The latest CNN Academy Abu Dhabi group includes 16 Emiratis and 14 UAE residents from 12 countries, including Egypt, France, India, and Syria.
CNN Academy Abu Dhabi welcomed its third cohort of students on September 22, starting their journey with a climate reporting masterclass led by Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir and moderated by Becky Anderson, Managing Editor and Anchor at CNN Abu Dhabi.
The session took place at the Yas Creative Hub and delved into topics such as audience engagement, the significance of scientific reporting, informing the public about environmental solutions, and looking ahead to COP 28. This marked the beginning of a 12-week journalism training course, with a primary focus on climate storytelling, offering participants access to experts from CNN.
Since its inception, CNN Academy Abu Dhabi has trained a total of 46 participants, including 22 Emiratis.
The latest cohort comprises 30 participants, featuring 16 Emiratis and 14 UAE residents from 12 different countries, including Egypt, France, India, and Syria. They will engage in weekly live workshops conducted by CNN Abu Dhabi staff, along with weekly masterclasses delivered by professionals from around the world. These sessions will be hosted at The Community Hub, part of twofour54’s Yas Creative Hub in Abu Dhabi, which is adjacent to the CNN bureau.
Academy participants will benefit from extensive media technology facilities, equipment, infrastructure, and student support from the creative lab, a division of the talent development sector of the Creative Media Authority and Abu Dhabi’s content champion. Digital learning will also be facilitated through the customised CNN Academy hub, offering a wealth of learning resources created by CNN’s global anchors, reporters, production teams, and technical experts. This comprehensive course aims to equip aspiring journalists and content creators with valuable skills for the media industry.
The programme will culminate in the second annual CNN Academy Newsroom Simulation. This will be held this year against the backdrop of COP 28, from December 3 to 10, where the participants from the CNN Academy Abu Dhabi group will also be joined by participants from other CNN Academy programmes taking place across the globe.
Speaking about the programme, Becky Anderson, Anchor and Managing Editor, CNN Abu Dhabi, said: “With COP 28 almost upon us, and during a year in which we have seen some incredibly dramatic and alarming climate stories, there could scarcely be a more important moment to bring climate storytelling into focus. CNN’s Climate Unit has been on the frontline of so many of these stories, so to have Bill Weir address this group was a fantastic opportunity. He is a consummate storyteller, with deep knowledge of the science behind the climate crisis as well as first-hand experience of reporting in extreme environments and the devastating aftermath of climate-related disasters. It was the perfect way to begin our 12-week CNN Academy training, and I’m sure it will have been as inspiring for our academicians as it was for me.”
Alia AlZaabi, a Finance Student at Zayed University, added: “Day one at CNN Academy Abu Dhabi felt like a ‘right place, right time’ moment. As the UAE prepares to host COP 28, I’m not just learning to tell a story; I’m learning to tell the story of the greatest existential crisis of our time. We went beyond creating catchy content and into ethical journalism and its role in creating informed communities. This not only meets but also exceeds the expectations I had walking in.”