Special Guest Manal Azar from Al Jazeera

Today was an exciting day at the centre. We had an amazing special guest by the name of Manal Azar visit Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre. She’s a media professional with over 15 years of experience in the media industry. Even her father worked in media.

She spoke with us about her experiences working as a news reporter for an international news organization called Al Jazeera.

She seemed to really enjoy her experience working with Al Jazeera, and praised them for their efforts to keep their news coverage neutral in opinion, even though many of the issues that the Arab news station covers are quite controversial

In fact, the issues were so controversial sometimes that the U.S. government had refused to allow Al Jazeera to open a headquarters in the United States. They eventually did though.

One of the most controversial news stories offered by Al Jazeera was an interview done with the late Osama bin Laden. Manal remarked how strange it was that the news organization was able to hunt down bin Laden and his comrades to do an interview, yet it took quite some time and effort for the U.S. to locate and execute him.

One thing she left us with was the importance of not being bias about how you deliver your work as a media professional. She explained that it’s important to offer both sides of a situation and let the viewers decide for themselves which opinion to take. However, she did admit that most media is almost always biased.

To finish off the day, we took to the streets with our bicycle sound system, with built-in removable furniture, to promote the centre within the neighbourhood. We visited some local apartment buildings and Tim Horton’s to ask people about their opinions of the centre’s initiatives, and how much they are aware of the centre.

Everybody seemed to enjoy him or herself; the air was filled with laughter and great music that streamed from the Regent Park Focus online radio station. By the end of our time outside in the neighbourhood, we managed to successfully get a few surveys done.

There’s still plenty in store for Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre. Stay tuned to see what we’re up to next.


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