
The conference attracted great interest: With 150 people attending the conference in the hall of the Goethe-Institut, the limited number of seats were fully occupied. Around 300 people, most of them from Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, participated online while the live streams reached an average of 993 viewers per session. During the two days of the conference, participants not only attended the panels and discussions, but also took the opportunity to network with other journalists, academics, and attendees, creating an atmosphere of intense dialogue and exchange.