About the Center

The Adham Center has dramatically expanded its commitment in 2004. In response to growing demand for access to its courses from students themselves and the ever-expanding broadcasting industry which has a growing demand for Adham Center trained AUC graduates, the Center now provides the core course work for an undergraduate concentration in broadcast journalism in the Journalism and Mass Communication major at AUC.

the same time, the department will continue to accept graduate students, who may enroll in a one-year Graduate Diploma program offered at the Center. Since course work is similar, only AUC graduates who did not take the Broadcast Journalism concentration as undergrad students and students who did their undergraduate work at other universities, are allowed to enroll in the Graduate Diploma program.

The undergraduate Broadcast Journalism concentration consists of four core courses and two electives supported by the Center and carried over from the original graduate program, JRMC 337. these are Electronic News Gathering (which focuses upon field reporting and writing scripts for field reports); JRMC 339 Television News Studio Workshop; JRMC Camera and Editing Workshop (a hands-on course that enables the student to use professional digital video cameras and nonlinear digital editing facilities in a new TV News Lab at the Center). In addition, the following electives are offered-JRMC Broadcast News Voice, Speech and Presentation Workshop, and ALNG 421 Writing for Arabic Broadcasting. Two other courses, in Radio Journalism and the History of Broadcasting, are carried over from the broadcast journalism concentration prior to the new curriculum.

The Graduate Diploma entails six courses. Five are cross-listed from the undergraduate program but carry the requirement of research papers for those students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma. These are Electronic Newsgathering, Broadcast News Voice, Speech and Presentation Workshop, Camera and Editing Workshop; and Writing for Arabic Broadcasting, along with the JMC 506 Internship.

Both programs teach students to be video journalists familiar with the skills and equipment required to produce their own TV news stories from start to finish - researching, interviewing, shooting video, writing, editing, and narrating. The Video Journalism approach is used at some of the most innovative TV news operations in the world, such as NY1 in New York City. Given industry-wide trends such as miniaturization of equipment and reduction of personnel, the VJ approach is the trend of the future. Even in the Middle East where local news organizations still tend to be labor intensive, this approach to teaching TV news gives students incredible flexibility and advantage in a highly competitive field.

While due regard is given to theoretical understanding, what drives this program both for undergraduates and graduate students is the Center's concern for performance, a concern that reflects the professional background of its principal instructors-Center director S. Abdallah Schleifer, former NBC News producer/reporter in the Middle East and NBC Cairo bureau chief; the Center's technical Coordinator Jan Sandle, former CBS News video editor and New Zealand TV camera operator and sound technician; Prof. Naila Hamdy, former CBS News field producer and Eurovision editor, producer, and reporter; Dina Saad, former UPITN video editor; and Nasr El Shenawi, former NBC and Video Cairo production assistant.

The Adham Center also offers occasional non-academic professional certificate courses in Video Editing, Studio Management, and Electronic News Gathering. Video Editing is a six week intensive course usually offered in the mid-winter break and in the summer. It can also be offered during the Spring and Summer semesters in the evening depending on demand.

In addition, the Center offers professionals the opportunity to join as auditors - classroom space permitting - of the Arabic for Broadcasting course, which is tailored for the Center by AUC's Arabic Language Institute. Studio facilities have occasionally been available for on-the-job training projects undertaken with TV news organizations.

Indeed, with its growing reputation, the Adham Center expects to continuously expand its role as a regional center for both training and research.

As for the academic side of the Center, it is not only the breadth and depth of technical skills gained that distinguish the Adham Center program, but also the theoretical knowledge developed to support these skills. Learning which buttons to push on the camera is important, but so is learning proper shot composition, framing, and holding. Adham Center students learn all of these. Students also learn the "whys" beyond the "hows" of TV news production, examining the ethics and style of news reporting. This means our alumni find careers as reporters, editors, producers, directors, and camera operators with leading broadcast organizations in Egypt, the Middle East and around the world. The addition in recent years of a course in professional Arabic for Broadcasters for our Arabic-speaking students (the overwhelming majority) has increased the employability of our graduates.

Though the Center has been hailed as the leading TV news training center in the Middle East, and competitive with the best in the UK and the USA, it is also more than a degree and professional certificate-granting institution. The Adham Center publishes a semi-annual professional electronic journal, Transnational Broadcasting Studies in partnership with the Middle East Centre, Oxford University, which reports on regional satellite broadcasting developments with a significant focus on satellite TV news. It is widely read and appreciated in industry as well as academic circles and after six years of publication it is almost inevitable that any study of transnational satellite TV broadcasting, and in particular of Arab and Islamic world satellite TV broadcasting, will quote heavily from and reference articles published by TBS.

According to Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "TBS is unique. It thoroughly dominates its niche. It has no serious competition and is essential and required reading for anyone interested in satellite TV broadcasting to the Arab world."

The Adham Center also hosts the Sony Gallery for Photography which holds at least half a dozen shows a year, as Egypt's only gallery devoted exclusively to photojournalism and documentary photography. An increasing number of Sony Gallery shows are also now available at the Sony Virtual Gallery here at Adham Online. But even this gallery, which is now very much a part of the Greater Cairo community of artists and intellectuals, performs a didactic function for the student Video Journalists studying at the Center: it is the still photograph that most easily lends itself to an understanding of how composition can enhance the narrative dimension of any picture or sequence of pictures.

The Adham Center--Training and research in broadcast journalism: Where academic standards require professional performance.