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Alexander Durie: benefit from knowledgeable journalists and their expertise about the region and the Lebanese culture
September 2, 2019
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In June 2019, the MediaLab Campus project awarded internship grants to ten female students and five male students studying journalism in schools across Europe and the Mediterranean and looking to undertake an internship in a foreign media outlet over the summer. Alexander Durie, student at Sciences-Po Paris, in France, is interning at The Daily Star in Beirut, Lebanon, in July / August 2019.
"I first heard about the MediaLab Campus Scholarship through friends who suggested I apply since I planned to go to Lebanon during the summer for an internship abroad. At first, I did not think I had a chance to get it, because I was sure that a lot of people more qualified than me would be selected, so to receive it was a great surprise and a great honor.
This scholarship was so important and essential to me this summer to enable me to continue the work and the journeys that I had to make to produce reports during my internship. Since I work both in written and audio-visual journalism and take many pictures, the grant was useful to me to cover a part of my photo material insurance, but also to travel across the country for interviews or to cover events.
Prior to my wish to become a journalist, I aspire first and foremost to document events and listen to people and tell their stories. Curiosity and interest in people and places of diverse backgrounds are essential to the journalistic profession, and since this curiosity and open-mindedness are central to my approach to life, it was natural for me to move towards journalism and to make projects and reports by various means, written or audiovisual.
I've been trying and dreaming to go Lebanon for years and I was just waiting for the right moment and the opportunity to do so. The Daily Star Lebanon is the largest and most important English-language newspaper in the country, so it made sense for me to try to work there because it would open doors for me and I could benefit from knowledgeable journalists and their expertise about the region and the Lebanese culture but in an anglophone context.
The internship was a very rewarding experience and I am so happy to have made the jump and finally went to work for a few months in Beirut, my only wish is to stay there more than seven weeks. There was a big international team of journalists ready to help and guide me in organizing the newspaper and to put me in contact with important sources. I was the main trainee of the Arts & Culture desk of the Daily Star Lebanon and as it is a very small team (there are only two other journalists on the desk), I was in charge of many responsibilities and I covered many events of music festivals, inaugurations of artistic exhibitions and emerging photography projects during the summer all over Lebanon. It was a wonderful and successful experience and I wish it lasted longer. But in any case, I know I'll be back soon. "