The experience of Achraf El Barhrassi, MediaLab Campus grant holder

September 2, 2019

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. Achraf El Barhrassi, a student at SIC in Morocco and an intern at France 24 in Paris in August 2019, shares his experience.

"I heard about the Medialab Campus scholarships through a friend who is himself the manager of a private radio in Morocco, and then through the ad on institute bulletin board 3 days later. This scholarship is a real springboard for me. This is my first professional experience abroad. It's an opportunity I've been waiting for, for years and here it is!

I've been watching television since I was 3 years old. I have always found it fascinating especially the News bulletin and their anchors with irreproachable charisma. The media is a prestigious domain in Morocco that is not often accessible to everyone. It requires a lot of passion (as in my case), perseverance, patience to climb the ladder and especially the ability to master the basics. I think journalism is also an act of activism aimed at making the world a better place especially by making heard the voices of the people in need, minorities in their groups and the voiceless.

My internship happens in good conditions, surrounded by professionals who do not hesitate to share their knowledge, to show me the ropes of the trade with all the eventualities, especially being in a cosmopolitan and multicultural environment. I found myself facing several people who speak several languages and dialects, I found myself sometimes speaking several languages in one sentence, it was just magic. I put my voice in news reports (rescue of migrants' boats in Libya, demonstrations in Hong Kong), I also worked as an assistant editor, coordinating with guests including France 24 Correspondents worldwide we receive for live news on various topics (Hong Kong, Algeria, Yemen, Sudan, G7, Italy ... etc.) It consisted of finding the right people, checking their availability and the format that suits them to intervene: Skype, Aviwest, phone, or on the set.

I also did a lot of news supervision in all 3 languages to see how the same subjects are dealt with in 3 languages: Arabic, English and French to identify common and diverging points. Transforming information coming from news agencies into other formats, I have also watched many live news bulletins from the Arabic-speaking control room. I did research on the digital desk to get an idea about the production of short information videos as well as editing techniques related to content published on social media, the France 24 website and the mobile application.

Being a trainee in Morocco is totally different because one often gets little consideration there. You often learn a little and work more as a management assistant. However, in France the trainee has a status, he is respected because it is believed that the youth emancipation is a priority and that the internship is a process of transmission that must be done in the rules of art. I am very happy and proud to be an intern at France 24 because I finally found myself in the professional media world and to do this abroad is a privilege. "