NU-Q and Al Jazeera Network sign MoU to facilitate knowledge transfer, increase student engagement, and strengthen collaboration

March 19, 2013

In a move intended to better understand and develop media in Qatar and the region, Northwestern University in Qatar and Al Jazeera Network signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will further facilitate collaboration and knowledge transfer between two of Qatar’s foremost media organizations.

The agreement, which deepens ties between the two organizations that have worked together since NU-Q’s inception, will allow professionals and budding journalists from both sides to benefit from the combined expertise of the two institutions through joint research and strategic studies projects, training workshops, a co-designed lecture series, internships and faculty contributions as well as journalist-exchange programs.

In addition, NU-Q will conduct consultations with Al Jazeera leadership based on its faculty research interests and expertise in the American media industry, as the news network moves forward with its planning for Al Jazeera America.

The memorandum was signed by H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al-Thani, Director General of Al Jazeera Network, and Everette Dennis, Dean and CEO of Northwestern University in Qatar.

“Al Jazeera Network places the development of its team’s skills at the top of its priorities, to stay par with the great media-related feats Qatar has accomplished regionally and internationally,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al-Thani, Director General of Al Jazeera Network. “The Network consistently strives to exchange experiences with research and educational institutions in line with Al Jazeera’s mission.”

Sheikh Ahmed also expressed Al Jazeera’s willingness to support NU-Q students with scholarships and training opportunities, and by encouraging them to participate in Al Jazeera’s community service initiatives.

As one of the most important media organizations in Qatar and the region, Al Jazeera Network “has one of the world’s largest cadre of news professionals,” said Dennis. “That makes Al Jazeera a place of great interest for anyone who strives to understand the world’s media ecosystem, and for Northwestern students and alumni who will go on to work in the media industry.

Dean Dennis added that the collaboration with Al Jazeera would allow students to enhance their education not only in traditional broadcast but in public relations, new media, and documentary filmmaking. “This is a chance to further recognize and take advantage of the many areas of mutual interest between Al Jazeera and NU-Qs, to the benefit of our students, faculty, and the public that is served by having Al Jazeera provide an exemplary world report,” he explained.

The MoU with Al Jazeera is one of several collaborations that NU-Q has recently undertaken as part of its active role in the development of a thriving media industry. In October 2012, the university joined hands with Doha Film Institute in the lead up to the Doha Tribeca Film Festival to shine a spotlight on local film-making talent.

NU-Q regularly engages in research, thought leadership, and service relevant to the Qatari and Middle Eastern media communities.