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Pearl Divers, Tigers and Floods (Oh My!)

Northwestern in Qatar launches its first student publication

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November 15, 2010 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A video essay about a 72-year-old pearl diver, a report on the kick-off of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and news of a tiger said to be running loose in Education City highlighted the premier issue of the Daily Q, Northwestern in Qatar’s first student publication.

With a single click of a button, no less prominent a journalist than the chairman and publisher of the New York Times launched the online Daily Q late last month to cheers from students and faculty alike.

A multimedia website at www.dailyq.org, the Daily Q has been in the works for more than two years, according to Janet Key, assistant professor of journalism on the Qatar campus. It will not only cover Northwestern University in Qatar but also the other five universities in Education City, the Qatar Foundation, Doha and the region.

“We aim to be a role model for journalism here -- and one tough competitor,” says Key who, with lecturer Miriam Berg, is Daily Q faculty adviser.

New York Times chair and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and New York Times editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal were in Qatar for the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. They spoke to Northwestern in Qatar journalism students about the changing media landscape and the future of journalism on the day of the Daily Q launch.

It was “serendipitous” timing, said Richard Roth of the eminent New York Times journalists’ participation in the launch. Roth is senior associate dean of the Medill School of Journalism both on the Evanston and Qatar campuses.

Also included in the Daily Q debut issue was a multimedia package about student efforts to raise awareness of a poor community on the outskirts of Doha and a report on an Education City student event that raised $20,000 for victims of the recent floods in Pakistan.

Student Mal Al-Mannai’s personal essay explained why -- in a place where people are not accustomed to answering questions from strangers and where women are not encouraged to speak with men they don’t know -- it initially was “uncomfortable” to practice journalism.

Roth describes the Daily Q site as a combination of The Daily Northwestern and the Northwestern News Network. The Daily Q name was created by student Rana Khaled and its logo/ design by student Camila Ferreria. The NU-Q journalism program now has 49 students, none of them yet seniors.
Topics: Campus Life