About us

Quick overview

 

Media Academy Iraq (MAI) is an independent Iraqi media consultancy that provides tailor-made services to media professionals, journalists, bloggers and public relations officers of non-profit organisations across Iraq. Iraqi and international experts offer country-wide management consulting and training services. Since 2011, MAI has provided hundreds of courses in dozens of Iraqi locations: Thousands of aspiring journalists have participated in Media Academy Iraq’s workshops. MAI promotes quality, transparent and fair reporting, economic as well as editorial independence, and sustainability for media outlets in Iraq.

 

Background

 

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, the number of media outlets in Iraq has skyrocketed. The local media scene is now a vital component of daily Iraqi life. But in practice, shortcomings and disadvantages in education, training and management prevent further development. Journalists are often not sufficiently qualified. Media outlets are managed neither efficiently nor effectively and fall short of improving their financial viability.

 

Furthermore, journalists and spokespeople of public and political bodies, decision makers and politicians often lack an understanding of their role or of the political process. Media relations – and journalists – often suffer the consequences. Due to a poorly developed political communication process – and the pressures of partisanship in the media landscape – journalists are more prone to bias and partiality in their news coverage.

 

On the other hand, no politically-independent training body or further education institutions tackle this conundrum, leaving local journalists with extremely limited capacity building opportunities. Media Academy Iraq was founded, and continues to work, to strengthen the domestic media landscape.

 

Team, board & network

 

The Media Academy offices are currently based in Sulaimaniyah, Baghdad and Erbil and are managed by a team of Iraqi media professionals. The management team is supported by international experts to develop state-of-the-art management consulting and training services for the Iraqi context. Media Academy Iraq disposes of a vast network of high-profile consultants and trainers from the region, Europe and North America. A board of international and Iraqi media professionals monitors the academy’s performance and delivers input to further its development.

 

Board

 

Media Academy Iraq’s Board of Advisers is made up of Iraqi media executives and professionals. It provides support and advice to the academy. The members are chosen for their expertise and experience in all relevant fields of the media industry. The composition of the board also reflects the broad variety of media in Iraq. The board meets twice a year in order to give advice and guidance on general questions concerning the development of the Academy.

 

Implementation & funding

 

Media Academy Iraq is a project implemented by the German non-profit organization MICT (Media in Cooperation and Transition). MICT – Media in Cooperation and Transition is a German media development organization that implements projects in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Afghanistan. Activities focus on the interplay between conflict, media coverage and reconciliation in crisis regions. The project is financed by the German Foreign Office.