30 officials from the Ministry of Culture in Iraq took part this week in a training course organised by ATiT in Leuven in the use of social media. Speakers from the media and political life in Belgium gave talks to the group during the week on topics like journalistic freedom, dealing with the press and government communications. The group visited the European Parliament, broadcasting station VRT and the European Commission and visited local sites and buildings in Leuven.
ATiT is running its first course for Iraqi civil servants from the Ministry of Culture on social media, journalism and public relations this week in Leuven. 25 trainees are taking part from all over Iraq in this course which has been tailor-made for these trainees who will travel to Belgium in groups of 25 in the coming months.The course involves a mix of talks by experienced practitioners, practical hands-on sessions and visits to various relevant institutions in the area including the European Parliament, Television stations and newspapers.
The purpose of this course is to both raise awareness and skills in relation to how social media can be used to support the work of journalists, public relations staff and spokespeople while at the same time exposing participants to the daily practices, working norms and realities of a variety of professionals working in journalism, communications and public relations in democratic countries. Trainees are expected to put their experience in Belgium into practice in Iraq as part of the ovcerall movement of the government towards a more open and participative state.
These courses are organised by ATiT and the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe with their partner in Romania, the EU Innovation Center for the Iraqi British Cultural Center Organization located in Baghdad which is part of the Iraq Ministry of Culture. The next group of trainees will travel to Leuven in May.