Original Source: http://www.qatar-tribune.com
DOHA GEORGETOWN University School of Foreign Service in Qatar on Tuesday hosted Al Jazeera journalists Clayton Swisher and Bassam Bounenni at a panel discussion titled ‘Inside Al Jazeera Now: A Revolution in Journalism?’.
SFS-Qatar faculty Mohamed Zayani and Gary Wasserman moderated the panel, which focused on the role media, Al Jazeera in particular, are playing in recent events and ongoing protests across the region.
Bassam Bounenni, a journalist working with Al Jazeera since 2005, kicked off the event by discussing and contrasting his experiences reporting on protests in Tunisia in 2008 and 2011.
He noted Al Jazeera’s efforts in the recent protests to contact young witnesses posting videos online and to build a network of contacts on the ground in a country Reporters Without Borders ranks 164th out of 178 countries in its press freedom index.
“I think people come to Al Jazeera because we have editorial courage,” said Clayton Swisher, the panel’s second speaker, who focused his remarks on his work on the Palestine Papers- thousands of internal documents from Israeli-Palestinian negotiations released by Al Jazeera in January of this year.
Swisher, a Georgetown alumnus and reporter with Al Jazeera since 2007, also discussed Al Jazeera’s newlylaunched Transparency Unit, which allows internet users to submit content and story tips to the news network for review and possible coverage.
“We’re evolving in the digital age,” Swisher said.
Following the speakers’ initial presentations, Georgetown faculty Mohamed Zayani and Gary Wasserman fielded questions from more than 50 faculty, students and members of the Education City community who attended the event.
Questions covered a variety of topics, including the relationship between Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English, the legal ramifications of publishing leaks, the political perspective of the news network, embedded journalism, and the relationship between Al Jazeera and Qatar.
The panel, sponsored by the American Studies Program and the Office of Communications, was held in the Faculty Conference Room at Georgetown’s new campus in Education City.
Bassam Bounenni has been working with Al Jazeera for more than five years and covered the elections in Zimbabwe in 2008, the coup aftermath in Niger in 2010, and Ben Ali’s ouster aftermath in 2011.
He received a master’s degree in geopolitics from Marne-La-Vallée University in France.
Clayton Swisher received his MA from Georgetown University in Islam & M u s l i m - C h r i s t i a n Understanding and has covered the war in Afghanistan, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and most recently, the Palestine Papers.