Season four of Sky News Arabia’s popular training program ‘SNAP’ will run from August 9 to September 4, 2015.
SNAP, which is managed by Emirati media personality Mahra Al-Yacoubi, has provided media training to a total of 60 Emirati students from various public universities in the UAE since its launch in late 2011.
SNAP’s primary objective is to develop and hone the required media skills among youth in the UAE and GCC, and prepare them for a successful career in the region’s burgeoning media industry.
The program also serves as an incubator for fresh graduates and emerging talents and empowers them with much-needed guidance before stepping into their media careers.
The upcoming season, which is expected to include 16 participants, is open for the first time to all GCC students in public and private universities across the Gulf region. This is a step towards expanding the scope of the program and providing more opportunities to students interested in benefiting from the unique training module.
Mahra Al Yacoubi, mentor at SNAP, said: “The first three seasons of SNAP have received high uptake from the region’s enthusiastic media students. Emirati students have demonstrated special keenness to acquiring the skills required for excelling in this dynamic industry.
“This program empowers students with intensive training in editorial writing, direction, presenting, camera handling, montage and post-production, as well as social media. We discover each participant’s talent in the first week of training, and work on strengthening those areas. We also train them in a secondary skill to complement their overall media competence.”
Continues on next page
She added: “For the next season, we hope to raise the bar and reduce the program’s duration to five weeks rather than six at present. We are confident this program will continue to find resonance and eventually emerge as a major media academy for students from the UAE and wider GCC.”
The success of the SNAP program is validated by several success stories of previous graduates that have been hired either at Sky News Arabia itself, or within various governmental entities in the UAE. Notable examples of graduates placed at entities within the UAE include Hessa Al Shuwaihi, who currently works in the media department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mahra Al Junaibi who serves at Abu Dhabi Television, Shahd Al Abdouli who published a book during the Abu Dhabi Book Fair and is currently affiliated to ADNOC, and Fatima Al Darmaki who was appointed as the first Emirati camerawoman at Sky News Arabia and moved on to join a government entity.
Sky News Arabia also hired a number of SNAP graduates including Hasan Al Ahmadi as editor and occasional reporter, and Mariam Al Shamsi as news editor, among others.
Hasan Al Ahmadi, who took part in the programme, said: “SNAP has opened doors for me to delve into the media world and pursue my chosen path towards living my ultimate dream. Through this program, I have developed self-confidence by working alongside big names in the media industry. This is the only program in the UAE that factors in the financial and emotional challenges that are likely to be encountered by media students, and equips them fully for work in this competitive field. I highly recommend it to those interested in pursuing media careers.”
Mariam Al Shamsi also termed her experience with SNAP as a “remarkable phase that allowed me to learn a great deal about the media industry in just six short weeks”. She commended the Sky News Arabia staff for treating her as a professional colleague rather than an intern to help her build self-confidence and form a well-rounded understanding of the media industry’s breadth of work.