NU-Q students learn from international digital journalist

In a lively session with third-year journalism students, Mustafa engaged in a dialogue about the role of social media, and how such immediate content generating outlets are changing the ways in which news is gathered and shared.

Ali Mustafa, a digital journalist who has covered the news for several media networks including Al Jazeera English, VICE news, and CBC in Canada, is spending several weeks at NU-Q meeting with students and sharing his experiences as an international reporter. He is currently produces content for TRT World, a Turkish public broadcaster’s digital English content service. 

Mustafa, who has taught classes at NU-Q in the past, is attending several multimedia and digital reporting classes to advise students on current trends and to share his thoughts on journalism and accurate reporting. Using his expertise in the field, he is advising journalism students on the importance of learning how to create multiple versions of the same story for different media platforms.

“Mr. Mustafa is an example of a journalist with the skills to identify humanitarian stories – and then being able to share those stories with an international audience. Using the multimedia experiences he has developed, and sharing them with our students, helps bring to life the theories and practices Northwestern students learn in the classroom. It also exposes them to the opportunities that they will be able to pursue as professionals,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO at NU-Q.

“NU-Q is training some of the best journalists and content generators in the Middle East, and the university is a sort of incubator for new ideas and innovation. I am interested in utilizing NU-Q's excellent student body, as well as its new state-of-the-art facilities to further innovate the students in the digital realm,” said Mustafa.

In a lively session with third-year journalism students, Mustafa engaged in a dialogue about the role of social media, and how such immediate content generating outlets are changing the ways in which news is gathered and shared.

“The distinction between student journalists and professional content generators such as myself is fast disappearing,” he said. “In fact, students have an edge here as they are exposed to new ideas and adapt to changing technologies faster than journalists in the field. The aim should be to convert journalism instruction into practice.” 

Other discussions with students centered around video production and alternatives to using heavy duty equipment when needed. Mustafa screened some of his work in Greece and Iraq, as he interviewed various refugees on their living conditions and personal aspirations, often using his iPhone to film and report.

“Before telling any story, you have to visualize it and understand the message you’re trying to convey. Then, you can analyze what components are needed to tell the story. It’s an upside down approach, but it really helps journalists maintain objective reporting,” Mustafa told the students.

Previously, Mustafa has covered politics, security, and society in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and North America for Al Jazeera English, CBC/Radio-Canada, CNBC in Pakistan, and VICE News.