Three alumni from Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) are putting their knowledge and skills to work at the recently re-launched Qatar TV (QTV).
The three members of NU-Q’s first graduating class, Nazneen Zahan, Shannon Farhoud and Benazir Karim, are part of a new breed of locally-trained journalists. They have been working behind the scenes for months as part of a revamp that aims to turn the state-run QTV into a top-ranked media outlet.
NU-Q dean and CEO Everette Dennis said the school is “proud to see some of our first graduates already making an impact on Qatar’s local media institutions”. “Because their coursework couples a foundation in the liberal arts with extensive training and immersion in the local community, our graduates are well-equipped to tell the stories of Qatari communities and respond to the increasingly global demands of Qatari newsrooms,” he explained.
“The skills we acquired at NU-Q are exactly what are expected from us at this channel,” said Zahan, a journalist at the TV Support and Development Committee of Qatar TV. Zahan works on documentaries that deal with both international and local news. She says the best part about her job at QTV, which involves researching stories, pitching ideas, interviews, and writing synopses for broadcast, is “still getting to learn so much and working with people who have been in this industry for so many years”.
“Balancing my QTV work with efforts to start my own production company is hard, but passion keeps me and my colleagues going,” said Farhoud, who co-founded a production company called Torath with other NU-Q alumni.
Karim, also a journalist at QTV, attributed her successful contribution to QTV’s re-launch to an education that taught her and her classmates how to be “well-rounded journalists who are able to put different skills to use at different stages throughout a project”. Karim advised current students to follow social media and digital journalism closely.
Maryam al-Subaiey, director of creation at QTV, said: “The three students showed good skills in terms of handling pressure, being creative and, most importantly, absorbing everything so quickly and fitting in with the work environment.”